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)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Carreg Lafar - Profiad (2002 Wales) @VBR

Carreg Lafar has the talent, the energy and the dedication to emerge from the Welsh music scene into the world and Celtic music marketplace. Their name, which means "echo stone," reflects their dynamic sound.

On their third album, Profiad (Experience), the Cardiff-based folk group has produced a recording featuring high-quality engineering by Lawson Dando, the soaring voice of Linda Owen Jones and the beautiful fiddle of Rhian Evan Jones. Profiad is a step forward from their very capable first two albums, Ysbryd y Werin and Hyn.

While Carreg Lafar mines some of the same traditional material as Welsh artists Sin
James, Plethyn and others, they bring an up-tempo sensibility to the songs. (The CD liner notes don't provide full translations, but give you at least a sense of what the songs are about.)

Profiad opens with the nice a cappella number "Y Dryw Bach," and soon gets even better. The rousing title track next up is especially stunning, with both energy and atmospherics. Antwn Owen Hicks is brilliant on the pipes. Owen Jones delivers the lyrics "Mae byd yn gweni arnaf, fel yn y dyddiau gynt (the world is smiling on me, as in the old days)" from the Welsh children's song with spirit.

This is followed by another fine, if more sedate piece, "Lloer Dirion," which is in the Loreena McKennitt mode; wistful and romantic, with Claudine Cassidy on cello. Hicks does the male lead vocal on "Dic Penderyn," also a showpiece for the guitar of Lawson Dando. It's a song about the Welsh hero and martyr of the 1831 riots. Davies adds an acoustic "heaviness" not present in the first two albums.

The vocal tunes are interspersed with a nice selection of reels, jigs and airs of both original and traditional origin. "Dyffryn Cletwr" is a more traditional song of "hiraeth" or longing, sung by Antwn, with a flute punctuating the a cappella verses.

"Cariad Cyntaf," a beautiful song about first love -- with the unforgettable opening line: "Mae'r prydferthaf ail i Eden (Your beauty is second only to that of Eden)" -- is another excellent version of a traditional song.

I like this album very much, it's fun to listen to and really energizing. But this seemingly perfect gem of an album is missing something. Perhaps the contemporary production itself makes them sound emotionally disconnected from the folk tradition they are interpreting. It remains to be seen, then, whether this CD passes the test of time.

But this is not to downgrade a very attractive package of songs, beautifully produced and enjoyable to listen to. Overall, the musicianship is a high quality. This band does what it does very, very well.Despite the fact that Dylan Davies has left the band, Carreg Lafar could be the first Welsh group that makes a mark outside of Wales.

- Rambles - 
written by David Cox

01 - Dryw Bach
02 - Profiad
03 - Lloer Dirion
04 - Dic Penderyn
05 - Llanllechid
06 - Y Gwanwyn
07 - Dyffryn Cletwr
08 - Seren Y Bore
09 - Cariad Cyntaf
10 - Tri Pheth
11 - Iechyd O Gylch

Linda Owen Jones (vocals)
Rhian Evan-Jones (fiddle)
James Rourke (flute)
Antwn Owen Hicks (pipes and vocals)
Danny Kilbride (guitar)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Annbjørg Lien - Prisme (Norway 1996) @VBR

On her third international solo album Lien goes new ways in relation to the musical tradition she carries. The traditional costume is left at home, and Prism is recorded with jeans on. The result is a typically un-Norwegian and Swedish sounding album, where Lien expands her horizons creating traditional folk music fused with modern instrumentation like percussion and electronic instruments, in addition to the classic wind and string instruments as we know from the Nordic traditional music.

01 - Villvinter (Wild Winter) 2:52
02 - Fonix (Phoenix) 4:08
03 - Cantabile 3:59
04 - Luseblus (Sweater Blues) 3:33
05 - Vidvandre (Wandering) 4:01
06 - Aprilbarnet (Child Of April) 3:23
07 - Korstog (Crusade) 4:35
08 - Hauk 3:59
09 - Prisme (Prism) 5:12
10 - Floteren (The Log Driver) 4:12
11 - Galadriel 3:56
12 - Valhalling 3:26
13 - Ringen (The Ring) 3:37

Annbjørg Lien: Fiddle and Nyckelharpe
Roger Tallroth: 6 and 12 string guitars
Bjørn Ole Rasch: Keyboards
Mikael Marin: Viola
Rune Arnesen: Percussion
Hans Frederik Jacobsen: Flute and Pipes

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sväng - Karja-La (2014 Finland) @320

"The harmonica has been important instrument for Finnish folk players since 1850's. Besides traditional Finnish harmonica style SVÄNG takes influences of music from all around the world: The unique sounding quartet plays Finnish tango and folk music, but takes also influences of groovy Balkan-style, Swedish hambo as well as old time-fiddle dance tunes or rag time. Big part of the repertuar is original works by the band members.

The combining element in this unique mixture of styles is the original groove created by the rare chord harmonica Harmonetta and the ultimate low bass harmonica. On the swinging groove the two virtuoso soloists create rich melodies with their diatonic and chromatic harmonicas with a strong, improvising attitude and joy of playing!

The aim of SVÄNG is to give a new life to the extraordinary sound of harmonica band with music that has not been played on this kind of band before. The debut cd of SVÄNG has successfully captured the fascinating feel of their energetic live performances."
(CD Baby)

Eero Turkka: chromatic and diatonic harmonicas
Eero Turkka got interested in blues harp as a little boy and ended up studying in Sibelius Academy. Besides harmonica he plays several other ethnic instruments and sings in multiple bands, including Turkka & Paalanen, Äijä, Trepaanit and Cedip Tur. Eero has graduated from Sibelius Academy in 2006.

Eero Grundström: chromatic and diatonic harmonicas
Eero Grundström is finalizing his studies in Sibelius Academy. He is also a multi-instrumentalist, composer and true improvisation wizard and has worked in all musical fields including free improvisation, theatre, circus, rock, jazz and modern. Apart from harmonica, Eero plays harmonium and other keyboards. His other projects are Spontaani Vire, Iso Karhu and Von & Af.

Jouko Kyhälä: chord harmonica “Harmonetta”, chromatic and diatonic harmonicas
Dr. Kyhälä graduated from Sibelius Academy folk music department in 1999 as the first to major harmonica. He completed his post gradate studies and became the first Doctor of Harmonica Arts in April 2007.
Kyhälä has multiple musical capacities having worked with folk, jazz, pop, improvisation and modern dance projects as a composer, musician, performer, etc. Kyhälä plays keyboards and harmonica in over 20 albums. His other projects include Markku Lepistö & co, Pekka Lehti & Outo Voima.

Pasi Leino: bass harmonica
Pasi Leino is the most senior member of the band. He worked several years with a best known Finnish harmonica trio/quartet “Raimo Sirkiä”. This trio was active almost 10 years between 1980 and 1990. They were victorious in 1994 Trossingen harmonica festival.

1. Schengen 5:57
2. Eksyneen Tango 4:34
3. Eeron Ja Nedan Häävalssi 4:39
4. Niilon Polska 4:46
5. Naskon Rakija 6:05
6. Jeppo! 4:31
7. Kyytiläinen 5:24
8. Impivaara 7:44
9. Karja-la 9:01

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Annbjørg Lien - Aliens Alive (Norway 2002) @320

With Aliens Alive fiddler Annbjørg Lien shows that she is not only an exciting and courageous artist, it tells us how bold she is in relation to looking back in the Norwegian folksong tradition, while she at the same time appears as a contemporary musician with her eyes lifted forward. Lien has a personal song to her fiddle that is both melancholic and teasing, and are showing as a red thread that extends through the whole album. This album is based on recordings from six concerts in 2001, and Lien appears like a complete fiddler and a modern tradition interpreter. She show a mature safety which give her fiddle a varied and solid appearance. The concert admissions is no blueprint of the versions found on previously released albums.

01. The Rose - 5:11 
02. Loki - 5:36 
03. Origins - 14:35
04. The Water Lily - 5:13 
05. Morning Mood - 0:31 
06. Knepphalling - 4:12 
07. Larry Goes Log-Driving - 5:30 
08. Luseblus - 5:02 
09. Astra - 5:12 
10. Inoque - 4:40 
11. Aliens Alive - 9:58 
12. Fykerud's Farewell to America - 4:44 

Per Hillestad  -  Percussion, Drums 
Morten Lund  -  Mastering 
Drew Miller  -  Graphic Remix 
Annbjørg Lien  -  Fiddle, Arranger, Concept, String Instrument 
Rune Arnesen  -  Percussion, Drums 
Roger Tallroth  -  Guitar, Arranger 
Bjørn Ole Rasch  -  Arranger, Jew's-Harp, Keyboards, Producer, Sampling, Concept 
Hans Fredrik Jacobsen  -  Flute, Jew's-Harp, Vocals

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