FolkWorld Issue 37 11/2008
FolkWorld CD Reviews
Oisín & Conal Hernon "Up and Coming"
CICD 175; 2008
Brothers Oisín and Conal Hernon are two young musicians from
Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland.
Jeez, they are just sixteen and thirteen years of age, and that is annoying.
I'm envious about their musical skills.
Oisin plays button accordion and Conal the tenor banjo.
"Up and Coming - Ó Ghlúin go Glúin" features mostly duets.
There are three accordion solos, and one banjo solo (including two original tunes by Conal).
Conal accompanies Oisin's acordion on guitar on another track,
10-year old sister Orna is banging away on the bodhran while Oisin plays whistle.
Their mother is singing the a capella song "Sean-Phadraic". It has been
composed especially for Marion to sing at Comortas na mBailead Nua-Chumtha
and won the competition for the best newly-composed ballad in 1985.
Last but not least, grandfather Michael Craven (aged 80) plays solo melodeon on two tracks.
Altogether this exceptional family can boast of seventeen All-Ireland-Champion titles,
what an assembly on one disc. There is additional accompaniment by
Carl Hession on piano, Mick Conneely on bouzouki (-> FW#21) and
Eugene Killeen on synthesizer. Oisín and Conal are teenagers
and there is a bonus track featuring the hip hop song "The Way I Are".
But otherwise it's trad music to the core, and their age ensures
that they will continue for quite some time.
CD 13; 2007
In the Latvian language, auli means both
gallop, representing the running rhythm of the drums,
and beehives, representing the drones of the bagpipes.
And that's what you get on the second album of the Latvian
pipes and drum band Auli.
The ten piece band of nine Latvian men and one Estonian lady has been founded in 2003.
The CD contains traditional bagpipe tunes, traditional song tunes
and some original pieces. The music is both ancient and modern,
at times uplifting, at other times shifting you into a half-conscious state.
Besides drums and pipes you can hear the two-string trough fiddle giga,
the Breton bombard and Hungarian cymbals thrown in for good measure.
It's a velladancis, a devil's dance, which
reminds me of our German medieval music groups.
I can understand now why bagpipes were prohibited in 18th century Latvia,
because peasants preferred going into pubs and listening to bagpipe music
instead of going to church. But what would you do if the music is that great,
would you listen to the sermons or would you listen to the music?
Solas "For Love and Laughter"
7 4490 2; 2008
Love and laughter is the reason why they are performing, well, probably to pay the mortgage too,
but only love kept Seamus Egan (flute, banjo etc.),
Winifred Horan (fiddle), Mick McAuley (button accordion) and
Eamon McElholm (guitar) going for so long.
On their 9th album in their 13th year,
were seeking the raw sound and the spontaneity of their beginnings.
Successful, if only partly. All tunes are original compositions;
am I wrong when I think that the tunes have an altogether Eastern flavour?
22-year old Mairead Phelan of County Kilkenny stepped in as the new singer,
replacing Deirdre Scanlan. Mairead studied piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and
has also been All-Ireland champion on both flute and tin whistle. Weight
enough to bring her own peronality into the Solas project.
As in recent years, the songs tend to be less traditional and more
mainstream and pop: there are the traditional "Seven Curses"
"The Gallant Hussar", the Gaelic "Mollai na gCuach Ni Chuilleanain", plus
another Antje Duvekot song and Dillard/Jayne's "There is a Time".
Guest contributions include their longtime associates on bass and percussion,
cellist Natalie Haas (-> FW#31),
and Canadian folk band The Duhks with some duelling four- and five-string banjos.
Solas is still a light that shines on and on,
these days in different colours than at the breaking of the dawn.
Sometimes less thrilling, but more sophisticated.
Maeve Mackinnon "Don't Sing Lovesongs"
is a young Glasgow folk singer from a family of Isle of Skye and Swedish origins.
She studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and majored in Gaelic song in 2004. The year afterwards she became a
finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician awards.
In 2007 she was awarded Up and Coming Artist of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards.
Maeve says that her major inspiration has been
Scottish singer Dick Gaughan (-> FW#36), with further
influences from the Beatles to the Buena Vista Social Club to Capercaillie (->
No wonder that she is a fresh wind in the Scottish folk and trad scene.
Her debut album "Don't Sing Lovesongs," produced by Duncan Lyall of Croft No.5
and Ali Hutton of Back of the Moon (-> FW#26), features six Gaelic songs,
including waulking songs (-> FW#34),
ballads and a mouth music medley (two strathspeys followed by a reel),
and four English songs, both from the
Scots ("The Wild Rover" in the beautiful Mick West version -> FW#35)
and the Anglo-American ("Silver Dagger") tradition. By the way,
the album's title is the first line of "Silver Dagger",
chosen because of the dark subject matter of the album.
Yes, Maeve has a predilection for murder ballads:
"Mo Nighean Donn an t-Sugraidh" is about the accidental shooting of a girl by her lover;
in "O Mhic a' Mhaoir" a girl is murdered by her lover again; eventually
"The Cruel Brother" (Child #11), where the bride is murdered on her wedding day by her brother,
because he was not asked for assent to the marriage.
Folk song as social commentary; the issue still sounds familiar in many patriarchal societies worldwide.
Maeve is superbly backed up by
Innes Watson (guitar player of Lori Watson Three -> FW#33,
Fred Morrison Band -> FW#26,
Croft No. Five -> FW#30),
Duncan Lyall (bass player of Brolum -> FW#20,
Back of the Moon -> FW#26,
Jenna Reid -> FW#32,
Emily Smith Band -> FW#36),
Patsy Reid (fiddler of Breabach -> FW#37).
La Part du Quêteux "C¸a l'air d'aller"
Mille-Pattes; MPCD 3411; 2003
La Part du Quêteux "Paye la traite"
Roues et Archets;
Another outfit from Quebec following in the footsteps of successful French-Canadian bands.
The path might be a well-chosen one, but there still are untouched and unspoiled spots besides the beaten track.
La Part du Quêteux has already
released two albums, their debut CD of 2004 was almost exclusively praised,
their second album became Folk Album of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music awards in 2007.
Stephane Poirier (lead vocals, mandolin), Francois Dauphin (guitar),
Gaston Bernard (fiddle, mandolin) and double bass player Herve Treille
(that's the line-up at the time being)
are all singers, and they are well-versed in the French chansons a repondre,
the call and response style. They shun the usual supects
and searched out lesser known songs in the archives.
Québeqois music also means dance tunes, there are reels,
brandy (no drink, but a tune in 3 time),
an Irish jig thrown in for good measure.
And, of course, there is the traditional French-Canadian tapage de pieds,
the tap-dancing, often done while playing the instrument at the same time.
La Part du Quêteux are masters of it all, it's joyful and full of energy.
It easily may happen in a concert that the crowd spontaneously breaks out into
a set dance; this is the thorough veillée,
as they call their dance parties over there.
Own label; 2002
Own label; 2004
Own label; 2008; Playing time: 49:14 min
Estonia is very well known for its rune chanting. Otherwise it is almost the complete sound of silence.
So what about Estonian folk song and traditional dance music?
Better a bow in the hand than a fiddler on the roof, is the amusing
motto of the band Virre. The group has been
founded in 1998 at the Baltimore Estonian House and went on to continue playing
music in Estonia. In the beginnings they were performing as a trio of two fiddles and one guitar
under the name of Toomas Torop, Ürjo Jaama, Ott Kaasik, later joined by a percussionist Kristjan Priks, still playing
rather traditional, but under the disguise of Virre+ also featuring bass player Kaarel Liiv
and bagpiper and singer Triinu Taul, embracing world beat sounds.
Virre means wort, and as wort turns into the finest ale,
traditional music is getting better and better throughout the ages.
Indeed, this band seems to behave alike and become more mature during the last decade.
The band has three albums out: their 2002 debut "Esimene" (i.e. the first),
"Teine" (the second), and eventually "Kolmas - Folk Rokib" (which translates as: the third - folk rocks)
The fiddles are in the foreground, backed by powerful rhythms and striking chord changes.
It is sometimes melancholic, at other times cheerful.
Virre (and Virre+) interpretate traditional and original dance music as well as folk songs and ballads,
music that feels not out of place in the 21th century.
Phil Hardy "Revisited"
is a flutist/whistler and the manufacturer of the Kerry high whistle and the
Chieftain low whistle based in England.
On this compilation album Phil revisited the
best tunes and recordings of his previous albums,
which had such telling titles as "Low Whistle" (2001),
"Whistleworks" (2002), "Highs & Lows" (2004)
and "Whistle Grafitti" (2005).
Phil plays Chieftain and Susato high and low whistles,
backed up by guitarist Tony Hinnigan and
fiddler Katy Butler.
Featured are traditional and Phil's original tunes.
He is a contemporary flutist
in the vein of Kevin Crawford of Lunasa fame
or Mike McGoldrick and other players (-> FW#31,
Phil explores traditional Celtic music, but also embracing
world music - from Afro-Celt to Ancient Kerry.
For example, the traditional Peruvian tune "Wainnu;"
"Mrs Murphy's Camel" is applying Irish style playing to an Arabic rhythm;
"Paddy's Paradise" has the feeling of the happy, jazz-like South African pennywhistle jive.
It is music to get up. There is great playing on fast-paced show-stoppers as well as haunting airs.
Phil Hardy's "Revisited" displays the highs and lows of whistle playing,
so to speak, but there's more highs.
Bardos Druidas "Trágica victoria"
Tecnosaga; WHCM-339; 2006
Trágica victoria, the tragic of victory is to succeed and
to make a grand album and no one gets to know about it.
So let me tell about it. Bardos Druidas
is a quartet from Tierra de Pinares, Valladolid in central Spain.
These guys perform instrumental music on flutes, gaita,
guitar, mandola and percussion.
For most people, the dulzaina should be a rather unknown instrument.
It is is a Spanish double reed instrument of the oboe family,
kind of equivalent of the Breton bombarde.
Four tracks are traditional, two original, plus
the traditional Irish "La marcha del Rey Louis"
(I thought a long time about the tune and its name, it actually is "The March of the King of Laois",
Laois being an Irish county), as well as Thoinot Arbeau's "Bransle des Chevaux"
and Tielman Susato's "La Moresca".
All in all, "Trágica victoria" is a very pleasing album,
full of great tunes, splendidly executed. A real victory!
Divertimento Folk "Divertimento Folk"
Well, talking about deja vu ...
For the second time I have to make a comparison
with the Scottish folk rock band Wolfstone
(see review of Skanda above),
and this band also has its dulzaina oboe
(see review of Bardos Druidas above).
The Spanish band Divertimento Folk
is a sextet consisting of dulzaina players Francisco Javier Petite and Luis Angel Fernadez,
piper Ramiro Gonzalez, guitar player Andres Sanz, bass player Alvaro Sanchez
and drummer Jesus Alfonso Garcia. They are playing folk rock,
but not that much in the Celtic vein really.
It might be Spanish, but their interest goes much further.
For example, "Un Camino por Andar" is a take on a well-known klezmir tune.
"Le Tourdion", of course, is the popular tune attributed to the 16th century French music printer
Pierre Attaingnant. "Ballo di Mantua" had been composed by 17th century Italian conductor
Giuseppe Giamberti. There are five traditional Spanish tunes and two original tunes.
The playing and arrangements are really nice,
you could do worse than whiling away an hour away with this grand Spanish folk rockers.
Sancto Ianne "Mò Siente"
ES 5360; 2006
The canto popolare style refers to traditional music as opposed to commercial pop music,
employing local dialects, performing traditional music or
music rooted in traditional styles.
Sancto Ianne is such a group, founded in 1995
in the town of San Giovanni di Ceppaloni in the Campanian province of Benevento
between Rome and Naples, known as Sannio.
Nuje ca nun stammo vicino 'o mare (we who do not live near the sea) are
deeply rooted in their hometown and are
challenging the cultural dominance of the regional capital Naples.
"Mò Siente", which means listen up in the Benevento dialect,
is the band's third album. It is a septet, featuring singer Gianni Principe,
percussionist Alfonso Coviello (tammorre, tamburello, darbouka etc.),
guitarist Ciro Maria Schettino, accordionist Sergio Napolitano, fiddler Raffaele Tiseo,
bass player Massimo Amoriello, plus some additional guest musicians.
Sancto Ianne plays mostly original material, based on traditional Italian roots,
adds Arabic and East European rhythms and the power of rock and the
finesse of jazz music. Their songs tell about
characters completely forgotten, of wonderful places such as the interior of Campania,
where we live, absolutely unknown by the masses.
"'A Banda D'O Matese" is about revolutionary 19th century anarchists,
"Un Futuro a Sud" (A Future in the South) about
refugees and migrant workers, a hot issue in the south of Italy.
On "Uocchie" (Eyes), Sancto Ianne's
lead vocalist Gianni Principe pairs with Palestinian singer Faisal Taher.
The song about refugees won Amnesty International's "Voices of Freedom" song competition in 2005.
On the bonus live track, Sancto Ianne is back on home turf and regional history,
"Tarantella D'A Fatica/N'Ata Botta"
is a traditional farm worker's complaint about working conditions.
Altogether it is music to dance and move to,
but the band also has something to say
- at least, if you are able to understand the Italian/Campanian lyrics.
So: mò siente - listen up!
Brooks Williams "Guitar Groove: A Session with Brooks Williams" [DVD]
WM-G-001; 20008; Playing time: ca. 86 min
Praise technology! In the past you had to look and overhear what a musician was doing.
Maybe you got to learn something, but musical masters are not necessarily good teachers.
I still remember times when there were printed tutorials, maybe including a cassette tape.
Then came CDs and CD-ROMs and finally the DVD.
Brooks Williams is a bluesy guitarist
on acoustic finger-picking and resonator slide guitar playing, hailed as
one of America's musical treasures (Dirty Linen)
and fret monster (San Antonio Light).
He has been rated one of the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists of all-time.
Brooks is in high-demand as a teacher, which
resulted in the release of a instructional DVD, "Guitar Groove: A Session With Brooks Williams."
If you learned the basics on the acoustic guitar,
the basics chords and basic accompaniment, this is a lesson about getting into the groove.
He starts with the traditional song "Careless Love," introduced with straight-ahead playing
what Brooks calls standard Cowboy chords. This is followed by a groovy version
with punchy rhythm, power chords, sliding and lead guitar fills.
Afterwards he's explaining what he did. If you can't follow visually,
there is a useful tab book. Brooks is a natural teacher, he likes to talk and to play.
From basics such as chords, riffs and rhythms
up to use the whole fretboard and learn tools ready on your finger tips.
One hour later it gets really complicated,
and if you make it you should be play really cool!
Nick Burbridge & Jon Sevink "All Kinds of Disorder"
Own label; 2008
is not only a fine singer and songwriter in the Celtic genre
and the founder of folk rock band McDermotts 2 Hours,
but also a genuine poet.
Now he actually reads some of his poems published as a book under the same title
"All Kinds of Disorder" (-> FW#32).
To be exact, four out of eleven didn't appear in the book.
Music and sound effects are provided by the Levellers'
fiddler Jon Sevink (-> FW#33)
with help of Rob Kennedy on guitars.
Nick's reading is backed and enhanced by the musical settings, embracing
a wide a spectrum of musical styles, from acoustic and folk music
to new age mood pieces and electronic soundscapes to funky and exploding guitar rock.
Jon Sevink's music -- music defined as humanly organized sound -- is the perfect vehicle for Nick's
dark poetry, supposedly based on real-life characters from his hometown Brighton.
Rather bizarre, Sevink's soundscape brings order and structure in the continous flow of words.
Well, as a non-native speaker I'm not sure if I can really judge and
appreciate this. But if you are into poetry and spoken-word recordings,
you should give it a try.
Psio Crew "Szumi Jawor Soundsystem"
Open Sources; 2008
I remember that, about six or seven years ago, I wrote in a review that it is such a pity
that we don’t hear so many Polish new folk bands. Thankfully a lot changed
since than and slowly but surely some great Polish groups find there way to an
international audience. Psio Crew is such a new band and hearing their debut
album Szumi jawor soundsystem it’s a
band that has the potential to become a major international act. Their sources
can be found high up the mountains of Beskid and Śląski in the
Southern part of Poland. Their mission is to keep the
traditional music from this region alive in a time of modern electronic music
and all it’s possibilities. A real danger to set such
a goal, seen the fact that many bands who try to mix tradition with modern
music actually fail and only a few succeed in finding the right balance. Psio
crew is one of those bands that found the right balance and recorded a joyful,
interesting and sometimes even breathtaking album. Somehow Psio crew managed to
capture the spirit of the old music in new sounds. Beautiful is Doliny in which they bring it all
together. I love the typical vocal style, the scary noises and the subtle
violin. Very different is the next song Tojcuj,
cuj to where break-dance meets mountain dance with a great organ like
intervention and musicians who have a lot of fun. These are just two examples out
of sixteen nice songs you can find on this album. Listen and you will hear Ska,
dub, reggae, hip-hop, ambient and so on. Easily
integrate with old mountain dances, prayers and songs about the wild nature. Szumi jawor soundsystem is a strong
debut album by a band that I will watch very closely.
Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein & Michael Cicone "Heart Walk"
Overall Music; OM-03; 2007
Three top musicians form an acoustic folk trio, their third album in twenty years but
again a beautiful piece of music. That is how I will end this review, but first
things first. Cindy Kallet has been active in music since the eighties and
played with Gordon Bok and Grey Larsen, to name a few. With Larsen she still
forms a duo and he is one of the guest musicians on this trio album. Ellen
Epstein is a specialist in the Music for healing and transition program. She
has been singing folk since the early eighties. Michael Cicone teaches hammered
dulcimer and English country dancing. The trio started in 1981 and the first CD
was released seven years later. They have a strong reputation in vocal
harmonies, a fact that after hearing this new album I can only agree on. Heart walk contains fifteen known and
lesser known songs from the recent Irish, English and American folk tradition.
The world famous Sally free and easy,
Judy Collin’s song Since you asked, but also a few own
compositions like I’m gonna walk and Life comes on. As I wrote at the start
of this review, the result is a beautiful, balanced and peaceful CD with strong
vocals with only occasionally some instruments carefully playing along. Three
albums in twenty years, it’s worth the wait!
a new band from Catalonia and Berboiver
is their debut album. The band has four musicians, all from different
fields of music including jazz, folk, rock and classical styles. When starting
this quartet, they didn’t just want to put all the style together and get a
kind of crossover style, their goal is to play and see what happens without
putting to much labels on it. On instruments such as
the electronic/acoustic hurdy-gurdy, flutes, percussion, tenor-sax, and
contrabass, Kaulakau recorded a fantastic debut album. Nine
original compositions with a great mixture of tradition, jazz and light rock
elements. Maese is the first
song. A central role for the hurdy-gurdy in this one.
It has the atmosphere of an ancient mediaeval dance brought with such
energy and passion, just great! I love the sound of the electronic hurdy-gurdy
in duet with the contra bass and later joined by a ‘screaming’ tenor sax.
One of the many highlights on this CD. The second tune has a
more improvised-jazz character, perfectly balanced and with a more central role
for the tenor-sax and again a solid bass, percussion and subtle Hurdy-gurdy
does the rest. It really doesn’t matter if the band takes a more folky approach
like in El clatell de la Traudel, another
highlight, or chooses the more jazz approach like in the almost avant gardistic
composition toto caelo. Kaulakau
impresses from the first until the final second with good compositions,
virtuoso music, exciting and surprising twists and a well produced album.
Will be in my top ten of best CD’s in 2008.
AMCD 762; 2007
What to say about Frifot? It contains a few of my all time favourite Swedish musicians, so
it’s always a real treat to get their new CD for review. Multi instrumentalist
Ale Möller, singer,
violinist and flutist Lena Willemark and violinist and vocalist Per Gudmundson
are the three members and all three they earned their reputation in Swedish
music. In the past they were always searching for the outer limits of
tradition, jazz and free style acoustic music, often resulting in fabulous
albums both solo and in groups. On Flyt
the band stays actually closer to tradition than in many
earlier work. The result is a beautiful, rich CD with tuneful
compositions, intense vocal art, soft finger picking and both elegant and raw violin.
Frifot is clearly the work of three highly professional and pure quality
musicians, who still play with passion and pleasure. Flyt is Frifot at it’s best.
Bivoac "En concert"
Adami; clr 9511; 2007
a French trio playing music from Brittany. The trio includes ex Occidental de
fanfare, Da silva and Carré Manchot members. On accordion, bombarde, sax,
violin, banjo and (harmony) vocals the band brings a real Fest-noz into the
living room. This is their second album and it’s live all the way. The sound
quality is surprisingly good for a live recording and the album reflects the
right concert atmosphere. It’s pure and inventive Breton music including the
bourree in John’s bourrées, waltz in succulences , dro,
plinn, polka and so on. Succulences shows how the band, with little changes in patterns, brings
a small melody to big heights. Nice is the typical Breton song j’ai perdu ma montre including the
bombarde and harmony vocals exactly the way it should be. Bivoac shows with
this live album to be the right band to spend an evening with.
Dawn Landes "Fireproof"
Dawn Landes is a New-York based singer-songwriter who’s actual job is being a sound
engineer to artists such as Philip Glass and Ryan Adams. With Fireproof she released her second full length
album. Together with seven musicians on instruments varying from mandolin,
electric guitar to banjo, she recorded twelve songs in a strong folk rock
style. According to her biography she is inspired by both the old folk music
from artists such as Woody Guthrie, as by the more alternative-neo-folk artists
such as Joanna Newsome. Fireproof is
a beautiful and strong album with a good mixture of both American and UK folk styles with alt-rock music.
The opening track bodyguard is a
great song with the feeling of a late sixties psych-folk song. The only
traditional piece on the album I don’t
need a man is a more modern folk song with good vocals and ditto musical
arrangements. Beautiful are also the more introvert songs such as Twilight or the unpolished Picture show. Toy piano is an instrumental
piece with, indeed, a toy piano as the main instrument. Landes constantly
surprises with her fine songs. Each song has an own identity and that makes it
a real pleasure to listen to.
Josephine Foster "This Coming Gladness"
Bo Weavil Records;
The first time I heard Josephine Foster sing, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t think, I just
had to listen. It was her Sheeps clothing
album, a strange LP with her personal interpretations of German songs. From
the first note it was clear to me, that Foster is a singer that goes completely
her own way and by doing that, has created a unique sound. She was born in Colorado and actually into opera music
singing, which still influences her music. From the age of fifteen she worked
as a singer on funerals and wedding, often using folk ballades. Finally, after
studying harp, acting and opera stage direction, she choose to go back to the
basic; song writing. On this coming
gladness Josephine Foster sings, plays harp, piano and guitar. She is
backed by Alex Nielson on drums and Victor Herrero on guitar. The album starts
with a beautiful song called The garden of earthly Delights. Here Foster shows her
more introvert side accompanied by a dreamy, spacy guitar and ditto percussion.
The lap of your lust is a bit more airy but again, listen
to the great combination of the vocals and the instruments. It’s like I’m
listening to early seventies psych-folk, I mean if Sandy Denny (who has a
totally different voice by the way) would sing the lead vocals on this one, you
would believe it was a Fairport classic from their early years. More outspoken
is Lullaby to all. It has more
complex patterns and is more up tempo than the first two songs. Here you can
hear her opera background at it’s best. It’s like an
avant-garde opera singer walked into a jazz-rock club and started to do a jam
session with the band. These are only a few examples of
the ten intriguing songs on this album. All
I wanted was the moon shows her more progressive side, waltz of green her more introvert side (again with such a great
guitar part at the end of the song) Josephine Foster is a singer with a
unique, personal sound that I happen to love, but I’m sure many will like it
with me but probably as many will have difficulties to get used to her music
and songs. Go to the website and try! And while you are on the internet anyway,
do visit the record company webpage as well. Bo’Weavil is one of the most
interesting labels in the ‘neo’ folk field.
Myriam Sultan "Malouf"
Andreas Aristidou & Kyriacos Zittis "Chypre/Cyprus"
Two CD’s in
the budget Airmail collection. First Myriam
Sultan who was born in Constantine where she studied piano and music
theory at the Conservatory. She nowadays lives in Paris and works as both a vet and a
singer. Her repertoire contains the many sides of Eastern music and Northern
African sounds. On Malouf she sings
eleven, mostly traditional, songs from the Arab-Andalusian tradition. It is the
music of Muslim-Spain from the early eight century until the end of the
fifteenth century. She is backed by six great musicians and with this CD she
shows a more than gifted singer. Her music is uncomplicated and makes the
tradition accessible for a big audience. A great chance for
those who are not familiar with Arab-Andalusian tradition to experience the
typical vocal style, the changes in rhythms and the dreamy and subtle melodies.
Sultan brings the music close to tradition, but also with modern arrangements
without loosing the authentic sound. The second one is by Andreas Aristidou & Kyriacos Zittis from Cyprus. They play traditional compositions
on violin, lute and vocals. The duo managed to record a CD which shows the
culture in a pure form. Nice to hear how the music is influenced by the
countries that surrounds the island, but still has it’s
own character. It almost sounds like good old field recordings which proves
that these musicians play from their hearth.
V/A "4th Festiwal Warszawski"
Own label; 2008
In a relatively short time the Warzawa festival has become one of the major cultural
events in the Polish capitol. Nine days of music, theatre, workshops, film and
discussion, visited by thousands of people. On this CD seventeen artists that
have been playing on the festival. Including pure Italian vocal art by trio Z salento, Portugees passion by Raquel Tavares, Arabic classical music
by Nidaa abou Mrad, Chinese tradition
by the Chinese radio orchestra,
Greece beauty by Savina Yannatou,
Balkan beats by Fanfare Ciocarlia and
of course some Polish music from Fono
folk band. A nice collection which shows that the
organisation of this festival knows how to mix known names with unknown pearls
in world music. This festival is a great excuse to visit Poland.
Archie Fisher "Windward Away"
decades Archie Fisher is one of the best folk singers from Scotland. Sometimes I get the feeling we forget
him, which is a shame seen his long career and seen the fact that his new CD Windward away is a real beauty. It’s
exactly forty years after his first solo album and this new album shows not
only a very experienced singer but also a musician who sings from his heart.
The album is divided into two parts. The first eleven songs are new and the last
eight songs are from a master tape that has been lost for over twenty-seven
years. Listen to Ontario dust, surge of the sea, shepherd on the hill and all the other new tracks. They tell
a story and Fischer knows how to make me shut up and listen. Playing mandolin
and guitar himself and David Paton on bass, they create the perfect backing for
his songs. The old master tape has a much fuller sound with fiddle, cello,
flutes and keyboards. But it also shows that not that much changed in his
music, the same vocal style, the same restful atmosphere, the same quality. If
he would have published the master tape as new material, I’m sure he could have
fooled many, including me. Pure Scottish
Kopito; KR007; 2008
Ethnoambient is an interesting album containing Ethno music from Croatia. Very interesting
indeed, because Croatian music is not easy to get outside the Balkan countries.
The CD is very diverse and includes both folk-rock and pure tradition.
Starting with the rocking sound of Cinkuši. First this band plays their song Bratec kosi and second they cooperate
with 84 year old female traditional singer Teta
Liza. This cooperation is a highlight on this album, her way of singing is
so full of emotion and the respectful way the band is backing her deserves my
respect. Very different is the acapella music by the Vokalisti salone who focus on ancient and sacral music, Klapa Oštra who focus on music from the
Konavle and Dubrovnik region and the group Kud Stožer who sing traditional music in traditional customs. Singer Lidija
Bajuk is not only a fantastic singer, she plays a
central role in the promotion of Croatian music. Traditional singing mixed with
bagpipe can be heard in Balon I
taronjanje sung and played by Josip
& Marino Kranjac who are father and son. This compilation CD is very
nice and shows the richness of the Croatian musical heritage.
Caleb Klauder "Dangerous Mes & Poisonous Yous"
Own label; 2007
Foghorn Duo "Lonesome Song"
Own label; 2008
Caleb Klauder is a singer-songwriter from Portland. At early age he started to play
the harmonica and saxophone and when he was twelve he started to play the
guitar and soon the song writing followed. Today he also plays the mandolin and
of course he sings! The first release in this review is his Latest solo album
called Dangerous mes and poisonous yous. Twelve
original songs in country style music. It’s not country in the traditional way,
but Klauder interpretates it the we he likes it,
mixing it with blues and light rock. He is backed by fiddle, electric guitar, dobro, bass and occasionally by a piano. A nice album from a
singer-songwriter who stays close to his roots and
personal creativity. Besides a solo career Klauder is also member of the Foghorn duo. Here he is joined by
fiddler/guitarist and banjo men Stephen Lind.
This Lonesome song is their
fifth album and it contains fifteen songs varying from traditionals like Pretty little cat, wild hog in the woods and Saddle old mike, to a Carter family song
and of course some own material as well. The duo has a more old time country
sound than the solo album. It’s of constant quality and reminds me of these
nice old fifties and sixties pure country recordings.
© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 11/2008
All material published in FolkWorld is © The Author via FolkWorld. Storage for private use is allowed and welcome. Reviews and extracts of up to 200 words may be freely quoted and reproduced, if source and author are acknowledged. For any other reproduction please ask the Editors for permission. Although any external links from FolkWorld are chosen with greatest care, FolkWorld and its editors do not take any responsibility for the content of the linked external websites.
FolkWorld - Home of European Music
Layout & Idea of FolkWorld © The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld