Issue 29 09/2004
FolkWorld CD Reviews (6)
Irish Singers at Tønder Festival, photo by The Mollis
V/A "Highlands and Islands - Vol. 1: Loch Shiel"
WCMCD 025; 2003; Playing time: 63:38 min
56:51N, 5:30W; with a total length of 28 km Loch
Shiel is the fourth largest lake in Scotland. The narrow lake with its steep
slopes in the northwest Highlands unfurls from Glenfinnan,
where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the Jacobite standard and rallied his clansmen
in 1745 to fight for the British throne. Lochaber-based media production company
Miraculous Productions, run by Nick Turner of the Watercolour studios in Ardgour
and musician/broadcaster Mary Ann Kennedy, aim to get beyond the "tartan and
heather" image that still obscures many tourist ventures. The idea has been
to put a group of musicians and storytellers aboard the vessel M.V.
Sileas and take a trip down Loch Shiel, let the music flow and record the
entire output: tunes, songs and stories from the Scottish Highlands, featuring
the local maestros and their bands, respectively: Charlie MacFarlane and his son
Iain (fiddle and pipes -> FW#24, playing
with Blazin' Fiddles -> FW#15
FW#23 and Boys
of the Lough -> FW#23), Dougie Hunter
(piano accordion, Hoogie), Allan Henderson
(fiddle, Blazin' Fiddles, Cliar
-> FW#14, FW#22,
FW#23), Iain MacDonald (flute -> FW#24,
Battlefield Band -> FW#27,
-> FW#1), and up-and-coming traditional group
It's the perfect tourist gift, and sometimes the tunes are much too syrupy (but
such is Scottish music at times). The cruise is appropriately kicking off with
"The Steamboat Hornpipe". The tune was in the repertoire of the 19th century Northumberland
fiddler James Hill and was supposedly written to celebrate the first steamboat
sailing between Newcastle and the Clyde. (O’Neill’s 1001 Tunes prints it in a
different key under the title "Tim the Turncoat" and uilleann piper Darragh Murphy
recorded it as "The Good Natured Man" -> FW#21.)
"Ri Taobh Loch Seile" (On the Shores of Loch Shiel) sung by Margaret MacLellan
is praising the lake and its people. It has been written by the late Donald MacColl
(*1901), one of the area's most notable bards and puirt-a-beul singers; he also
learned to play the pipes in his young days from Angus MacDonald who is related
to the piping brothers Iain (see above) and Allan
(-> FW#4, FW#20,
FW#21). The translation goes like this:
On a warm, balmy day, I'm in the forest shade, looking up and all around both
sides of Loch Shiel, the musical choir of the trees so cheerful in the branches.
The pasture has grown desolate where men once worked the soil. When I look at
the furrows I see the ruins of Hector's house where there would be song and story
while gathered round the fire.
There are more volumes in the "Highlands & Islands" series to come. The next will
focus on the area around MacLeod's Tables in North-West Skye and the Nordic traditions
surrounding the Shetland Islands.
"The NoExcuses Harmonica Guide" [CD-ROM/DVD]
Excuses Guides; ISBN 0-9545159-8-6; 2003
Once upon a time there was music all around. Every area had its local maestro
and you could listen to the sounds he's producing, peer at his fingers - and
learn. Then came the dark ages when grammophone, radio, televison and pop culture
killed live music and the oral tradition. The number of players declined and
pupils went desparate over instructional books and multi-track recordings. However,
with modern CD-ROM and DVD technology, you can both listen and watch some great
No Excuses Guides exactly did that
and came up with a set of instructional CD-ROMs. The Harmonica Guide has been
written by Mat Walklate (-> FW#26).
The Manchester-based musician is equally at home with blues, jazz and Irish
music. The CD-ROM is divided into different sections which make easy browsing.
Beginners are introduced to harmonica history, different harmonica types, basic
music theory, and how to play the instrument, from holding the harp to note
bending and overblows. The tutorial combines descriptive parts with supplementary
soundclips. The advanced sections include harmonica styles from blues to folk
to country, care 'n repair and buying guides to all additional gear.
Finally, you can play along to over 140 backing tracks, featuring blues, rock,
country, Celtic/African/Caribean roots (sometimes nothing more than a drum rhythm).
The CD-ROM is rounded off with player profiles and an A-Z encyclopedia.
The Harmonica Guide is available as CD-ROM only or plus the "JamAcademy BandJam"
DVD. The Jam Academy band with Mat Walklate on harmonica is performing 8 tracks
(so it's a rather limited pleasure), e.g. a "slow blues in E" or "simple country
in G" (which means Nashville style, no old-timey). You can choose any song you
want to play and watch the full band perform (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboard,
bass, drums), jam along with the backing track or replace any musician. After
all, the band won't mind if you make a mistake.
Coming to a conclusion, the NoExcuses Guides constitute an approach to teaching
the harmonica that is both still novel and useful, and great fun after all.
A Guide is also available for guitar, bass, keyboard and singing. Now there's
Moonroller/No Excuses Guides
Christel Rice "Tunnel Vision"
2003; Playing time: 35:32 min
Strangely enough, "Tunnel Vision" kicks off with the unaccompanied Irish sean-nos
singing of Jim O'Dowd. This has nothing to do with the rest of the album, featuring
the flute playing and dance music of Christel Rice. Christel Rice is originally
from Philadelphia where she trained as a classical flutist. Long time neglecting
her Irish roots (her great grandparents immigrated into the US in the early
1900s), she (re)discovered traditional Irish music and abandoned the silver
Boehm instrument for the wooden flute instead. Relocating to Boulder, Colorado,
Christel became involved in the local Irish music scene and formed her own group
The Wayfarers. Now here's the debut
from a great yet quite unknown flute player. The 8 lively sets are arranged
with fiddle, banjo, accordion and uilleann pipes, guitar, bass and bouzouki
backing - and even Indian tablas. Peter Rydberg did some production work as
he did before for Solas. And this is what
I'm reminded most, the stunning first Solas album from 1996 when Seamus Egan's
outfit (-> FW#17, FW#22)
was fresh and hot and hadn't moved away that much from traditional music into
more contemporary territory.
Lehto & Wright "A Game of Chess"
Folk Records; 3760; 2003; Playing time: 66:10 min
Minneapolis based Lehto & Wright
(-> FW#17, FW#18,
FW#23) do the Fairport/Steeleye
(-> FW#23, FW#25)
thing in the American way. Folk rock as unique and outstanding as hasn't been
done for quite a while. John Wright (vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, bass)
and Steve Letho (guitars, mandolin, accordion) plus drummer Matt Jacob play
Irish jigs & reels, traditional British ballads and contemporary folk songs.
Have a listen to the fine "I Wish I Was in England" (Christy
Moore -> FW#1, FW#2,
FW#3) and "Of Time and Rivers Flowing" (Pete
Seeger -> FW#21, FW#26).
The much maligned "Curragh of Kildare" takes up a new life being turned into
a rock ballad. Folk rockers of the world take an example! This should be the
New Folk Records
Rise "Uncertain Wonders"
Label: Orissor Productions; OP2000; 2000;
Playing time: 64:15 min
Rise "Posing as Human"
Label: Orissor Productions; OP2010; 2004;
Playing time: 61:17 min
The Scottish band Rise from the Isle
of Bute developed from a group playing Celtic music, alternative country, pop
and rock covers into a highly original band with original repertoire. What Rise
themselves call alt.folk is a crossover of Scottish and American music,
a blend of contemporary pop, folk rock and traditional music. Debbie Dawson
is the soulful singer, Gerry Geoghegan the mastermind on everything that has
strings, plus Kris Manvell on drums. Besides their catchy pop songs, they put
their hands on some traditional and traditional-like stuff and make it their
own - as opposed to a vehicle for tenors in kilts to sing by the fire on
cheesy Hogmanay shows: "Loch Lomond", Francis
McPeake's "Wild Mountain Thyme", Dick
Gaughan's "Both Sides the Tweed" (-> FW#25),
Rabbie Burns' "Green Grow the Rashes-o".
(The booklet brings up the myth that the name "Gringo", as some Mexicans
call Americans, came about because of this song. During the battle of the Alamo
some Scots were heard singing it and to the Mexicans, "Green grow" sounded like
"Gringo".) "Time and Tide" however is no traditional ballad, the melody
is traditional only, but a Burns-type original in a modern arrangement. The
verses are an adaptation of "The Snowy-breasted Pearl" and the chorus is suggested
by Burns' "Now Westlin' Winds" and Tannahill's "Gloomy Winters Noo Awa'". Music
to promote the health of both body and mind.
Pete Lashley "Slate"
Label: Own label; 2004; Playing time: 37:42
Possibly you've encountered singer/songwriter Pete
Lashley while busking around his native North West England. More than a
street musician you can find him performing in the pubs and clubs throughout
the country and enthralling his audience (I assume this from the compliments
in his online guestbook). Pete's fourth album "Slate" is a mix of original songs
somewhere inbetween soft folk rock and catchy pop numbers. His voice has been
often compared to Neil
Finn of Crowded House.
But whereas some songwriters produce pieces in silver and gold, Pete is in the
slate business. That's more earthy and rootsy.
Cuppatea "Love and care"
Label: Private label; 2003
Cuppatea is a duo that are Sigrun Knoche on vocals, flutes and keyboard and
Joachim Hetscher on guitar and vocals. On their cd love and care they recorded
twenty songs like: only you, your song, angel of the morning and other classics
and a bit less known songs. It's not easy to write about this cd because it's
clear that both musicians love what they are doing and I don't want to spoil
somebody's fun but this cd is impossible to listen to. The vocals are constantly
out of tune, the instruments don't seem to follow the same rhythm or melody
line and the recording is just terrible. I can imagine that on small family
gatherings these musicians have small success. But for me as a totally stranger
and my job is to judge this cd, I can only say that this cd is really terrible
to listen to.
Homepage of the artist: www.cuppatea.de
Kona boj "Ja sa kona bojim"
records; mam228-2; 2004
For half a year ago I was wondering with a friend why we don't hear much music
from Czech and now I found a bunch of CD's with music from Czech to review for
folkworld. A very nice one, this cd Já sa kona bo im by the band kona
boj. I couldn't find much info about the group because their webpage is in their
native language so I can't give you much background info. The group exists out
of six musicians and on this cd they got help from several guest-musicians.
Instruments like the flute, electric guitar, drums, violin etc form the basic
for the sound of the band. But the best part are the strong female vocals of
the band. Sometimes she reminds me of Iren Lovasz but than with a more rock
background. The band plays with ethnic music both on the traditional instruments
as on the electric ones. I hear a few times the electric guitar play in a very
traditional style which gives a solid melodic sound to the music. A very nice
cd with easy to listen to soft folkrock from Czech.
Atahualpa Yupaqui "Concierto instrumental (Live
in Cologne 1978)"
The legendary Atahulpa Yupanqui doesn't need much introduction to lovers of
guitar music. This great musician from Argentina died in 1992 leaving a big
collection of poems, songs and tunes. He started playing as a child on a two
string guitar, inventing his own music in which he reflects the impressions
he had in daily live. On this German live recording he plays thirteen tunes,
many traditional and a few from known composers or from his own hand. Besides
that he recitals two of his poems. These recordings show a master at work. It's
hard to explain the warmth and intensity Yupanui puts in his music, something
that is often missed by many guitar players. Of course he got a beautiful technique,
but it's his way of interpreting the music that makes it so intense. Danza de
la paloma enamorada is a good example of this. Such a short, small melody brought
with such change in rhythm and volume that the music gets a live of it's own.
Absolutely essential to have one of his recordings, this is a good option to
add to your collection.
The young German jigit label just released a new cd with Yugoslavian folkrock.
They present the band as anti-folk inspired by the Sex pistols and the Clash.
The band takes the Yugoslavian eighties music into today's culture. It's a party
band, that's clear. Punk, ska rhythms, very basic melodies and not to technically
they indeed sound like a protest underground band from the eighties. It's nice
when you read the booklet and read that these song actually mean something.
It are songs that were written just after Tito died and things started to change
in Yugoslavia. In no time there was a big new wave going through Yugoslavian
music with songs that protested against the promises of socialism and the values
of the bourgeois. If you listen to the record with this historical information
it's much easier to understand the music and it's value. When you just listen
to the music without any info it might feel like your listening to just another
funky band with some (very) light ethnic influences. These influences can be
find in the rhythms and in the way some of the songs are constructed. This cd
is interesting because of the link between music and history. If you expect
some Yugo folkrock, don't buy this. This has actually nothing to do with folk,
this is just solid alternative underground rock with a rich history.
Various artists "The best of Indies records
2000" and "The best of Indies records 2003"
mam 125-2 and mam 230-2
Finally introductions to the music of Czech are entering the rest of the world.
The first cd is the Indies sampler from 2000. For me a great cd with almost
80 minutes of mostly new names. Starting with a great song by the known Iva
Bittová & Vladimir Václavek Sto let which immediately shows the best of Czech
music. The cd contains a collection of traditional, singer-songwriter, folkrock
bands from the Indies label. From the alternative folkrock by BOO to the singer-songwriter
music of Z.Navarová with Gutiérrez and KOA. Their Lajla tov has influences from
both the eurosongcontest and South-America. An easy listening adventure in roots
music. Highlights for me were Oswald schneider with V cérném a beautiful ballad
in light jazz style with smooth electronics. Midnight music at it's best. Rale
with Moondance, traditional, dark folkmusic with nice vocals and a dangerous
atmosphere. Jan Hrubý & kukulin with duch plzenských sklepu. A beautiful, bit
medieval folktune and another strong traditional tune by Jiri Pavlica & Hradištan
with Karneval. A great journey through the Czech music which I enjoyed very
much. Interesting to order if you want to know more about the several groups
that were active in 2000. You can also get the later 2003 double cd which contains
a more update collection from the Indies catalogue. Some of the same names as
on the 2000 edition but also many new names. Personal highlights on this double
cd: Tomás Koco & orchestra with Tanecnica probably one of the best traditional
piece of music of all three cd's. Kapka with Tara fuki a bit avant-garde folkmusic.
Female vocals remind me of Scandinavian bands like Hedningarna at moments but
are also typical for Balkan music. Intriguing song this is. And also on this
2003 edition it's Jan Hrubý & Kukulin who comes with a nice song called Raurorské
vodopády. This time not traditional music but traditional music mixed with electronics.
All three cd's have more good music to offer and of course also some lesser
tunes. But they are definitely worth a try.
The Borderers "Inspired"
Label: Private record 2002
The Borderers are Alex on lead vocals and Jim Paterson on vocals, guitar, mandolina
and keyboards. This duo comes from Australia and have been nominated for three
categories in the Australian live music awards in 2002. Their song Na mara was
chosen as the best worldmusic track in Australia. On inspired the group works
with 28 guest musicians from vocals to washboard and many other instruments.
The group plays Celtic, country, bluegrass inspired music mostly own material
but also a Eric Bogle song. Their music is very open minded and made for a big
audience. No risk, nice music with a popular sound. Sometimes a bit to popular
to my taste. Saying sorry sounds to sweet and reminds me of many eurovisionsongcontest
songs, music for millions. I prefer much more their winning song Na mara on
which they threw away a bit of their sweetness and recorded a nice modern folksong
with programming, good guestvocals and a nice Celtic sound. It's a pity this
is followed by Jump right in which is again safe, happy music but without any
fantasy and unfortunately the rest of the cd (except the remix and the original
version of Mama knew best) has the same atmosphere. This is folkmusic at it's
most popular. It wont bother anybody, no problem to listen to, but to mainstream
to really got my attention.
Homepage of the artist: www.theborderers.com.au
Label: Private record 2004-08-22
Tervakello (tar bell) is a small orchestra with Udu drum as their basic instrument
together with several wind-instruments. They improvise the biggest part of their
music and they try to create a shamanistic soundscape. The orchestra wants to
create an ambience and not just music. The band started in 2002 and has been
performing in several dancefestivals and concerts. They also played music to
theatre pieces and animations. It's very intense music with long tunes with
smooth rhythms and the sound of soft wooden flutes. To some it might sound like
many new age cd's but I have to say that putting the group in that category
wouldn't do them justice. It are subtle change of sounds and rhythm with which
they manage to create a serene atmosphere. It's subtle almost minimal music
with just small changes in it's structure. Strong arrangements and somehow very
catchy. It needs time and concentration to capture the essence of the music
and therefor I think many people would say this cd is just more of the same
sound. For people who have the time and the inner rest to give this cd a chance,
you might enjoy this music a lot.
Homepage of the artist: www.tervakello.tk
Ray Mason band "Idiot wisdom"
Label: Captivating music cm-9158; 2003
Since 1982 about 140 shows a year plays this singer-guitar player. He released
several cassettes and in 1994 his first cd was born. He is also a member of
the lonesome brothers and he also appeared on several cd's by musicians such
as Lloyd Cole and Wolf Krakowski This Idiot wisdom is his latest work full with,
mainly, own songs. The main ingredients are his bluesy vocals and the sound
of his silvertone guitar. It's singer-songwriter with influences from many sides
of music but I would call it straight on solid guitar rock and roll. Well done,
nice songs but not exceptional music in any way. Clearly Ray Mason is a strong
guitar player and a good singer. But the music is not my speciality and somehow
for me personally it's difficult to judge if he is any different from other
artists in this genre so please don't follow this review and go to the webpage
to get our own impression of his music.
Homepage of the artist: www.raymason.com
Klaus Trabitsch "Zeit"
Klaus Trabitsch is a guitar player from Austria who likes to invent new music.
He mixes music from several parts of this globe into his own style of music.
Together with several guest musicians on percussion, harp, harmonium and other
instruments he manages to create a relaxing atmosphere in his music. The cd
starts with Pop song a strange title for a song that doesn't sound like a popsong
at all but feels like a dreamy late night jazz classic. The dreamy feeling stays
during the whole cd. Good fingerpicking, nice combination of instruments like
in Heit loßt sa si guad an in which strings and the typical Caribbean percussion
feel like a soft summerbreeze on a romantic island. What I like about this cd
are the strong compositions and the basic interpretation of these by the musicians.
No tricks, no electronics added, their own quality is enough to make the music
work. Although I'm not always in the mood for this kind of silent music, this
would be my favourite for those days I'm in the mood.
The brothers in the kitchen featuring the Moore
sisters "Bring it back alive"
Label: Private record no webpage given
The first time ever since I started writing for both Folkworld and New folksounds
that I find a real gospel cd on my review table. And believe me, this is a gospel
cd in the biggest meaning of the word. The lord is coming soon, saved, Little
talk with Jesus are just a few of the songs which can be found on this cd. Recorded
in the basement of the church it's pure and energetic music. Easy to sing along
but not recorded in the best quality. The cd even got a Van Morrison song! It
has touches of rock and roll like in By and by but the lyrics have nothing to
do with rock and roll at all. Anyway, I have only one gospel/jazz inspired lp
in my collection which is Savage rose's masterpiece Babylon from the seventies,
so I'm not an expert at all. Actually the purity of the music touches me somehow
but it's not my style of music. I do like the bit underground sound of the band
but I 'm not a lover of the more clapping and singing along part of this cd.
I do hope they enjoy making music for many more years, but they didn't bring
any light back into my life with this cd.
Wolfe bros "Old roads new journeys"
The wolf bros is an old time stringband from the mountains of South-western
Virginia. The group started during the seventies but has been most active during
the past ten years. They are a band that operates local and their music is a
traditional interpretation of old tunes with some own lyrics. With the standard
instrumentation of banjo, bass, guitar, accordion and fiddle, the band brings
old times back to life. It has a strong country and western sound and the band
sounds exactly what I expected from a band like this. Good quality, lyrics that
tell about many aspects of live brought in a solid conventional way. I have
a bit problems with the violin in the Clark hill waltz somehow it's just slightly
out of tune for my European ears but maybe it supposed to be. This is my only
remark about this fine cd with pure music that sounds solid like a rock.
Label: Chamsa records cd001 2004
Nikitov is a half Dutch, half US quartet who play Jewish music. Amulet is their
debut cd and a very nice one. In a sober setting of guitar, bass, violin and
vocals the band knows how to interpretate the Jewish music on a high level.
Mixing it with jazz en gypsy the musical arrangements sound fresh and new. The
cd contains famous songs like Dona Dona, bei mir bistu scheyn and Bessarabyanka
besides some lesser known classics. The vocals are from Niki Jacobs who has
a beautifully trained classical voice, somehow this fits perfectly to the Jewish
music. She now is a music teacher in Amsterdam, studied classical vocals in
New-York and played with several members of the famous Klezmatics band. Violinist
Jelle van Tongeren also has a classical study on violin although he switched
to gypsy jazz when he was seventeen years old. He has a warm way of playing
the violin and understands the art of letting his instruments tell the story
of the music. This is an art not all musicians have, often it's just nice and
technically well done playing. Jelle does add this extra to his play which also
combines perfectly with the vocals and the acoustic guitar of Adam Good and
acoustic bass of Jason Sypher. Adam Good, by the way, is specialist on Balkan
music and also played on the very nice cd Harmonia which I recently reviewed
for another music magazine as well. Jason Sypher focuses on several musical
styles from Jazz to Appalachian. He played with many known musicians and he
puts the power to the music of Nikitov with his bass. A beautiful cd by a group
of highly skilled musicians. The only problem I always have with such records
is that I hear the same songs so often. I would love a cd with unknown treasures
of the Jewish music, hereby I challenge you to record a cd with songs and tunes
I have never heard before. I'm sure with this quality of musicians they will
than make a price winning album.
Homepage of the artist: www.nikitov.com
Julian Spizz "Incipit"
Julian Spizz is a vocalist and a lecture in music who studied vocals by Bobby
McFerrin and others. On this cd you will definitely hear the influences of McFerrin's
music. This is Spizz first solo cd after having recorded two cd's with the vocal
trio Trinovox. The whole cd is a solo project that means that all vocals are
done by himself. No instruments, vocals only. Spizz is always looking for new
techniques, new sounds and rhythms to make his music more and more interesting.
This first solo cd is well done. It has power, is full of strong rhythms and
has a surprisingly modern sound. His music has been influenced by Italian music
mostly but has some other cultural touches as well. But to my opinion this is
a very Italian album. The way of singing, the style of the songs reminds me
of Italian - the Italian music that got popular outside the country as well,
especially in the singer-songwriter genre. With this cd Spizz shows he is a
band on his own. Unbelievable to hear how he can create rock music on his own,
with his voice only. Long guitar solo's, beach boys kind of choirs and beating
drums to finish the whole.
Chuck Suchy "Evening in Paris"
Label: Little bluesteam records 103 2004
I first heard a song by Chuck Suchy on the compilation cd of the Oak centre
general on which he was one of my favourites. So when he contacted me with the
question if I would like to review his latest cd I immediately said yes, curious
to hear more of his music. Together with Peter Osthrousko on mandolin and fiddle,
Joel Sayles on bass and Joe Savage on dobro and steel guitar, Chuck recorded
a beautiful cd which stole my heart the first time I heard it. Listen to the
beautiful, emotional song Diminishing winds and you understand why I'm so enthusiastic
about this singer-songwriter. He creates a intimate, very personal atmosphere
helped by the three strong musicians. The acoustic setting, his natural way
of singing, almost like he is telling a story, forces me to listen. After hearing
Stan Rogers he started to write his own songs and ballads inspired by his own
farm live. That's probably what makes his music so pure, he sings about the
things that matter to him and are part of his daily live. He gives a unique
look inside a way of living typically for the US farmers at the Missouri rivers
area. But not only that, his sober guitar play, the beautiful mandolin and violin
and the crying steel guitar do the rest. This is such a cd that I always hope
to find when I go through the many review cd's by singer-songwriters and singer-song-writers
wannabe's I get from the magazines to write about. This evening in Paris makes
me a very happy person.
Ben Suchy "Head for home"
Label: Private record 2004
Together with the cd by Chuck Suchy, Chuck also sended me the second cd by his
son Ben. Always a danger, children of artists who start their own career. Do
they manage to develop their own style? Or are they just doing the same thing
as their parents but than in a younger version? Let me assure you that Ben is
one of the first calibre. His music is also singer-songwriter but much more
in blues style. The cd's kicks off with a great old time blues kind of song
Good evening on which he shows his quality on slide guitar. But also just blues
inspired songs like walking along show his talent. Here he shows that he, same
as his father, knows how to bring a song and tell his story. Still a bit unsure
and his young voice isn't 100% stable yet, but it has enough depth and personality
to grow into something beautiful with age. The lyrics tell about a lot of she's
and her's, a bit naive and innocence but in the positive way. A fresh cd which
easily keeps my attention and interest. This musician has great potential and
I hope he will allow himself to develop his style and skills into even better
and unique music.
Homepage of the artist: www.bensuchy.com
Landluft "Steirisch und modern"
ex 573-2 2004
The band Landluft from Austria exists out of four musicians on Harmonika, several
guitars, contrabass, mandolin and flutes. The band brings traditional music
from the Alps into the modern world. They mix this with jazz, and music from
the Meditarian area. The cd has an overall open and modern sound. Strong opening
with sammeln that shows real mountain music with a touch of Balkanmusic.
Much more fragile is Die herde erhebt sich in which the flute and Harmonika
create a soundscape that reminds me of ancient music from the Far East. After
this bit traditional sounding start the first song takes place called volle
kraft. A nice acoustic ballad with nice and warm vocals. Than the first
traditional dance Musette played with the Harmonica as main instrument
this sounds very European. It isn't a typical Austrian dance but could as well
have been Dutch, German or even French. Than the same melody is played in polka
version and somehow suddenly it sounds much more Austrian to me, I wonder why…The
cd contains several other nice songs in the same vein as the above. Some have
a bit more modern approach but mostly this is pure acoustic music. Although
I'm not an expert of any kind in Austrian music, I like this cd very much. No
tricks, no unnecessary effects just straight and honest music brought in new
and fresh musical arrangements.
Label: Tempus fugit 693723 60672 9; 2004
With Adaro Germany has one of the nicest bands in Medieval rock I know. The
band exists out of five musicians on ancient instruments such as bagpipe, hurdy
gurdy, bombarde and Crumhorn mixing this with electric guitar, loops fender
rhodes and drums. They sing songs and play tunes by for example Oswald von Wolkenstein
and Reinmar von Hagenau but also choose some Anonymous material. The music is
about 800 to 450 years old and brought to the modern world in a passionate and
professionally way. The cd has two sides, the acoustic beautiful ballads side
like wohl dem leibe in which Konstanze Kulinsky shows her quality as
vocalist. What a beautiful voice perfectly for this type of music. On the other
side you will find strong rock songs with ancient influences like Minne ist
ein süßer nam and Komm her zur mir. Both strong modern songs with
surprisingly good beats and some heavy electric guitar work swell. The musicians
made nice arrangements to the music and the sound of this cd is overall of high
quality. Also the combination of the male and female vocals work. Normally in
this type of music I prefer the female vocals, in this one they are equal. Not
just another "medieval rock hype" cd, which unfortunately there are a lot in
bad quality. This adaro should be taken seriously, they show that this music
can be performed in great quality. They are one of the treasure keepers of Germanys
first Medieval rock band the legendary Ougenweide.
Homepage of the artist: www.adaro.de
Various artists "World reggae"
The putumayo label has been providing the world of nice sample cd's since a
few years now. They issued collections with music from all kind of areas as
well as childrensongs and other special fields in music. They have just been
releasing a reggae cd introducing reggae music from the past three years. It
contains twelve recordings done by as many artists from twelve different countries.
The thing all track have in common are the reggae feeling of the music, but
otherwise they show the own identity of the country the music comes from. Included
are songs by Más y más, Alpha blond, Kana and Maria de Barros. Treat yourself
on a nice trip around the world with sunny rhythms and good music. As any of
the putuyamo cd's the cd comes with a booklet containing information about each
artist who appears on this cd. Also you can find information about how to get
the cd of the artists you would like to hear more about.
More English CD Reviews: Page 7 -
Page 1 - Page 2- Page 3
- Page 4 - Page 5
More German CD Reviews: Page 1 - Page
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