Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Guidewires - II (Ireland 2011) @320

Guidewires new album entitled "ll" was recorded at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 in Ceoil Na hInse studios in Ennis, Co. Clare. The recording was engineered by Karol Lynch and mixed and mastered in Realworld Studios, Bath, U.K. by Marco Migliari and assisted by Karol Lynch and Sylvain Barou.
This album has pieces of music from Brittany, Ireland, Greece, Spain and self-written on it. This is the band’s second album and first studio album ("live" being recorded live in 2009). The album was produced by the band and all arrangements by Guidewires except for tracks 4 & 8 arranged by Guidewires and Tíona Ní Dhomhnaill.

01 - Cailean's
02 - As Crechas
03 - Hats Off To Dod
04 - The Selkie
05 - King Of The Scals
06 - Ridees
07 - Law Abiding Musician
08 - Mo Mhaire
09 - Buoy M5
10 - Eff Reels
11 - The Mobile Candelabra
12 - Caoimhin
13 - Mercury Falling

Pádraig Rynne - Concertinas
Tóla Custy - Fiddle and Viola
Sylvain Barou - Flutes, Uileann Pipes, Biniou Kozh
Karol Lynch - Bouzouki, Banjo & Mandolin
Paul Mcsherry - Guitars
Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill - Vocals (4,8), Keyboards (4,8,10,11)
Erwan Hamon - Bombarde (6)
Alain Genty - Fretless Bass (2,6,7)
Mike Shimmin - Drums, Percussion (2,7,12,13)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Guidewires - Live (Ireland 2009) @320

Guidewires: With their high-energy performances, breathtaking arrangements and their infectious melodies, its no wonder that this band are being described as "The freshest sound in Irish music".
With four members coming from Ireland and one from Brittany it is inevitable their mix of music is not just Irish but also Breton, Middle Eastern, Galician and newly composed.

Guidewires have an all-star line up with Irish music's most famous concertina player Padraig Rynne, Breton music's hottest name Sylvain Barou on Flute, one of Ireland's most recognisable names Tola Custy on fiddle, top producer and performer Paul McSherry on guitar and one of the fastest growing stars in Irish music, Karol Lynch on Bouzouki.

All members have had renowned fame individually within music. Their love and passion of this music has brought them together to create this unique and groundbreaking band "Guidewires". The new album is due for release in June 2009 and one can only imagine this band will continue on an upward spiral.

01 - Hoodwinked
02 - Lunchtime Boredom
03 - Tavanagh
04 - The Glad Eye
05 - Polig's Gavottes
06 - Marbh Ban
07 - Vicki's World
08 - Cariau Llaniscu
09 - Liosbeg
10 - Marga's Moment
11 - Step Ahead
12 - Trad Set

Pádraig RYNNE: Concertina
Sylvain BAROU: Wooden flutes
Tóla CUSTY: Fiddle
Paul MCSHERRY: Guitare
Karol LYNCH: Bouzouki

Friday, May 13, 2016


Hi Folks.

Now we have a new way to communicate.
I created a Folk Yourself blog group on Facebook.
We may refer to this page to see new blog posts, discuss music groups, order and talk about everything related to the Folk Yourself blog.
I hope it is useful and fun for all friends of Folk music.

The Facebook Group address is

I'm waiting for you there!


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Kalabra - Folka (2000 Sweden) @320

A kind of musical “wok” of Nordic folk music in pop clothing, spiced with funk, rock and jazz – that’s how the quintet Kalabra describe their music.
This is their second cd Folka (the first one was released by Caprice in 1997). This CD is produced by Mats Wester, best known as the man behind the Nordman records.

Kalabra consists of Ulrika Bodén (vocals), Erik Metall (bass), Sebastian Printz-Werner (drums and percussion), Simon Stålspets (nordic bouzouki, electric guitar, harmonica, willow flute) and Markus Svensson (nyckelharpa).
The history of the group started when they performed at Norrsken (Northern Light), which is Falun Folkmusik Festival’s “Winter collection” of folk music bands. Eventually this resulted in the CD Kalabra in 1997, which received much attention in folk music circles. Since then the group have toured extensively, playing at all Swedish venues worth mentioning, e.g. Falun Folkmusik Festival, Stockholm Water Festival, Berwaldhallen, etc. They have also made several tours organized by the regional music boards.

1.Dagg 2'05
2.Sollåten 5'00
3.Ymnig Mossa 3'41
4.Det Brinner En Eld 5'20
5.Stolpe In 2'19
6.Rotor 2'09
7.Galen Man 4'58
8.Före Gryningen 5'17
9.Harpans Kraft 6'56
10.Sus Och Dus 3'08
11.Jespers Äventyr 3'21
12.Sälbarnen Sover 3'33
Ulrika Bodén: vocals
Erik Metall: bass, mini-Moog
Sebastian Printz-Werner: percussion, drums, mbira 
Simon Stålspets: bouzouki, electric guitar, harmonica, willow flute
Markus Svensson: nyckleharpa

Friday, May 6, 2016

Kalabra - Kalabra (1997 Sweden) @320

The name Kalabra is a combination of the words Abrakadabra and Kalasbra (super!). It is the name of a group of musicians who conjure forth marvelous music – bursting with life, spicy hot, captivating and headstrong – a kind of folk music that is rooted in tradition but whose musical expression reflects our own times.
Kalabra concocts a musical brew from folk tradition, rock and jazz, mixing ingredients such as polskas, ballads, schottisches, and popular songs – everything imaginable. The brew also includes spontaneous improvisation, a zest for music-making and natural curiosity.
Gössa Anders, Jimi Hendrix, Ale Möller and many others have provided the inspiration. Or, as one of the members puts it: “We just do what folk musicians have always done: we play whatever we like!”

1.Puddingen 3'24
2.Väddöpolska 3'32
3.Vilden 4'05
4.Hammock-schottis 2'54
5.Lille Jon och Hurven 4'19
6.Vrider om vrång 3'31
7.Tre trollformer 4'08
8.Polska efter Lapp Nils 1'22
9.Lindormen 5'16
10.Hullingen 2'42
11.Luringen 3'45
12.Pappersvalsen 3'50
Ulrika Bodén: vocals, flute 
Erik Metall: el. bass 
Sebastian Printz-Werner: percussion 
Amanda Sedgwick: alto and baritone saxophone 
Simon Stålspets: bouzouki, jew's harp, harmonica, willow flute
Markus Svensson: nyckelharpa

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spiro - Welcome Joy And Welcome Sorrow (2015 England) [320]

With their previous album, Kaleidophonica, Spiro proved that they are true English originals, with a style perhaps best described as experimental folk-influenced acoustic music. This Bristol four-piece play violin, mandolin, accordion, piano, guitar and cello, and create elaborate and carefully crafted instrumental pieces that mix sturdy, folk-influenced melodies with the repeated riffs of systems music, but with no improvisation or solos. This new set follows the same highly individual approach, though with even greater confidence and less reliance on traditional themes. The opening I Am the Blaze on Every Hill sets the mood; it starts slowly, rapidly speeds up and develops into a gently mesmeric, jaunty and atmospheric workout that constantly changes mood and pace. Elsewhere, they switch from the elegant Blyth High Light, one of several tracks that would make fine, atmospheric film music, to the urgent and driving The Vapourer. This is a subtle but exhilarating band.

1.    I Am The Blaze On Every Hill    4:23
2.    Blyth High Light    3:24
3.    Flying In The Hours Of Darkness    3:22
4.    Burning Bridge    4:56
5.    And All Through The Winter He Hid Himself Away    3:17
6.    One Train May Hide Another    2:47
7.    Will You Go Walk The Woods So Wild    3:46
8.    Orrery    3:14
9.    The Vapourer    4:42
10.    Marineville    3:49
11.    Thought Fox    2:25
12.    Folded In The Arms Of The Earth    4:23
13.    The Still Point Of The Turning World    1:59
14.    Welcome Joy And Welcome Sorrow    5:12

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hinn Islenski Thursaflokkur - Hinn Íslenzki Þursaflokkur (Iceland 1978)

Their name on their first eponymous album was Hinn Islenzki Thursaflokkur (translation: The Icelandic Flock of Trolls). When they released their second album Thursabit they had shortened their name to Thursaflokkurin (translation: The Flock of Trolls).

The Band consisted of:
Asgeir Oskarsson on drums and vocals,
Egill Olafsson,vocals and keyboards,
Tomas M. Tomasson on bass, keyboards and vocals,
Thordur Arnason on guitar and vocals
who are now to be found in Studmenn,
and also
Karl J. Sighvatsson, keyboards and vocals along with
Runar Vilbergsson, fagot.


They have done four albums, namely:
- Hinn Islenzki ?ursaflokkur (1978)
(or: Hinn Islenski Thursaflokkur)
-?ursabit (1979)
(or: Thursabit)
- A hljomleikum (1980)
(or: A hljomleikum)
-G?ti eins veri? (1982)
(or: Gaeti eins verid)

Critics review:
Their music is very unique and very good in its own right with odd meters and constant time changes, lots of dynamics, quirky rhythmic and melodic motifs, excellent musicianship, a healthy variety in their sound, even within the same song, and well performed, if sometimes odd, vocals. This album is mostly a collection of Icelandic folk songs, some of which are several hundred years old. Hinn Islenzki Thursaflokkur took these old melodies and stories and gave them their own unique twist. These songs appear to retain a strong connection to their folk roots, but rock and classical motifs are also added liberally to the mix. The result is deliciously progressive, but it seem s that prog rock was not necessarily what the band was aiming for. Not all the songs fit into the common conception of progressive rock, but by the same token, all of the music sounds quite original.

Probably the closest comparison this writer can make to a better known progressive rock band is to Gentle Giant or Von Zamla, the last revision of the original Samla Mamas Manna name. This is largely due to the presence of bassoon in both bands, but a general vibe of Nordic folk weirdness is also a common thread. Unlike Von Zamla, however, Hinn Islenzki Thursaflokkur s music is less experimental, more traditional and incorporates a vocalist. The instrumentation is guitar, a variety of keyboards, bass, drums, and sometimes bassoon, all played with plenty of enthusiam and intensity. All songs are sung in Icelandic, but lyrics are printed in the CD booklet in English and Icelandic, as are the stories behind the songs, providing an educational read while listening to the music. Piano, electric guitar, bass guitar drums round out the rest of the instrumentation. Hinn Islenzki Thrusaflokkur is far from all the well-worn paths of pop, rock, folk, so-called world music and even progressive rock you may have ever traveled. These remarkable albums are strongly recommended to anyone wanting to expand their musical horizons far beyond the norm.

Thursaflokkurinn (The Band of Dunces) shared members with Spilverk Thjodana and Studmenn, but they were easily the most ambitious of those bands. Fronted by singer Egill Olafsson, Thursaflokkurinn attempted to create a 100% Icelandic music, sounding like nothing else in the process. They never quite achieved their goal-- fans of King Crimson and Jethro Tull would tell you that-- but they certainly came very close. This is the first album.

1.    Einsetumaður einu sinni    5:31
2.    Sólnes    5:05
3.    Stóðum tvö í túni    4:03
4.    Hættu að gráta Hringaná    2:45
5.    Nútíminn    5:01
6.    Búnaðarbálkur    4:20
7.    Vera mátt góður    0:53
8.    Grafskript    6:46

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Barka Vall - Skogsflot (Finland 2000) @192

Beautiful Swedish Styled folk rock with female vocals, heavy metal electric bass, organ, male harmonies, and some extra instruments. All tracks are more or less in the same balance between the music instruments. It goes into the direction of some of the metal folk bands, but remains always within the folk territory, while all the other musical elements like some jazz, medieval, ethnic with even now and then a few heavy metal guitar touches, only illustrating. Where some bands as Hedningarna have so many contrasts, making it difficult to me to listen to the CD's too often, such ideas might have lead in this band to a certain approach towards some harmony, which results makes this CD most pleasant to listen to.

1. Djävulsfält - 05:48
2. Skam över mig - 03:19
3. Kallbrand - 03:52
4. Få min gråt - 03:58
5. Själaskrik - 04:17
6. Dansa dig vild - 05:45
7. Blotargille - 05:19
8. Stilla wärk - 04:58
9. I vinets dimmor - 06:01
10. Herr Peders sjöresa - 06:26
11. Ingen till rors - 07:24
12. Hidden track - 05:12

Ella Grüssner - vocals, violin 
Isabella Sarling - vocals, percussion 
Torgny Stjärnfelt - guitar, vocals 
Niclas Stjärnfelt - percussion, vocals 
Örjan Sjöström - keyboards, vocals 
Hans-Erik Ramström - bass 
Tony Mattsson - drums

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tsuumi Sound System - Growing Up [2009 Finland] @320

We're still Finnish and yes, the music's still Nordic, but that can mean a world of things. From the desolated wastelands of Lapland to the urban rush of Helsinki, the ethnic heritagef the Northling is an abundant source of inspiration in itself. Having that and working hard to get it out there, this group of folk is here to stay.
Call it modern folk or Finnish world music, Tsuumi Sound System draws their power from a huge mixture of influences. Eight young musicians with eight different musical backgrounds all put together and handled with care by producer Roger Tallroth for the second time; the band has done some serious growing up since their last album HOTAS.

1. Nortling (Esko Järvelä)
2. Skyfixer (Tommi Asplund, Olli Seikkula)
3. Grown-up Roger (Esko Järvelä)
4. Livets vår (Pilvi Talvitie)
5. Valse Cinque (Joakim Berghäll)
6. HUP (Hannu Kella)
7. As Soon As Possible (Pilvi Talvitie)
8. LaaLaa Land (Esko Järvelä)
9. Natten vid Hagelberg (Jussi Nikula)
10. Sicilian Panda (Hannu Kella)
11. Silent Mind (Esko Järvelä)
12. Rec. 32 (Esko Järvelä)
13. Unknown Tomorrow (Hannu Kella)

Tommi Asplund - fiddle
Esko Järvelä - fiddle, viola, harmonium
Hannu Kella - accordion
Joakim Berghäll - saxophones, percussion, cello
Pilvi Talvitie - piano, harmonium
Jani Kivelä - guitar, cittern
Tarmo Anttila - double bass
Jussi Nikula - drums, percussion

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Lirio - Hanterdroom (2012 Netherlands) @320

Balfolk is a kind of danceparty where West-European folkmusic is being played and people dance in couples. The Dutch folk trio Lirio started the organisation of these wonderful events about ten years ago in Utrecht (central of the Netherlands). It gave the group lots of succes. Their second album ‘Hanterdroom‘ is again danceable folk orientated cd.

Lirio: Gerdien Smit – violin, Sander van der Schaaf – guitar en Wouter Kuyper – diatonic accordion, who wrote all the pieces. Waltz, mazurka, bourée which fit in the tradition: with exciting melody’s and a fresh (dance)structure. Folk music got this melancholic sense which you can feel on ‘Hanterdroom’: the music is joyful and melancholic at the same time, a lovely dual feeling. The harmonics and rhytmics are filled in an original way by the violin- (solo in ‘Mixoscottisch’) and guitar-accompinies (solo in ‘Scottish’), lard with melodic en solistic fragments. This brings surprising music. Really beautiful are the accordion ornaments on one note (‘Hanterdroom‘), found in the exciting Brittany music. ‘Hanterdroom’ (‘Hanterdream’) is Lirio’s second album and brings a new fresh folk impulse where ‘dream’ and ‘reallity’ fit wonderful together in danceable movement. Remarkable detail: in the cd-book you’ll find the score and the chords of the melody’s.

Gerdien Smit – violin
Sander van der Schaaf – guitar
Wouter Kuyper – diatonic accordion

1. Hanterdroom                            4:59
2. Wals in de wilgen                      3:59
3. Afke's mazurka                         5:24
4. Scottish à Bruno / Scottish Vreeswijk  3:55
5. NS-wals                                5:07
6. Coockabourrée                          4:06
7. Mixoscottish                           3:48
8. Driekwartbourrée                       3:08
9. En Flandre / Scottish à Paris          4:17
10. Vert de gris / Oudejaarsavondbourrée  3:06
11. Lentebourrée                          3:04
12. Wals en een beetje                    4:55
13. Mazurka voor een mus                  5:10

Friday, April 8, 2016

Cecilia - In Bad (2011 Belgium) @320

Originally a duo of flute/cornet and hurdy-gurdy/cittern, they were joined by diatonic accordion player Greet Wuyts, a move that’s filled out the sound and greatly opened up the possibilities. For a three-piece they often sound like a small orchestra, as on “Mistige Jig/Dorothea,” which bristles with energy, something true of all the pieces here. There’s real invention in the music, and when a violin pops up on “Onze Ogen,” it brings yet another dimension, taking it almost to a Paris café or cabaret. It’s nice, and offers a change, but they really don’t need it: their driving dance sound, which veers on the medieval because of the instruments, is fine without any adornment. They manage delicacy well, too, as “Pentreffest” proves, showing yet another facet of their abilities. The way they work together, making it seem utterly natural, marks them as one of the more outstanding new groups to come along. And this is merely their debut; the potential for the future is tremendous.

1. 'Badsuite': Mominette / ScLOTisch / In Bad           7:18
2. Cecilia                                              6:14
3. Abracadabra                                          3:57
4. Minikimonomazurka                                    5:40
5. Plumeau                                              4:51
6. Salade niçoise                                       5:39
7. Mistige Jig / Dorothea                               5:39
8. Onze Ogen                                            6:38
9. Pentreffest / Winterblues                            7:24
10. Voor Leen                                           3:57
11. Les filles des canards / Mieux que le vin / Merlot  4:19
12. Tournerol                                           4:02

Rue du Canal - 1er étage (2013 France / Ireland) @320

Formed in early 2013 Rue du Canal was created as a vehicle for performing the compositions of legendary French accordionist Serge Desaunay. Serge started off playing with La Chiffonnie a groundbreaking French folk group of the 70’s. After that he spent several years playing music with his brother Patrick. Après La Pluie (1979) and Le Beau Temps (1984), the two albums released by the brothers, are regarded today as milestones in French folkmusic. While mainly concentrating on Serges compositions, Rue du Canal also traverses the musical styles of musette and tango. Rue du Canal also includes Ray Barron on mandolin/mandola, Kieran Fahy on fiddle and Gaspard Vanardois on guitar/oud.Kieran originally from Tuam, County Galway has been living in Belgium since 1983. At present he tours regularly in France, Holland and Belgium with his band Shantalla. He has recorded on over 30 CD’s to date. Kieran also contributes some of his compositions to the mix. Ray has been playing music for over 35 years. He has toured all over Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand. He is renowned for his dexterous and exciting mandolin playing. Ray has recorded four albums with his group Two Time Polka and continues to tour and play with the band on a regular basis. Gaspard has played with Serge in their Eastern European styled gypsy band Taraf Borzo.His guitar playing drives the whole combination along with its gypsy swing type accompaniment. Gaspard also plays the Arabic oud which brings an exotic taste of the East to the band.

Gaspard Vanardois: Guitars, Oud
Kieran Fahy: Violin
Serge Desaunay: Diatonic Accordion
Ray Barron: Mandolin


1. Valse à Joseph 3:46    
2. Est ouest / soleil d'octobre 5:41    
3. El Choclo  3:21    
4. Rue du Canal 3:25    
5. Inion Ni Scannlain 4:11    
6. Pendu au plafond  3:14    
7. Let's Be Cheerful said the Rabbi / Bulgar  4:32    
8. Dimanche matin 4:26    
9. Valse à Nini 4:31

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lirio - Lirio (2005 Netherlands) @320

Lirio is a Dutch folk band focussing on French and Dutch/Belgian traditional music. They perform a lot on bal-folk events in Holland and Belgium. This is their first full length cd, they have been part of the NAP cd, a cd they recorded together with some other Dutch folk groups. There is something strange going on with this debut cd. The recordings are three years old and the group has grown a lot since then. Besides that, the cd includes musicians that are no longer part of the band. The result is a nice acoustic folk cd that focuses on music that is perfect for the bal folk concerts. It are the violin and accordion that play the main part in Lirio’s music, besides these instruments some bagpipe, guitar and bass makes it complete. Iris Ficker is guest musician who takes care of all the vocal works in a nice way. That actually describes Lirio the best, it’s a nice group with a promising sound but on this cd it is still in development. The musical arrangements are a bit simple and could use some more originality and I think the band should develop a kind of unique Lirio sound before recording a new cd. Actually, this got much better the past years, that’s why it’s such a pity they decided to issue a cd with old recordings. Keep following this young and fresh Dutch band, they have the potential to be one of Holland’s prominent folk groups in near future.

1. Les environs de St Chartier (ofwel Aaah)  3:53
2. Blauwbaardwals                            4:29
3. Het regende seer                          4:25
4. Dubbele trekzakbourrée                    3:57
5. Andrito                                   3:02
6. Forumscottish                             3:42
7. Gutmuntpolka                              3:30
8. Rondo                                     4:04
9. De morgensterre                           3:58
10. Leliejig                                 3:06
11. Skascottish                              4:46
12. Piazolla                                 2:50
13. Marco's Cercle                           4:17

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ken Perlman - Northern Banjo (Canada 2001) [320]

Ken Perlman's first album for the respected bluegrass and old-time music label Copper Creek finds him expanding both his own stylistic horizons and those of his new label. The repertoire here is not new to him -- Perlman has long championed the fiddle tunes of the northeastern U.S. and Canada's Maritime Provinces -- but the addition of electric bass, bouzouki, uillean pipes, and exotic percussion to the musical mix is new for Perlman, who has generally stuck to more austere and tradition-minded arrangements in his recorded work. The result is absolutely beautiful. Whereas most five-string banjo players use the instrument's shorter fifth string as a drone, Perlman tends to use it as just one more melody string, with the result that his playing can sometimes be lacking in rhythmic spring. But that approach does lend itself more to the jigs and hornpipes he loves to play, and even on the reels (and one bluegrass-y breakdown) his sweetly flowing lines and carefully crafted arrangements are a joy to hear. And when he lays down the banjo and picks up a guitar for a few finger-style settings of Irish and Scottish tunes, the sound is no less lovely. Highlights on this program include the heart-tugging guitar arrangement of "Niel Gow's Lament for His Second Wife," the intricately beautiful "Braes of Auchtertyre/Caber Feidh" set, and Perlman's own "Road to Mexico." Highly recommended.

1.    The Poppy Leaf/Stack of Barley/The East Newk of Bear River    3:58
2.    Rock Valley Jig/Light&Airy/The Munster Lass    3:14
3.    The Banks Hornpipe/The Democratic Rage/Miss Johnson of Pittworth    4:15
4.    Robert Cormak,Aberdeen/Compliments to Buddy MacMaster/Fisher's Hornpipe    3:52
5.    Kenmure's Awa'/Wilfred's Fiddle/Jackson's Jig    3:11
6.    Road to Mexico    3:51
7.    Guitar Solo: Neil Gow's Lament for His Second Wife    3:17
8.    Lord MacDonald's Reel/The Princess Reel/The Honeymoon    3:21
9.    The Brae's of Auchterty/Caber Feidh    3:32
10.    Guitar Solo: Lament for James Moray, Abercarney/Dunie Mains/The Chaisson Reel    4:20
11.    Shandon Bells/The Orange and Blue/Chorus Jig    3:16
12.    Stella's Trip to Kamloops/The Iron Man/Angus Campbell/Dillon Brown/Big John MacNeil    5:52
13.    Guitar Solo: The Sweetness of Mary/Mason's Apron    3:31
14.    Georgina Campbell/Little Jack's Reel/Levantine's Barrel    3:14

Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton - Declaration (Australia 2015) [320]

Kate and Ruth, two of Australia’s most respected folk musicians, have been performing as a duo since 1998 – and yet they’re something of a best-kept secret. They now emerge from an eight-year family-raising sabbatical following their last CD (Summer’s Lonesome Tale), with this excellent new offering. Still intact are the duo’s trademark spinetingling vocal harmonies and a level of consummate musicianship that delivers a subtle and intricately woven accompaniment with minimal resources, where every stroke, note and nuance counts. Additionally, Kate and Ruth continue to favour material that’s often challeng ing in its subject matter. Also like its predecessor, Declaration closes with a Dylan cover – this time the tradition-inflected Lay Down Your Weary Tune, which receives a matchless, fluid contemporary interpretation here.

Repertoire-wise, Declaration is a more rounded collection than its predecessor, with just six of its eleven cuts being traditional in origin. The remainder comprise three covers (the aforementioned Dylan, plus Martha Scanlan’s Little Bird Of Heaven and Martyn Wyndham-Read’s setting of Australian lyrical poet John Shaw Neilson, a contemporary of Henry Lawson), plus two notable original compositions which showcase Ruth and Kate’s increased songwriting prowess. Kate’s contribution, The Freeze, inspired by an EAnnie Proulx short story, is a tender description
of intense but unmanageable love, whereas Ruth’s Hearts Of Sorrow is a lament cum-call-to-arms for our times.

Declaration is also a leap forward from Kate and Ruth’s previous albums in terms of its greater clarity of focus, matched by the extraordinary degree of light and shade brought out by Luke Plumb’s (Shooglenifty) magnificent production, which conveys the duo’s special qualities with remarkably little intervention (some bouzouki/mandolin and only very occasional studio effects).

Ruth and Kate’s uniquely fresh interpretations of traditional song remain a cornerstone, and they retain their ability to communicate a complex viewpoint which can make the listener jettison preconceptions. Katy Cruel and the Lomax-collected Father Adieu are especially vitally managed, as is the perennial allegory Queen Of Hearts, whose ominous inevitability is well caught in Ruth & Kate’s measured reading (hear it on this issue’s fRoots 55 compilation).

Throughout the disc, the duo’s acutely observed realisations and arrangements are a model of precision and intimate, intricate simplicity. Declaration is a real gem.


David Kidman

1. The Declaration 04:02
2. Katy Cruel 03:56
3. Queen Of Hearts 07:00
4. Waly Waly 05:34
5. Bleezin' Blind Drunk 04:26
6. Father Adieu 05:06
7. The Freeze 05:22
8. Little Bird of Heaven 03:06
9. Hearts Of Sorrow 03:52
10. Dean Younk A Gernow (Young Man From Cornwall) 05:28
11. Lay Down Your Weary Tune 04:36

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mick Conneely - Selkie (Ireland 2001) [320]

Mick Conneely: fiddle, bouzouki
Mick Conneely Sr.: fiddle
Niall O'Callanain: bouzouki

Those who have heard Mick's fiddle playing before are likely to remember his gutsy, intense, style of playing, admittedly  influenced by that of Frankie Gavin, with whom Mick shares a penchant for "self-accompaniment" with much double-stopping as well as tricky bow work, and those who like it will enjoy greatly the music on "Selkie." The album was recorded live and analog in a German studio, with bouzouki accompaniments by Niall O'Callanain, and a guest appearance by Mick Conneely Sr. on fiddle. Mick's choice of tunes, a nicely balanced combination of old standards and newer tunes, provides the perfect vehicle for a great display of his abilities as a player and as an improviser. Although it is difficult and unfair perhaps to single out one track over the others, the hornpipes "The Showman's Fancy" and "Flee as a Bird" stand out in my mind for the sheer virtuosity of Mick's playing, while the reel track "The Glen of Aherlow/The Bear Island Reel/The Green Fields of Glentown" makes a brilliant medley played with great flair. Mick's acknowledgement of his debt to the tradition is expressed through having his father, Mick Senior, play on a couple of tracks, one in duet with his son, and another where Mick Junior accompanies his father on bouzouki, Alec-Finn-style. You can definitely hear where Mick Junior got a lot of his music, as his father's playing would deserve an album all of its own.

1.    Jenny's Wedding; The Old Bush; Scotch Mary    5:16
2.    Cailleach An Airgid; The Cat In The Corner; The Looharadhawn's Jig    4:37
3.    The Road To Cashel; Salthill Prom    3:12
4.    The Providence; The Eel In The Sink; The Culfada    5:35
5.    A Roll Of The Dice; A Fig For A Kiss    3:39
6.    The Showman's Fancy; Flee As A Bird    4:22
7.    Dinny O'Brian's; Farewell To Connacht; The Gravel Walk    5:45
8.    Farewell To Jim; That's More Of It    3:08
9.    The Jug Of Punch; Sergeant Early's Dream; Oaddy Fahy's Reel; Mullingar Races    5:11
10.    McGlinchey's; McFadden's Handsome Doughter; I Have No Money    4:29
11.    The Humours Of Bandon; Planxty Maggie Brown    4:40
12.    The Glen Of Aherlow; Ríl Bhéarra; The Green Fields Of Glentown    6:04
13.    The Bird InThe Bush; The Longford Tinker    3:51

BF.15 - Primeur (France 1997) [320]

Michel Aumont: clarinettes
Stéphane Morvan: bombardes, biniou
Philippe Ollivier: accordéon
Yvon Rouget: violon

Coop Breizh 4013390

Michel Aumont forms at the conservatory of Caen . Arriving in Brittany he learns the clarinet with traditional pipers and puts the instrument in the Breton groups. He will lead the fest-noz for twenty years with the band BF 15. It creates the clarinet Quintet in the 80s that will counterpoint Breton traditional music and contemporary music, improvised. He recorded with this training two CDs: Musique têtue & Bazh du. Many tours and albums will follow, especially with Louis Sclavis and Sylvain Kassap .

It occurs in many contexts shows or festivals, for example the Rencontres internationales de la clarinette populaire (International Meeting of the popular clarinet) .

It makes the bass clarinet his favorite instrument with which he placed alongside many artists in music, theater, dance and visual arts. Daniel Paboeuf (saxophonist), Jerome Thomas (juggler), Markus Schmid (mime dancer), Jean-Claude Charbonel (painter) ... In 2006, he participated in the creation of the show Emma the clown and his orchestra, played in 2010 at the Théâtre du Rond-Point.

Beyond all these meetings and creations, he continues to develop his particular musical universe he calls armorigène anchored in the lively music of Brittany and turned to music "d’ailleurs et de plus tard."

After Armorigène trio in 2008, Armorivielle project in 2009, he organized in 2010 the first public rehearsal of his septet Le Grand Orchestre Armorigène in the fisel festival .

In 2012, he actively participated in the album  Vers les lueurs de Dominique A, where together with his interpretations on this important wind section on the latest composition of the French singer.

In 2013, the first working sessions are planned for the Run show Jean-Luc Anneix (from the novel Running of Jean Echenoz ) which he wrote the music. The creation and first dates are scheduled in 2014.

End of 2014, it is also and above all the creation of Rhapsody Barbarian, with his Grand Orchestra armorigènE ...

Stephane Morvan grew up in a family of musicians. He made his first steps with his brother playing as a "couple biniou & bombarde".

At this time his passion for the wooden flute was growing and he improved his technic thanks to many local musicians. He then got some experience while playing in bands such as DAOUARN, BF15, FROGGY STEW, SHAFALI, PADDY WHACK, TINTAL, FLUTES 4 and duo MORVAN-PERROCHES. He founded JAPHTAL, an innovating trio, a subtle mix of breton music and indian rythms.

His passion for flute making began in the 90's, when he started making flutes for himself, based on Rudall & Rose or Pratten originals. It's only in 2005 that he decided to create his flute making company along with Youenn LeBihan, genious of music and instrument making (he makes his own bombardes and binious and plays in bands such as Gwerz, Skolvan).

Today Stephane is professionally setup as a flute maker in his own workshop in Finistere (Brittany) and has acquired a worldwide reputation, as his flutes are being played by some of the best flute players from Brittany, Ireland, USA, Spain...

1.    Romantique    0:22
2.    Ridées six temps    3:49
3.    Suite de Loudéac (Rond)    3:51
4.    Baleu    1:56
5.    Rond    3:27
6.    Riquegnée    1:25
7.    Rond de St Vincent    5:18
8.    Enervé    0:19
9.    Gavotte des montagnes (Ton Simpl)    2:41
10.    Tamm kreiz    1:30
11.    Ton doubl    4:06
12.    Hanter dro    7:00
13.    Décidé    0:34
14.    Suite fisel (Ton simpl)    1:57
15.    Bal    1:15
16.    Ton doubl    1:51
17.    An dro    5:25
18.    Dépouillé

Enda Scahill - Pick It Up (Ireland 2002) [320]

Enda Scahill comes from a very musical family from Corofin in East Galway and has long established himself as one of the finest exponents of traditional Irish banjo playing. His solo album Pick It Up (SUNCD 36. 2000) was widely acclaimed. Enda has been described as “just about the strongest banjo I’ve have ever heard” (Art Ketchin, Celtic Beat) and Irish American News in Chicago said “Enda does things on the banjo which should be impossible”. Irish Music Magazine has described his playing as “simply divine”.

Enda has been a member of the Brock McGuire Band since its inception in 2001; has performed with Sessions from the Hearth whose debut album was acclaimed by Hotpress as “the best ever live recording of Irish Music”; with the Furey Brothers and most recently with The Frankie Gavin Band in Ireland and Canada. He has been All Ireland Champion 4 times on Banjo and Mandolin and was finalist in the Celtic Note Young Musician of the Year in 1999.

1.    The Black Frog / The Sanctuary (Jigs)    3:03
2.    Maeve's Reels (Reels)    3:57
3.    Gan Ainm / The Big Reel of Ballynacally / The Red Haired Lass (Reels)    3:25
4.    The Happenchance(comp Enda Scahill) / An Tri si a Rian (Hornpipes)    2:59
5.    Fahy's Jig / Charlie Lennon's / P.J. Kings (Jigs)    4:08
6.    The Blacksmith / Paddy Raftery's (Jigs)    4:48
7.    Gan Ainm; Cepta Byrne's, The Shannon Jig (Jigs)    4:12
8.    The Pondering Jig / The Maid at the Spinning Wheel (Jigs)    3:42
9.    Gan Ainm / Liz Carroll's Slow Reels)    3:17
10.    The Soporific Hornpipe, The New Post Office, Gan Ainm (Hornpipe/Reels)    4:19
11.    Gan Ainm; The Taproom, The Yellow Cow (Reels)    3:22
12.    The Kerry Fling (Reels)    4:22

Mairi Campbell - Mairi Campbell (Scotland 2005) [320]

Mairi Campbell is an influential and pioneering figure in Scottish music. She is a viola player, a singer and a songwriter whose music has a rooted and powerful quality. Her musical interests are wide ranging: from playing Scottish dance music to pushing the boundaries of the traditional music scene with her soundings and improvisations.

Mairi won Instrumentalist of the Year 2016 at the Scots Trad Music Awards. She has previously won Scots Singer of The Year and Tutor of The Year. She has also received the Live Ireland Music Award for Best Female Musician of the Year and for Best Composition of the Year.

Mairi’s voice was heard worldwide when her version of Auld Lang Syne (with David Francis as The Cast) was used in a pivotal scene in the film Sex and The City. Mairi also runs music retreats on the isle of Lismore.

“her voice can stop the clock” – The Scotsman

“consummate, visionary musicianship” – The Herald

01 Home (Is Not What I've Left Behind)
02 Portobello Sands
03 Don't Ever Give Up
04 Scent in the Air
05 Goodbye Grey –
06 iPod Wii Play –
07 Paperweight –
08 She Stitched Upon My Heart
09 Remember My Love
10 Haul Away
11 Recession Song

The Cast - Greengold (Scotland 2007) [320]

1.    Smile or cry    4:02
2.    Deirdre's song    2:53
3.    The lea-rig    3:37
4.    Young Betty    2:35
5.    The day dawn    4:35
6.    A red red rose    2:45
7.    Higher Germany    3:45
8.    There is a light    4:02
9.    The auld refrain/Miss Betty Ann Gordon    3:44
10.    Jean Yelland    2:46
11.    Song for Cove    5:42

The Cast - Colours Of Lichen (Scotland 1996) [320]

1.    Giant    2:44
2.    Broom o the Cowdenknowes/Tha mi tinn    5:12
3.    Aviemore/Ca the stirks frae oot the corn/The drummer/The Argyle Bowling Green    3:58
4.    Hall of Mirrors    3:05
5.    Lullabye for a very new baby    2:35
6.    Memories of Fr Angus MacDonnell    4:05
7.    The Duke of Gordon's birthday/London lasses/Da eye wifie/The Fyrish reel    3:57
8.    The piper and the maker    4:31
9.    Eventide    4:02
10.    Basker's delight/Mrs McGhee/The black hoe    3:24
11.    The auld refrain    2:03
12.    John Anderson, my jo    2:51

The Cast (Mairi Campbell & Dave Francis) - The Winnowing (Scotland 1993) [320]

Mairi Campbell and David Francis, also known as The Cast, are one of Scotland's most enduring collaborations, having worked together creating songs and shows for 25 years. Based in Edinburgh, they have recorded and written five albums of Scottish folk song, both old and new.

Their contributions to the current revival of traditional and roots music in Scotland is significant. As well as being a storyteller, guitarist and lyricist, Dave facilitates and organizes artistic development courses for traditional musicians and is helping shape Scotland's creative development through the traditional music forum, a body that promotes and advocates traditional music in Scotland.

Mairi has taught both privately and, with the Scots Music group, is musical director of the folk choir, Sangstream. In 2007, she founded the 'Lismore Music Retreats' and runs several weekend courses each year.

Since 2011 They have both been songwriters for the Youth Music Theater projects, writing musical thater for young people.
In 2014 they were invited to write a series of songs based on stories (the Bothy Project) for the Fife Council.

In 2008 their version of 'Auld Lang Syne' was used in the pivotal scene of the movie, 'Sex and the City', after Sarah Jessica Parker heard them sing it live for Sean Connery and President Clincton at the Lifetime Achievement Awards in Washington DC in 1999.

When The Cast work their own particular magic they manage to invoke a very particular sense of timelessness, of music emerging from shadows and, naturally, into the light.
The Scotsman, 31Aug 07, Jim Gilchrist

Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis add strong original material to their usual Burns and traditional Scottish repetoire/ Haunting voice, sparse guitar and fiddle: a gentle poignancy prevades.
BBC Radio 2 New Releases 2007

1.    Auld Lang Syne    4:12
2.    The Scots Callan o' Bonnie Dundee    5:21
3.    Archie Campbell / Marjorie Campbell / Miss Lyall's Strathspey/ Miss Lyall's Reel / The St Kilda Wedding    5:55
4.    The Step-Dancing Song    2:46
5.    The Flowers o' the Forest    3:41
6.    Green Grow The Rashes    5:27
7.    The Bright Fields of England / Crossing to Ireland    5:02
8.    Kilkelly    6:19
9.    Ye Banks and Braes    3:59
10.    The Royal Visit    3:35

Monday, March 28, 2016

Berrogüetto - Navicularia (Spain 1996) @192

"De Navicularia", a manuscript written in Galician-Portuguese by Vigairo Lemos, relates the story and experience of the crew of a Galician ship that was kept in quarantine at St. Simon, an island close to Galician coast. At the same time three other ships of different origins lived the same situation. Those days the crew of the four ships coexisted at St. Simon and the island became a melting pot.

Navicularia, Berrogüetto's first album was a public and critical success, receiving significant recognitions. Its discourse surprised for its combination of tradition and modernity. The album is nowadays considered as a genre essential.

The record contains eleven songs, where the members of Berrogüetto play over fifty instruments. It offers traditional themes as "Anubía" or "Vilalbalcán" but also compositions by their own members as "Valseiro" or "Navicularia".

Navicularia also includes the special collaboration of the six singers/percussionists from the Galician traditional group “Cantigas e Agarimos”.

After this amazing market release, the band began a successful international tour, performing at festivals and concert halls across Galicia, Spain, Portugal, Germany, France and the UK. The tour confirmed the vitality and prestige of this Galician group that became one of the most important world music bands.

01 - Navicularia
02 - Valseiro
03 - Rosendo en Sabaxáns
04 - Vilalbalcán I
05 - Vilalbalcán II
06 - Anubia
07 - Cancro crú
08 - Jota de Mordómo - Danza de Gargamala
09 - Mornoambarina
10 - Jota da gheada
11 - O mandil

Santiago Cribeiro: acordeón, teclados, piano
Paco Juncal: violín
Quico Comesaña: bouzouki e harpa céltica
Guillerme Fernández: guitarra acústica, baixo eléctrico
Anxo Pintos: gaitas, zanfona, saxo soprano, frauta de pico, violín
Isaac Palacín: batería e percusións
"Cantigas e Agarimos" singers and percussionists:
Teresa Triáns, Isabel Vilaseco, Maite Castro, Ana Blanco,
Eva Blanco, Ana García, Patricia Blanco

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Kitus - Apres l'After (2009 France) @320

You like dancing? If so, you'll be thrilled, if this is not the case, you will discover a passion you unexpected! Our desire is to make you up from your chair at any cost and it hopes to achieve! Four instruments: a fiery accordion, flute crazy, guitar and violin refined lit, these are the ingredients of our training, embellished with a pinch of complicity, a touch of festivity and a large dose of conviviality , will you cook with a repertoire of traditional dances from Central France, inviting you to his table and you serve a ball on a platter consisting of dances as delicious as each other; the menu: scottishes, waltzes, bourrée 2 temps et 3 temps, polkas and mazurkas other delight both your feet than your ears! Enjoy!

1 - Marsillat / Carré de L'Hypothénuse
2 - Adèle Blanc Sec / Badinerie / 25c rue Morel Ladeuil
3 - On a bien cinq minutes
4 - Jean Pons / Pierre Laboura
5 - Recuerdos / Polka de la Limagne
6 - En Haut du Col / Florine / Encore une nuit à l'auberge
7 - La Bussière / L'Artifice
8 - Mazurka de St Alyre
9 - Polka de Maurs
10 - Santa Morena
11 - Jam Session / Après l'after

Kitus : 
Fabien Guiloineau (Guitare, bouzouki)
Yannick Guyader (accordéon diatonique)
Luc Roche (Violon)
Sylvain Vuidart (Flûtes)
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