Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gatos del Fornu - Na Cai (Spain 2008) @320

Gatos del Fornu is a group emerged from a traditional Bandina formation has been gradually evolving into a closer typical Asturian folk group training, but failed to completely abandoning its first incarnation. In Na Cai, Gatos del Fornu still retain elements Bandina although the arrangements are increasingly elaborate.

01 - El chigre
02 - Mar
03 - Temperendengue
04 - Ramu
05 - Saldiguera
06 - Saltones de l'Arena
07 - Son d'Arriba
08 - Xota Xedré
09 - Ayer vite na fonte
10 - Careo
11 - La danza

Guillermo Pérez (gaita, whistles)
Miguel Ángel Fernández (acordeón diatónico)
Daniel Díez (guitarra)
Moisés Cortina (tambor y cajón) 
Raúl Alonso (pandero y pandereta). 
Silvia Quesada (voz principal, panderetas)
Rubén Bueno (flauta, whistles, voz)
Moisés Álvarez (bouzouki)
Luis Senén Fernández (bajo).

Friday, November 28, 2014

Guichen - Brozhers (France 2011) @320

KC: Fantastic album!

Propelled by the huge success of the group Ar Re Yaouank phenomenon that changed the Breton music scene in the 1990s, Fred (accordion) and Jean-Charles (guitars), provide compositions that combine with strength and conviction, the authenticity of a tradition of inspiration mixed with powerful modern music. 20 years on stage, touring around the world and a desire always keen to convince the public, make this duo a staple of the Breton scene, folk and Celtic.

01 - Mc Bride's
02 - Gougane
03 - Wild Wanderer
04 - Stêr Argant
05 - Dublin's Jig
06 - Island Bird
07 - Den Bleiz
08 - Dieub
09 - Sant Nigouden
10 - Battle Swing
11 - Kerl
12 - Ker Sec'h - Part1
13 - Ker Sec'h - Part2
14 - Ker Sec'h - Part3

Fred GUICHEN : accordions
Jean-Charles GUICHEN : guitars
Guests : 
Mighty Stef : vocals
Robbie HARRIS : percussions

June Tabor - Airs & Graces (1976 England) - 1989 Remaster @320


June Tabor's first solo record is an understated triumph full of good songs, great arrangements, and a crack group of backing musicians led by the guitar playing of Nic Jones. Much of Airs and Graces is pure British folk, and Tabor has much fun with such ancient numbers as "While the Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping" and "Young Waters." The standout track, however, is her version of Eric Bogle's brilliant anti-war ode "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda." Sung a cappella, you can almost feel the bitterness in her voice, a breathtaking, stunning moment indicative of how amazing she can be. Reissued on compact disc by Shanachie.

01 - While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping (1:44) 
02 - Plains of Waterloo (4:38) 
03 - Bonny May (4:53) 
04 - Reynardine (2:54) 
05 - And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda (6:19)
06 - Young Waters (5:07) 
07 - Waly Waly (4:58) 
08 - The Merchant's Son (2:36) 
09 - Queen Among the Heather (3:49) 
10 - Pull Down Lads (2:55)

June Tabor: vocals
Nic Jones: acoustic guitar, fiddle
Tony Hall: melodeon
Jon Gillaspie: piano, organ, roxichord, bassoon, sopranino

Monday, November 24, 2014

Leahy - Leahy (Canada 2006) @320

Leahy is the name of a Canadian folk music group. The eight band members, all from the Leahy family of 11 siblings, are from Lakefield, Ontario and have been touring Canada and internationally since the early 1980s when they were known as The Leahy Family. In 1985, they were the subject of a short film entitled Leahy: Music Most of All which received an Academy Award in the category of "Best Foreign Student Film". The members of Leahy take great pride in their Irish roots and their Canadian upbringing.

The line-up of the group varies depending upon the availability of its members who come and go due to marriage, raising children, and other commitments. During the 1980s and early 1990s, the band recorded a number of privately released LPs and cassettes (most of which used the same title, The Leahy Family) which were sold at their concerts and they were frequent guests at the Big Valley Jamboree concerts in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In 1997 the band resumed recording with their "relaunch" album, Leahy which also introduced the group's new branding. Leahy was an instrumental album, but the band also includes vocal performances in their live performances and subsequent albums have included both vocals and instrumentals.

Despite their established history, they were awarded two Juno awards in 1998, for Best New Group and Best Instrumental Artist The following year, Leahy took a third Juno Award, for Best Country Group or Duo. Also in 1998, Leahy were added as the opening act for Canadian country singer Shania Twain's 1998 Come on Over Tour and were featured in two television specials from the tour, Live and The Specials, performing with Twain on the song "Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)".

The group's members are both instrumentalists and dancers, with several members skilled in fiddle-playing (most notably the group's best-known member, Donnell). The female members of the band often perform step-dancing-style routines and do most of the singing.

01. "B Minor" (Traditional) – 3:55
02. "Cape Breton Medley" (R. Cooper, Wiley Hunter, Jr., Traditional) – 5:11
03. "McBrides" (Dónal Lunny, Declan Sinnott) – 4:15
04. "The French" (Traditional) – 4:39
05. "The Call to Dance" (Gordon Duncan, Howie MacDonald) – 4:05
06. "Alabama" (G. Cahn, Ned Landry, J. Yeffen) – 3:40
07. "Don Messer Medley" (Don Messer, Traditional) – 3:05
08. "Csárdás" (Traditional) – 4:04
09. "Colm Quigley" (Donnell Leahy, Traditional) – 6:02
10. "The Coulin" (Traditional) – 4:44

Donnell Leahy — Fiddle
Erin Leahy — Piano, Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, Vocals, Bass
Angus Leahy — Fiddle
Maria Leahy — Guitar, Banjo, Vocals
Siobheann Donohue (née Leahy) — Bass, Vocals, Fiddle
Doug Leahy — Fiddle
Denise Flack (née Leahy) — Vocals
Frank Leahy — Drums

Lau - Lightweights & Gentlemen (Scotland/England 2007) @320

Recorded in the winter of 2006, Lau's debut album, LIGHTWEIGHTS AND GENTLEMEN, sound like men willing to redefine how a trio can sound. Arming themselves with both highly original repertoire and some superb takes on traditional song, their fearless appetite for imrpov digs deep into a wild array of genres and spits them out as a perfect folk-jazz stew.

01 - Hinba.mp3
02 - Butcher boy.mp3
03 - The Jigs.mp3
04 - Results.mp3
05 - Unquiet Grave.mp3
06 - Souter creek.mp3
07 - Kris's.mp3
08 - Freeborn Man.mp3
09 - Moorhens.mp3
10 - Gallowhill.mp3
11 - Twa Stewarts (bonus track).mp3

Kris Drever - guitar, vocals
Martin Green - accordion
Aidan O'Rourke - fiddle

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Lau - Race the Loser (Scotland/England 2012) @320

The most musically adventurous trio in British folk team up with Tucker Martine, the US producer who has worked with REM and Gillian Welch, and the results are perhaps predictably unexpected. Lau are a remarkable band, particularly live, thanks to their stirring, complex, partly improvised compositions and the virtuoso interplay between fiddle, accordion and guitar. The new element here is electronic music: it is used to create percussive effects that are matched against their instrumental work on the ambient Far from Portland (a tribute to Martine's home city), or against Kris Drever's vocals on the sturdy Saint Monday, one of several songs dealing with industrial decay and hard times. But as ever with Lau, the mood constantly changes. Save the Bees switches from sombre to cheerful and back, while Torsa is a gentle, then upbeat example of Lau's exquisite and hypnotic musicianship at its best.

01 - Saint Monday.mp3
02 - Far From Portland.mp3
03 - The Bird That Winds The Spring.mp3
04 - Missing Pieces.mp3
05 - Save The Bees.mp3
06 - Torsa.mp3
07 - Throwing Pennies.mp3
08 - Noltland Castle.mp3
09 - Beer Engineer.mp3

Kris Drever - guitar, vocals
Martin Green - accordion
Aidan O'Rourke - fiddle

Lau - Arc Light (Scotland/England 2009) @320

Arc Light is the second studio album by contemporary folk three-piece Lau, released on March 30, 2009 on Navigator Records.

The album's bonus track is a cover of The Beatles' song, "Dear Prudence". The track originally appeared on a compilation issued free with Mojo magazine.

Like its predecessor, Lightweights and Gentlemen, Arc Light garnered strong critical acclaim upon release. Chris Nickson of Allmusic described the album as "stirring and utterly wonderful," while Michael Quinn, of BBC Music remarked that "what astonishes most about Lau is the orchestral quality of the sound." Music webzine The Line of Best Fit stated that: "Arc Light is testament to their constant need to push themselves as musicians, and as innovators of the folk movement."

01 - The Burrian
02 - Winter Moon
03 - Horizontigo
04 - Salty Boys
05 - Banks of Marble
06 - Stephen's
07 - The Master
08 - Frank and Flo's
09 - Temple of Fiddes
10 - Dear Prudence

Kris Drever - guitar, vocals
Martin Green - accordion
Aidan O'Rourke - fiddle

Additional musicians:
Stuart Nisbet - pedal steel guitar
Corrina Hewat - backing vocals
Karine Polwart - backing vocals
Inge Thomson - backing vocals
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