Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sliabh Notes - Sliabh Notes (1996 Ireland) [320]

The music of Ireland's Sliabh (Schleeve) Luachra region, a mountainous area that straddles the counties of Cork, Kerry and Limerick, is justly noted for its vibrant dance music where the polka and slide are king. Comprised of Limerich-born accordionist Donal Murphy, a founding member of Four Men & A Dog, County Cork's master fiddler, Matt Cranitch and County Kerry guitar ace and vocalist Tommy O'Sullivan, this trio brings together Sliabh Luachra's instantly identifiable dance sound with songs and tunes that reflect the Irish contribution to the music of the American south.

Matt Cranitch - First coming to prominence in the 60's as a member of Cork based trio Na Filí, Matt Cranitch has been involved in many groups of different hues, from the aforementioned, with whom he made many several albums, outfits like The Lee Valley String Band and Any Old Time with whom he has made three fine albums. He has also recorded extensively as a solo artist with releases like Eistigh Seal and Take A Bow to his credit in addition to instructional books on fiddle playing.

Donal Murphy - Though still a very young man, Donal Murphy has been involved in Irish music for many years. Since first coming to prominence as a member of Four Men And A Dog in 1990, he has traveled widely on his mission to save Irish music, to places as far apart as Barcelona, Finland and Listowel. His rhythmic playing is the perfect foil for Matt Cranitch's fiddle style and his music has been described as having "a rare twinkle in its eye".

Tommy O' Sullivan - Now known for unfathomable reasons as 'The Jarvey' Tommy O' Sullivan cut his musical teeth playing outfits in the UK and continental Europe. While there he traveled widely with bands such as Ashplant and is almost a household word in Denmark. He has a great ear for a good song, as is evidenced by his choice of material for Sliabh Notes, and wishes it to be known that he is working hard on perfecting a fourth chord. His vocal style is sure to earn many accolades.

This album is about 1/2 bluegrass ;)

1.    Terry 'Cuz Teahans Polka, Murphy's Polka, O'Sullivan's Polka    2:58
2.    Siney's Jig, Rathawaun, The Hair In The Corn    3:07
3.    Galway    3:58
4.    The Hairy Dogleaf, Be It Known To You, The Ganger's Ass    3:45
5.    Aly's Waltz    3:48
6.    Bluegrass In The Backwoods    2:57
7.    From The Heart    3:57
8.    The Greencastle Hornpipe    3:19
9.    The Anniversary Polka, Daybreak, The Kerry Bar    3:02
10.    Mick O'Connor's Reel, The Shores of Lough Ree, The Humours Of Toonagh    3:33
11.    The Prisoner's Song    3:03
12.    The Dirty Trettles, Lep The Table    2:32
13.    East Tennessee Blues, Stone's Rag    2:20

Brian Vollmer - Old Time Music Party (2013 USA) [320]

Brian Vollmer grew up immersed in the musical culture of Appalachia. It was just a way of life...A patron and soon-to-be picker at bluegrass festivals and fiddler's conventions since before he can remember, he became enamored with the soul of traditional mountain music. Starting out on 5-string bluegrass banjo at parties and festivals at a young age, He soon made his way to clawhammer banjo, and then old time fiddle, particularly developing a keen ear for the more acrid sounds of backwoods country music. The result of this journey, Old Time Music Party, is a statement of Brian's musical philosophy; playing the songs and tunes he loves with his friends, all live, no overdubs. This album is a tribute to anyone who has ever caroused until the break of dawn. Joseph L. Scott

Apart from the singing, this is a good record of well played old time music by Vollmer—a young banjo picker who has enlisted 8 other musicians including Nate Leath and Joseph DeJarnette. In the notes, Vollmer lists the tunings for each piece, and gives us the sources for each of the 14 songs & tunes—these range from Roscoe Holcomb, Clyde Davenport and the Skillet Lickers to the Stanley Brothers.

1.    Arkansas Two-Step    2:04
2.    Fall On My Knees    3:43
3.    The Lost Goose    3:12
4.    Ladies On The Steamboat    2:40
5.    Elzik's Farewell    3:14
6.    Rambler's Blues    3:28
7.    Birchfield's Sally Ann    2:25
8.    Skippin' and Flyin'    3:19
9.    Been All Around This World    3:39
10.    What We Got's Rich    2:21
11.    The Green Door    2:47
12.    Trouble In Mind    3:26
13.    Skillet Licker Breakdown    2:45
14.    My Favorite Waltz    4:03

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Brendan Ring - Troublesome Things (2001 Ireland) [320]

"I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a particularly huge fan of the uilleann pipes, but Brendan really shines as a low whistle player on this album. I've owned the CD for several years now, and tracks like "The Robbery of Chester Jail" still leave me breathless after listening. His technique is very sharp and precise without being robotic, and anyone who plays the whistle or flute will immediately recognize his talent. I'll be honest and confess that I'm a bit biased, as I had the pleasure of meeting him in person in Cork years ago and enjoying a great conversation with him over a pint. But just have a listen to tracks 4, 7, or 9, and you be the judge. "

"A friend, John Murphy gave me this album after returning from Cork a couple of years ago. It has some great original tunes by Brendan, and his whistle and pipe playing is excellent."

1.    Tyrell's Pass, The Coolinarne Jig, The Lisnagun Jig    4:16
2.    The Sligo Maid, Gan Ainm    2:45
3.    An Leanbh Síde    2:24
4.    Kushkas, Maverick Angels    2:15
5.    A Mhire Ní Laoghaire    4:52
6.    Oisín    3:09
7.    The Lasher    4:40
8.    Brian O'Lynn, The Lisnagun Jig    3:08
9.    The Robbery of Chester Jail, Rí Rings    2:40
10.    Slip Jig for Janet, The Humours of Katakali    2:59
11.    Madame Bonaparte    3:32
12.    Lios an Uisce    1:45

Tamarack - Frobisher Bay (1993 Canada) [320]

Tamarack is a Canadian folk music group, formed in 1978 by James Gordon, Jeff Bird and Randy Sutherland. The members of the group have changed over the years. By 1986, Alex Sinclair had replaced Randy Sutherland. When Fields of Rock and Snow was released in 1991, Jeff Bird had left and Gwen Swick has joined. Molly Kurvink joined the group for the Leaving Inverarden album released in 1995. James Gordon is no longer part of the group when Spirit & Stone (2000) is recorded, which features Alex Sinclair, Molly Kurvink and Shelley Coopersmith.

Tamarack has often been invited to perform at Canadian folk festivals. They have frequently played the Hillside Festival (1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1999), in Guelph, Ontario which is home base for several members of the group. Other festivals where they have been featured include the Winnipeg Folk Festival (1984), Ottawa Folk Festival (1997) and The Shelter Valley Folk Festival (2010). In 1997 they were inaugurated into the Order of the Porcupine Music Hall of Fame[11] by Sugar Camp Music, a radio show produced by the University of Toronto campus radio station CIUT-FM.

Tamarack draws heavily on traditional themes, from their début track Tamarack on Music of Canada[2] through such songs as Mining for Gold and many jigs and the occasional polka in between.

The history and geography of Canada are also popular inspirations. Frobisher Bay and its title track Frozen in Frobisher Bay are named after an bay on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. Leaving Inverarden starts with two stories taken from the history of the fur-trading North West Company in Canada; the title track Leaving Invergarden based on the story of John MacDonald, and the track Magdalen McGillivray about his sister who married William McGillivray.

A number of Tamarack songs have been covered by other artists. Mining for Gold, written by James Gordon based on a traditional theme, was on the Cowboy Junkies breakthrough album The Trinity Session. (Early Tamarack member Jeff Bird has done instrumental work on many Cowboy Junkies albums). Folk singer Laura Smith included the Leaving Inverarden song Magdalen McGillivray on her 2012 album Everything is Moving.

1.    Days of the Sun and Wind    3:13
2.    Oh, Klondike    4:07
3.    The Hangman's Eyes    4:06
4.    Frobisher Bay    3:36
5.    Loyal She Remains    3:10
6.    The Vacuum Song    4:48
7.    Charlie Fox    3:16
8.    Pamela    4:26
9.    No Herring Left in the Bay    2:15
10.    Alaska Highway Driver    2:37
11.    Logging Camp Christmas    4:41
12.    The Greenland Whale    5:03

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dave Evans - The Words in Between (England 1971) @256

British contemporary folk singer/songwriter Dave Evans' debut album was, in keeping with much of the genre at the beginning of the 1970s, a reserved and subdued affair. Evans' guitar work on this record was excellent: tasteful, virtuosic, and picked with a rich tone and unusual tunings, on a guitar of his own making. But his slightly melancholic songs about everyday events and people were ordinary, and his thin voice lacked the character of a number of acoustic British folk singer/songwriting peers, like Bert Jansch to use the most obvious example. The addition of Adrienne Webber on some harmony vocals adds some color. 
But really, this album doesn't stand out from the pack in its genre, pleasingly typical though it is of the more homespun U.K. contemporary folk of its era. The 2001 CD reissue adds five tracks from his 1972 album, Elephantasia, that are in same vein, though the use of piano on some tracks inserts a new element. The reissue also has historical liner notes by producer Ian Anderson (the folk musician, not the Jethro Tull leader) and Evans.

01 - Rosie
02 - The Words In Between
03 - Grey Lady Morning
04 - Insanity Rag
05 - Magic Man
06 - Now Is The Time
07 - Doorway
08 - City Road
09 - Circular Line
10 - Sailor
11 - Beauty Queen (bonus)
12 - St Agnes Park (bonus)
13 - Lady Portia (bonus)
14 - Only Blue (bonus)
15 - Elephantasia (bonus)

Tracks 1 to 10 originally released as The Words in Between.
Tracks 11 to 15 originally released 1972 as part of Elephantasia, The Village Thing VTS-14.

Guitars & Vocals - Dave Evans
Guitar [Second] – Pete Airey (tracks: 1 to 10)
Harmonica – Keith Warmington (tracks: 1 to 10)
Piano – Steve Swindells (tracks: 11, 14)
Vocals – Adrienne Webber (tracks: 1 to 10)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Le Grand Rouge - Traverser Du Pays (1979)

The origins of the group
In 1974 was born the musical collective "Le Grand Rouge", popular music group around fifteen musicians from the folk-club La Chanterelle in Lyon. He works primarily in the first instance in the village fairs and political parties in the Lyon area and then quickly in Auvergne and Limousin. It is indeed in these two regions, with forays en Bresse and Ardèche and Morvan, or it will set up any important work of collectage that the group will draw most of the terms of his music. In 1976 the Great Red occupation is formed with fiddler Olivier Durif the cabrettaire Eric Montbel, the vielleux Pierre Imbert and the old fiddlers Slap Galoche, Christian Oller.

The first album
Shortly after its foundation, Le Grand Rouge sign in Cezame and released his first album. A dominant instrumental, it consists of a sample of dances (mazurkas, marches, and stuffed branles), from collections or collectages and limited to areas of the Centre and the Haute-Loire, which is fairly standard among groups Lyon. Conscripts songs add a companion song telling the story of a paper from Angoulême ("This is a Picard") and the tragic evocation of the Beautiful in the tower, confined by her father for having " unloved ". Note for the latter, the simple accompaniment of Bruno de la Salle harp Crystal. The brilliant and very original style of the old Peter Imbert game and Eric Montbel bagpipe technique attract attention. Work on fiddler Massif Central is here a decisive Durif illustration with Olivier and Christian Oller. Although less known than their colleagues in the Bamboche, the musicians of the Great Red turn many in the Lyon area where they have a real reputation. They are also in demand by the organizers of folk festivals: the summer of 1977, they are found in Saint-Georges-sur-la-Prée in Saint-Florent-sur-Cher, Saint-Chartier in Sainte-Livrade , etc. Our musicians are all manifestations.

The second album
Traverser Du Pays comes out in 1979 in France. This second album will be an event in the world of folk. More sophisticated musical and vocal point of view, Le Grand Rouge offers us, in addition, some compositions like "Parlons d'aimer " (text and music by Le Grande Rouge). This song expresses "the plight of the musician that rolls every morning and evening for a few tunes, few choruses" and the benefits of cohabitation: "Let's talk about love, not to marry." Words, therefore, well in line with the mentality of the time, the hour when one criticizes the folk living beyond its time. Neither sun nor moon is a composition of Eric, in which is discussed on the traditional way, the theme of repression: "If I am caught is my fault, have failed to keep quiet enough, [. ..], having spoken on the government instead of Vienna. " For the rest, many traditional tunes Corrèze (like this Bourrée of Trech interpreted several violins), Auvergne, Limousin, sometimes accompanied by traditional songs in French or local dialect, occupy the beaches. Pride of place is, again, devoted to Eric Montbel, who stars in "Nos la tenem" the chabrette. It is, in short, a varied and interesting disc, attended by traditional musicians from Corrèze and Toulouse.

New line-up
At the end of 1979, a new formation of the Great Red sees the day when Jean-Pierre Champeval (violin) and Jean-Michel Ponty (violin, hurdy-gurdy, keyboards), already on the second disc Cross Country, will replace Christian Oller. The music of Le Grande Rouge changing quite dramatically to a more creative music or sound and traditional themes are mixed with themes and works of different musicians of the group, serving an aesthetic that will sustainably influence the music together " Centre-France ". They then participate in numerous festivals in France and abroad. The group will separate at the end of 1981.

After Le Grand Rouge
Today, Eric Montbel and Christian Oller continue to make music, Olivier Durif is director of the traditional music of Limousin Center (which does not prevent him from continuing an artistic career). Pierre Imbert, installed several years in Canada, died suddenly of a heart attack in August 2001, Jean-Pierre is Champeval luthier in Liege in Belgium and continues to play with Olivier Durif, Jean-Michel Ponty is now a teacher art school.

Founding members
    Olivier Durif: violin, accordion, vocals
    Pierre Imbert: hurdy gurdy, guitar, mandolin, mandola, tambourine, vocals
    Eric Montbel: bagpipes, laud, chabrette, musette-Béchonnet, spruce, hurdy-gurdy, flutes, clarinet, vocals
    Christian Oller: violin, spruce, guitar, concertina, drums, vocals.

1.    Parlons d'aimer    2:30
2.    Ni soleil ni lune - Polka du père Frédéric    4:49
3.    Nos la tenem - La zaï    3:29
4.    Les Réveillez    6:05
5.    Céline    3:08
6.    Le vicaire    3:46
7.    La fille du geôlier    5:20
8.    Bourrée du Trech    3:24
9.    Traverser du pays - Dans l'emprison - Branle carré    6:45

Friday, January 22, 2016

Esquisse - Machines Infernales (2012 Bretagne / France) @320

Esquisse is a group that offers a modern Breton music. Music that is rooted in tradition but that leaves room for innovation. Their new album promises to be a reference in the world of this musical genre.

01. Hopopup - Maraîchine
02. Oxyde - Kost ar c'hoat
03. Machines infernales - Loudéac premier rond
04. Belote - baleu
05. Rebelote - Loudéac deuxième rond
06. Palms - Hanter dro
07. Vanilla - Scottish
08. Tchou-tchou - Rond paludier
09. Linda -Polka
10. La mort du roi - Mazurka
11. Massacre à la mogette

François BADEAU : diatonic accordion
Gweltaz HERVÉ : saxophones
Pierre LE NORMAND : drums
Thomas BADEAU : clarinet
 Invités :
Ronan LE GOURIEREC : bombardon, baryton sax
François ROBIN : veuze
Alain DEBIOSSAT : saxophones
Grégory JOLIVET : hurdy-gurdy
Sylvain BAROU : wooden flute

Esquisse - Live (2009 Bretagne / France) @320

After more than 10 years of existence, nearly 300 performances and four CDs to their credit, the four young musicians offer a new album "Live" with her always as unique and fed all these years of experience.

01. Donnons l'ame aux rats (4:36)
02. Faut qu' j'arrête (4:49)
03. Splinn (6:33)
04. Et alors (2:31)
05. Le pouce étiré (4:29)
06. Oh non ! (1:40)
07. He's born 1 (2:26)
08. He's born 2 (4:28)
09. He's born 3 (2:16)
10. He's born 4 (6:03)
11. A bas les balais, la cymbale est à rivets (5:21)
12. Bodligan, le lendemain d'hier (6:36)
13. Chouette ton costard ! (4:31)
14. Tu veux un yaourt ? (4:09)
15. Hongrois qu'on danse (4:55)
16. Une grosse faim ? (4:11)

Thomas BADEAU : clarinet, effects, vocals, whistling, Moog
Pierre LE NORMAND : drums, laugh
Vincent MARIN : bombardon, saxophone soprano and tenor, vocal, effects, cow box
François BADEAU : diatonic accordion with a different DNA, vocals, chromatic accordion
Guests :
Olivier CONGAR : bongos, congas
Thérèse LE GLAUNEC : vocals

Kathryn Tickell Band - Air Dancing (2004 England) [192]


1.    April    3:40
2.    Rhymeside    3:48
3.    Small & Wild    4:14
4.    Herd    3:24
5.    Waltzes    6:40
6.    Winding Sideways    3:06
7.    Bridge    4:36
8.    Long Grass    4:50
9.    Peter Man    5:53
10.    Air Moving    3:52
11.    Herbert    4:54
12.    Steve And Jenny    3:29

Thursday, January 21, 2016

BraAgas - No.2 - Media Aetas (2008 Czech) [192]

1     A Que Por Gran Fremosura     4:40
2     Pois Que Dos Reys     4:21
3     Bella Caio     4:41
4     Veris Dulcis In Tempore     5:38
5     Clauso Cronos Et Serato    (Tambourine [Riq] – Jan Klíma)    4:34
6     Arpa Bugday Deneler    (Oud – Jan Klíma)    4:26

BraAgas - Yallah! (2014 Czech) [320]

1     Frego     3:01
2     Karanfilce Devosce     3:24
3     Dere Gelyior     5:42
4     Agarrado     2:21
5     Morena     3:41
6     Ocho Kandelikas     3:35
7     Si Verias     3:23
8     La Comida     3:09
9     Yo Hanino     3:20
10     Mi Suegra     3:29
11     Bil Bil Pile     3:29
12     More Izgrejala Nane     3:47

BraAgas - Fuerte (2012 Czech) [320]

1.    Chin Glin Din    3:04
2.    Jana I Turein    3:31
3.    Gledaj Mi Libe    3:44
4.    Caje Sukarije    4:27
5.    La Serena    3:25
6.    Lewone    3:25
7.    Fraile Cornudo    3:22
8.    Yo Me Levantí    3:00
9.    Nazad (Diginla Viper Version)    5:15
10.    Tua Nai E Meiga (Diginla Dark Version)    3:11
11.    Radule    2:55
12.    Caje Sukarije (Balco Chromium Version)    3:19

BraAgas - Tapas (2009 Czech) [320]

1.    Anoche La Medianoche    2:58
2.    Csiki, Csiki    3:55
3.    Tuli    3:36
4.    Al Pasar Por Casablanca    3:26
5.    Una Tarde De Verano    3:13
6.    Hajde Jano    4:29
7.    Dilano Mome    3:16
8.    Dos Amantes    4:23
9.    Asentada En Mi Ventana    2:27
10.    Herr Holger    4:11
11.    Korkore    4:38
12.    Vanner Och Frander    4:00
13.    Suricillo    2:34

BraAgas - No.1 (2007 Czech) [320]

1     In Hoc Anni Circulo     2:58
2     Rampelado E Courso De La Tarasco    (Double Bass – Karel Zich)    2:24
3     Jan Petit    (Double Bass – Karel Zich, Fiddle [Soprano] – Martin Hrbek)    2:40
4     Quando Veo Hijo Hermoso     2:44
5     Aquestas Noites Tan Longas     2:48
6     Bre Sarica     3:51
7     Gaudete    (Fiddle [Soprano] – Martin Hrbek)    3:44
8     A La Una Yo Nací     3:02
9     Min Man    (Fiddle [Soprano] – Martin Hrbek)    3:01
10     La Fiho Dou Ladre    (Double Bass – Karel Zich, Harp – Petr Koláček)    2:45
11     Salva Nos     3:31
12     Kodaļa, Sprēslīca    (Bagpipes [Spanish] – Jan Klíma, Double Bass – Karel Zich)    4:07
13     Santa Maria    (Fiddle [Soprano] – Martin Hrbek)    3:23

BraAgas - Demo Ep (2006 Czech) [320]

Czech  Folk, Medieval, Sephardic

BraAgas is a world music band from Prague and their repertoir will guide you from South to the North of Europe, across Iberia, Occitania, the Balcany and Scandinavia. Braagas were formed in year 2007. They get over many concerts and performences around all Europe and released 4 albums: No.1 and No.2 - Media Aetas, Tapas and Fuerte (Indies Scope).

World music band BraAgas from Prague exist since 2007 and is focused to Sephardic, Balkan a ancient traditional music. BraAgas released 5 CD's - two of them won Czech Grammy in world music genre - "Anděl" 2009 and 2014.

01 - Aquestas Noites (Galician Song)
02 - Bre Sarica (Sephardic Song)
03 - Salva Nos (Anglo - Norman Rondello)
04 - Quando Veo Hijo Hermozo (Sephardic Song)

Iain MacDonald & Iain Macfarlane - The First Harvest (2002 Scotland) [320]

Iain MacDonald on highland pipes, flute, and whistles; Iain MacFarlane on fiddle. Other musicians are Ingrid Henderson, Ross Martin, Ewan Vernal, Phil Cunningham, Kathleen MacInnes, Allan Henderson and James MacKintosh. The arrangements of some highland pipes and fiddle tracks may be somewhat modern, but the playings of the main musicians are quite traditional and you won’t be disappointed.

Iain was Born in Glenuig, Moidart, a tiny West Lochaber Gaelic-speaking village inaccessible by road until 1968. He was Educated in Glenuig primary school (last pupil before closing) and Mingarry School, he then went on to Queen Victoria School in Dunblane where he was taught piping by Pipe Major John MacKenzie. After leaving Dunblane he was co-founder of the first Gaelic Theatre Company “Fir Chlis”. He then joined band ‘Ossian’ for nine years, then played with ‘Wolfstone’ and was member of ‘Battlefield Band’ for seven years, travelling extensively. Took part in many Theatre productions ( with 7:84 amongst others) and Music tours, worked extensively for Radio and Television and appeared in films. Recorded on many albums, Played and recorded with musicians such as Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham. Teaches adults and children at many Feisean, both Gaelic language and traditional music and song.Regular visiting tutor to establishments like the RSAMD in Glasgow and Limerick University in Ireland. Producer of various albums of traditional music like, Blazin Fiddles, Daimh, Dòchas , Ann Martin, Mary Smith, Rona Lightfoot, Kathleen MacInnes & Julie Fowlis. Iain is Artistic Director of CEOLAS, the Gaelic Music Summer School in South Uist and also teaches at Benbecula College and at Sabhal Mór Ostaig,(UHI) The Gaelic College on the Isle of Skye.

Born in Glenfinnan, a small village in Lochaber. Began playing Fiddle at age seven and progressed to Bagpipes at the age of ten under the tutelage of Pipe Major Evan MacRae. Whilst still being taught Fiddle by his Father, he went on to receive tuition from the well-known Abriachan fiddler, Donald Riddell. Since his teens Iain has played in many different musical formations and projects such as Gaelic Drama, Contemporary Dance, Dance Bands, Television and Radio, while still playing with local ‘Greats’ such as, Angus Grant and Fergie MacDonald. and standing in when necessary for ‘Aly Bain of the Boys of the Lough’. Following an HNC in Gaelic Language in 1996, he graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with a BA in Traditional Music. Since then he has been teaching at many Feisean, Festivals and Schools, ‘Oberlin College’ Ohio, USA and in Boston, USA, as well as playing on many albums. Now fiddle tutor at the National Centre of excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton High School, He continues his busy schedule with the acclaimed ‘Blazin Fiddles’.

Iain & Iain have played together for many years. While both being steeped in the strong musical traditions of the Moidart area and whether playing in the local pub or on stage in front of hundreds, have always remained true to their tradition.
At the end of October 2002 they released their first recording together entitled ‘The First Harvest’ with the help of a few friends, primarily Ross Martin who hails from Arisaig not far from Glenfinnan and Glenuig and who was ‘in’ on many of the sessions from the early days. Other contributions on the album include Phil Cunningham, Allan and Ingrid Henderson, Ewen Vernal, James MacKintosh and Kathleen MacInnes from South Uist who makes her debút recording here and whose exquisite Gaelic singing can be heard on her new solo album "Og Mhaduinn Shamhraidh" which was produced by Iain MacDonald with contributions from Donald Shaw and Michael McGoldrick of Capercaillie, James MacKintosh, Marc Duff, Neil Johnstone (Cello) and John McCusker.

1. The Snuff wife/Humours of Whisky/Clumsy Lover (Pipes)    4:27    
2. Stella's Welcome/John Pellerine's/Miss Girdle/Buntata's Sgadan(R    4:32    
3. The Steamboat/Thomond Bridge (Hornpipes)    3:49    
4. The Northern Lass/The Roses of No Man's Land    4:58    
5. The Green Shades of Gask/Capt White's/Mike MacDougall's(Jigs)    3:16    
6. Miss Elspeth Campbell/Danced with Me the Beautiful Maiden/The Re    3:30    
7. 'Se Nochd A' Chiad Oidhche 'N Fhodhair(Gaelic Song)    2:28    
8. Humours of Cork/Moms Jig/Annie's Carafe/The Road to Skye (Jigs)    3:44    
9. Fagail Dhuneidinn(Slow Air)    4:40    
10. Cus Teahan's/Battle of the Braes    2:45    
11. I'll buy boots for Maggie/The Ballydesmond/Finnish/Art O'Keefe's    3:15    
12. Gaol ise Gaol (Gaelic Song)    2:45    
13. Donald MacLeans/Pitnacree Ferryman/Alasdair Frasers Welcome to C    3:23

Brian Vollmer & Claire Byrne - The EP (2015 USA) [320]

When we first met and began our courtship, we would spend the bitter and snowy evenings playing fiddle tunes and singing together. After a few months we decided to book some shows. Fourteen months later, we are engaged and ready to put out an album of our favorite old-time duets and fiddle tunes!

Brian Vollmer - Banjo, Fiddle
Claire Byrne - Fiddle

Brian Vollmer grew up immersed in the musical culture of Appalachia. It was just a way of life... A patron and soon-to-be picker at bluegrass festivals and fiddler's conventions since before he can remember, he became enamored with the soul of traditional mountain music. Starting out on 5-string bluegrass banjo at parties and festivals at a young age, He soon made his way to clawhammer banjo, and then old time fiddle, particularly developing a keen ear for the more acrid sounds of backwoods country music.

1 Last Shot got 'Em
2 I've Endured
3 Ida Red
4 Black Jack Davey
5 Mississippi Echoes
6 Rio Grande

Bara Grimsdottir - Funi (2003 Iceland) [320]

We are Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster and we live in Reykjavík, Iceland. FUNI is an old Icelandic word meaning fire. It was also the name of one of Bára's Grandfather's favourite horses. Her Grandma, Pjeturina wrote a poem about it, which we in turn made into a song. We sing and play Icelandic and English folk music. We have both been singing all of our lives and we started working together in 2001, breathing new life into great songs that have been hidden for too long in old recordings and dusty old books.

Iceland has a unique and wonderful folk song heritage, but sadly, it has remained largely hidden from today’s folk, and wider music audiences, both at home and abroad. So we are bringing it into the light for people to enjoy.

We also add new songs to our traditions along the way.

​“FUNI are pioneers in bringing Iceland‘s neglected song tradition appealingly into the light of the 21st century, where hopefully some of Iceland‘s many young musicians will pick up on its possibilities as they have so distinctly in pop and rock.“
Andrew Cronshaw - fROOTS - June 2013

In the past, these songs were usually performed unaccompanied.  Now, we add accompaniments using the traditional Icelandic langspil and fidla (fiðla), guitar, kantele and hammer dulcimer as well as singing in the unique old two part harmony style called tvísöng - 'two song'.

In concerts, we also often accompany our songs with slide shows of old and new photographs, bringing the people and places connected with our songs to life.

Together, we have performed and taught at festivals, concerts, summer schools and on radio and TV in Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA, as well as throughout Iceland and Britain.

1.    Morgunbæn    3:30
2.    Bar svo til í biggðum    3:32
3.    Veroníkukvæði    5:39
4.    Konan blessuð    1:07
5.    Mitt var starfið    1:51
6.    Úti í náttúrunni    1:02
7.    Lilja    3:41
8.    Hættu að gráta hringaná    1:42
9.    Göngur    0:55
10.    Funi    3:01
11.    Gefið Þið mér í staupi strax    2:10
12.    Harðar glímur    1:59
13.    Að minni sálu amar    4:08
14.    Sólin    1:21
15.    Íslenskt vögguljóð    4:13
16.    Mína Þá mundi'eg Þenja vængi út    1:18
17.    Heimi er farið að halla    2:20
18.    Nýárssálmur    4:57

Esquisse - Dual (2007 Bretagne / France) @320

Esquisse is a group of Breton music influenced by many world music. This blend provides an inventive set that makes you want to dance. Enjoy!

01. Donnons l'ame aux rats (4:36)
02. Faut qu' j'arrête (4:49)
03. Splinn (6:33)
04. Et alors (2:31)
05. Le pouce étiré (4:29)
06. Oh non ! (1:40)
07. He's born 1 (2:26)
08. He's born 2 (4:28)
09. He's born 3 (2:16)
10. He's born 4 (6:03)
11. A bas les balais, la cymbale est à rivets (5:21)
12. Bodligan, le lendemain d'hier (6:36)
13. Chouette ton costard ! (4:31)
14. Tu veux un yaourt ? (4:09)
15. Hongrois qu'on danse (4:55)
16. Une grosse faim ? (4:11)

Thomas BADEAU : clarinet, effects, vocals, whistling, Moog
Pierre LE NORMAND : drums, laugh
Vincent MARIN : bombardon, saxophone soprano and tenor, vocal, effects, cow box
François BADEAU : diatonic accordion with a different DNA, vocals, chromatic accordion
Guests :
Olivier CONGAR : bongos, congas
Thérèse LE GLAUNEC : vocals

Monday, January 18, 2016

Giuliano Gabriele - Madre (2015 Italy) [192]

Next to Guliano (voice organ and bagpipes key), the line-up includes Lucia Cremonesi (purple, Calabrian Lira), Eduardo Vessella (frame drums, percussion), Gianfranco De Lisi (bass), John Aquino (acoustic and electric guitar ), Riccardo Bianchi (drums). We are facing a staff collected more than the debut album "Melodeonia", which gives a more cohesive sound, robust and incisive work. A fragment of polyphonic "Ohi What Bell'Aria" (recorded in Pontecorvo in 1950 and included in the collection of sound documents n. 12, edited by Giorgio Nataletti and Luigi Colacicchi Archives of Ethnomusicology of the Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome) , it is singing propitiatory opening the CD, which runs in eleven tracks. Immediately is "Mother" programmatic title track, an expression of despair and expectation, supported by a strong rhythmic and appreciable solismi. The "Tarantella Sannicandro" bride lyricism Gargano turns to rock and aggressive sounds of guitar and electric purple, with drums Vessella always on top. "Ballicrepa" leading queued a "pop-up", performed by the bagpipe amateur (registration is 1953 by Alan Lomax) focuses a text Lucia Cremonesi and a mood of ancient choral spirit, made by the couple host Gabriele Russo (fiddle and Goffredo Degli Esposti (whistle with the drum, Buttafuoco) of the Ensemble Micrologus, A desert rock riff pushes the stunning 'Pregheria de daughters CAD', while "Logic", it requires the power of a tarantella area of ​​Calabria (in which veins show through Irish), featuring the guitar swing Francesco Loccisano. Here then the exciting "Letter from France", memory needed Italian migrant experience, with a construction in which the voice of Gabriel enhances the value of the Text of Fulvio Cocuzzo. The pace up again with "Tammu" already engraved on the debut album, but here happily reinvented, to emphasize the new articulation of the ensemble dell'organettista. The dialect of Modugno "Beddu Tambureddu "takes on the aspect of pinches, while" Memories suspended ", who proceeds on a plant circularity hypnotic rhythm, punctuated by solismi arches, leads us to intro of bagpipes of "Mad-Eye", the paroxysm for impromptu concert dark gloomy drums and orchestrated by the guru Antonio Infantino and his Tarantolati Rotary.

1    Ohi che bell'aria          0:28    
2    Madre          3:43    
3    Tarantella di Sannicandro         4:00    
4    Ballicrepa (feat. Gabriele Russo & Goffredo Degli Espositi)          4:43    
5    Preghiera de glie Cafone (feat. Giuseppe Grassi)         4:01
6    La Logica (feat. Francesco Loccisano)          4:00    
7    Lettera dalla Francia          4:38    
8    Tammù          4:40    
9    Tambureddu         4:47    
10    Memorie Sospese         3:42    
11    Malocchio (feat. Antonio Infantino)     3:24

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sofia Joons, Emma Hardelin, & Meelika Hainsoo - Strand...Rand (2001 Estonia) [320]

Long ago, Swedes settled on the islands and coasts of northwestern Estonia. They farmed, fished, hunted seals, and exerted some amount of cultural influence on nearby Estonian communities. During the 18th century, some of them migrated on to the Ukraine. Because of the isolation, Swedish dialects developed on the islands that were closer to the old Swedish and possibly as understandable to modern Swedes as Estonian is to Finns. Also because of the isolation, the culture survived until the Soviet era, but the Russians were unkind, using one island as a bombing range, for example. Most of the Swedish Estonians left for Sweden or beyond, but some are returning.

Strand... Rand is an album of "Folk chorales and songs from the west coast of Estonia," sung solo a cappella, or with sparse accompaniment, by the sweet but reserved voices of three women: Sofia Joons, from Sweden but with ancestors from Estonia, Emma Härdelin (of Sweden's Triakel and Garmarna), and Estonian singer Meelika Hansoo. The songs and hymns are traditional, and target the island of Vormsi near the mainland; some seem to be composites of songs or texts put to music. The lyrics and credits are printed in Swedish, Estonian, and English, but with no map or text in explanation the songs float in a beautiful, sharp-edged aesthetic haze of isolation. Isolation is the major descriptor. Strand...Rand begins with the sound of waves against the shore and a "field recording" of singing, and proceeds to Joons' solo song from Vormsi, "Emsamt (Alone)." "My milk is as thin as spring water and I haven't got any butter."

Most songs are hymns, actually recorded in churches in Sweden and Estonia. Hainsoo sings a 17th century hymn in Estonian, again from Vormsi, "Kas Sureb nii mu kõige armsan elu?" strumming simply on a kannel, or lap harp; she sings a "See jõulupäev," an unaccompanied Christmas song. But most are in Swedish, most are from 17th and or 18th century sources, and they bring to mind religion as a gentle anchor rock in a relentlessly harsh sea. "Wedding in Cana" is especially eerie and Bergmanesque, with Härdelin on vocals and Triakel's Janne Strömstedt on harmonium. Two tracks have slow but folkier accompaniment by Toivo Sõmer on noted and strummed kannel, and Joons and Hainsoo play hiiukannel, a bowed zither, on "Tvåsamt (Together)," a dance song more spirited than the rest.

Stand...Rand is a beautiful album, pristine and austere, gray weathered buildings on a forested shore. "When the wine of joy should have been poured to remove sorrow, there was nothing but water in the pots. He turns water into wine and shows mercy." - Judith Gennett

Sofia Joons - bowed harp, fiddle, vocals,
Emma Härdelin - vocals,
Meelika Hainsoo - song, lyre, harp,

1.    Prologue    1:47
2.    "Ensamt" / "Alone"    3:17
3.    Beställ om ditt hus    2:13
4.    Kes Jumalat nii laseb teha?    4:06
5.    Ack mitt skepp    2:37
6.    Mig dagen flyr    3:23
7.    Världens frälsare kom här    3:35
8.    See jõulupäev    2:49
9.    En stjärna gick på himlen fram    2:34
10.    Ett bröllop uti Kanan stod    6:08
11.    Kas sureb nii mu kõige armsam elu?    3:07
12.    10 jungfrur    4:07
13.    I himmelen / Neil kõrgustel    4:01
14.    "Tvåsamt" / "Together"    3:52
15.    A boija båne    1:03
16.    Epilogue / Thanks, Ormsö!    4:59

Lõkõriq - Süä kisk (2003 Estonia) [256]

1.      Armuingli
2.      Tuup viina
3.      Ei olõq hullu
4.      Hold'o
5.      Ärki tekke mehekeseq
6.      Hää Tedi
7.      Illos' tükk
8.      Tormilaul
9.      Kohes kõik njooq ninniq jäiq
10.      Liiva Henn
11.      Heljus ja kallus
12.      Lindora 1997
13.      Mõtsruus
14.      Petra
15.      Petüskaup
16.      Rott jürä kapin riiulit
17.      S'oldani märgotus
18.      Mu süä kisk
19.      Hiro

Leegajus - Eesti Rahvalaule Ja Pillilugusid (1979 Estonia) [192]

A1     Kui Mina Hakkan Laulemoi (When My Song I Sing)    
A2     Rädidants (Kerchief Dance)    
A3     Kuule, Kulla Kodoimä (Listen, Listen, Mother Dear)    
A4     Läikuselaul (Harvest Song)    
A5     Kirbuga Kiribusse (To Church With A Flee)    
A6     Pruudivaltser (The Bride A-Waltzing Goes)    
A7     Kiigelaul (A Swing-song)    
A8     Taagepera Polka (The Taagepara Polka)    
A9     Aiamäng (A Garden Round-Game)    
A10     Vana Paabo Polka (Old Paabo's Polka)    
B1     Meesie Peolaul (Men's Festival Song)    
B2     Kul'atamise Laul (Singing As We Stroll)    
B3     Tantsulugu (A Dance Tune)    
B4     Pasunalugu (A Horn Tune)    
B5     Laisad Karjasaatjad (The Lazy Housewife)    
B6     Roopillilugu (A Reed-pipe Tune)    
B7     Karjaselaul (A Herdsgirl's Song)    
B8     Pasunalugu (A Horn Tune)    
B9     Tutu-Lutu, Aja Sarvel (A Horn's Hulloo !)    
B10     Kubjas Ja Teomees (The Serf And The Overseer)    
B11     Tarupillivalss (A Bagpipe Waltz)    
B12     Polka (A Polka)

Ro:Toro - Estonian Bagpipe (2007 Estonia) [224]

The innovative Estonian traditional music band RO:TORO plays mainly traditional bagpipe tunes. The saxophone and percussion instruments add a modern sound to the bagpipes while the underlying soundscape remains primeval and bagpipe-centred. Cätlin Mägi has studied Estonian bagpipe in the UT Viljandi Culture Academy. Sandra Sillamaa has been her student for 10 years. They have developed a magnificent musical understanding of each other. Marko Mägi adds freshness with his saxophone jazz and spices the music up with surprising improvisations. Silver Sepp creates unique sound and rhythm universes playing with water drums and bicycle spokes. Marek Talts on the electric guitar messes it all up – jazz guitar in his hands can suddenly become an electric traditional instrument or something else. The age of Estonian bagpipe music is measured in hundreds of years. The medium age of the members of RO:TORO is 34, they stand firmly in the present day with both of their feet and believe that their music can, at the best of times, cross the border to the future.

Sandra Sillamaa – Estonian bagpipe, whistle, Jew’s harp
Cätlin Mägi – Estonian bagpipe, whistle Jew’s harp
Marko Mägi – soprano and tenor saxophone
Marek Talts – electric guitar
Silver Sepp – bowl and spoke instruments, vocals

1.    Lükata, tõmmata ja Isa labajalg    4:02
2.    Hiidlase vene kamarushka    3:41
3.    Torupillilugu    4:09
4.    Kollane nokamütsiga rändaja    5:30
5.    Mustjala paarisrong    2:30
6.    Nael kummi    2:13
7.    Oh, oh, oh, kui hea...    5:40
8.    Torupilli Jussi labajalg    2:57
9.    Kalamees    4:17
10.    Läbi lillede    3:47
11.    Karjapoisi polka ja Kahuralli polka    2:27
12.    Paras reha    2:34
13.    Pulmamarss    4:53
14.    Isa labajalg    10:34

Guichen Quartet - Mémoire Vive (2002 France) [320]

The great adventure of Guichen Brothers started in 1986 with the creation of Ar Re Yaouank Group. Real shock Breton music of the 1990s with their rock sound, their supercharged energy, they sign mythical songs like "Breizh Positive" or "ha Dall daoned". The Guichen brothers have not lost the contagious energy of this compelling urge to invent other music and literally inflame the public!

Quartet is:
Fred Guichen: diatonic accordion
Jean-charles Guichen: acoustic guitar
Etienne Callac: Bass
David Hopkins: percussion, didjeridu

A note from Hopi (David Hopkins)
Ever since my initiation into Breton music, first with Barzaz, then with Blezi Ruz, et.,I supposed I have always harboured a dream to one day play with the brothers, Fred and Jean-Charles Guichen, whom I first heard with their legendary group Ar Re Youank. Now, after the years, that dream has come true and as an added bonus I have also the great pleasure of playing with the extraordinary bassist Etienne Callac. As they say here, "I take my foot" ..thanks guys!

1.    Ker an Dour - Jig my Pig    5:47
2.    Vide    4:26
3.    Atoll - St Nicodème s Trip    3:08
4.    Radiation    4:11
5.    Gougane    5:34
6.    Min Picks - Paternité    7:22
7.    Mc Bride's    6:07
8.    Mensonge    5:58
9.    Del Castello de Trégarantec - Scott    4:59
10.    Odivi    3:18
11.    Gavotte du Triceratops    4:20
12.    Coude à coude    6:05
13.    G4    4:24

Dazibao - E40 (2007 Belgium) @320

A fresh and original quintet where music means pleasure. Dazibao amazes, breaks the rhythms, knows how to reinvent itself in a single song. Dazibao's music is hard to specify as it approaches a festive ‘euro-oriental' folk atmosphere. The successful fusion of Sophie Cavez and Jonathan de Neck diatonic accordions' intermixes emotions of an extraordinary journey.
Nacreous buttons and bellows create a dance universe and a voluble listening. At the centre of this acoustic universe experienced personalities evolve in already proven paths.

 The second release by this wonderful Belgian ensemble (now a quintet) will
 surely garner as much acclaim as their previous CD, Alma. The diatonic
 accordions of Sophie Cavez and Jonathan de Neck are still in the
 forefront, musically and compositionally, but this 2007 release offers a
 more confident ensemble sound, a little richer in jazz roots while still
 solidly enthralled the folk roots of their region. Exceptional music from
 an exceptional ensemble, once again.

Press from the record label:

 Dazibao's music is hard to specify as it approaches a festive
 'euro-oriental' folk atmosphere. The successful fusion of Sophie Cavez and
 Jonathan de Neck diatonic accordions' intermixes emotions of an
 extraordinary journey.

 Nacreous buttons and bellows create a dance universe and a voluble
 listening. At the centre of this acoustic universe experienced
 personalities evolve in already proven paths.

 This project has already been polished up (Dranouter folkfestival, Flagey,
 Euritmix, Festival de Saint-Chartier, Bozar, Festival d'art de Huy...)
 with Dazibao's first album 'Alma'. It was born from an encounter of the
 diatonic accordions crossbred with some Flamenco touches and eastern
 resonances with slight arabesques and impaired rhythms of the Balkans of
 Karim Baggili's guitar. All this sustained by the numerous percussions
 (darbouka, pandeiro, udu, cajon,...) of Jo Zanders.

 Dazibao is now presenting a brand new repertoire with the release of its
 second album 'E40'! With Emmanuel Baily at the electro-acoustic guitar and
 Vincent Noiret at the double bass. A fresh and original quintet where
 music means pleasure. Dazibao amazes, breaks the rhythms, knows how to
 reinvent itself in a single song. Diatonist seeds' to expose in the wind.

01. Cheesy mum
02. La danse du Bonze
03. Côte Ouest
04. Sylvie
05. Cactus Loco
06. Batman
07. Les survivants
08. L&V
09. La flûte à six schtroumpfs

Sophie Cavez - accordeon diatonique
Jonathan De Neck - accordeon diatonique
Emmanuel Baily - guitare
Jo Zanders - percussions
Vincent Noiret - double bass

Steven De Bruyn - Harmonica
Karoline De La Serna - voice

Dazibao - Alma (2005 Belgium) @VBR-V0

In Dazibao, we have more very talented and musically adventurous Belgians. Perhaps inevitably Didier Laloy is among the list of people thanked in the short album notes. The three elements that make up Dazibao seem to have equally important contributions to make. Firstly there is the lead provided by the diatonic accordeons of Sophie Cavez and Jonathan De Neck. The way these two interplay and interact would make an interesting album in itself, but here they are superbly underpinned by Middle Eastern percussion from Jo Zanders and the assistance of Karim Baggili who alternates North African ud and flamenco guitar. Working within these margins they come up with some very inventive compositions and arrangements. Listen, particulary, to "Avant Après" and you will hear a wide range of shifting rythms,timbres and moods - all within an exhilarating five and a half minutes.

01. L'affaire du pigeon
02. Croc' en franklin
03. Eau-à-tiré
04. Suzanette
05. Alma
06. Avant-après
07. A fond l'épi
08. Il fait mis
09. Tabouret-vache
10. Anneaux de novembre

Karim Baggili: Guitar flamenca, Voice, Ud
Sophie Cavez: Accordion diatonic, Voice
Jonathan De Neck: Accordion diatonic, Voice
Jo Zanders: Percussions
Guest Musicians:
Vincent Noiret: Double bass

Friday, January 15, 2016

Sonerien Du - Frankiz (Bretagne/France 2015) @320

The album was conceived and recorded between December 2014 and March 2015.
Frankiz, in Breton: freedom; The title of the album appeared as an obvious to the musicians of the group after the attacks of the beginning of January, reminding us how to remain vigilant to preserve our freedom of expression, our freedom.
This CD of 13 tracks alternates as usual, between instrumental and songs on subjects often festive and sometimes serious.
The song in Breton composed by Louis-Jacques Suignard which closes the album pays tribute to another artist, Paul Bloas, graphic artist Brest, specialist in ephemeral paintings.
The DVD presents the recording of the set Sonerien Du at the Cyber Fest-Noz at the
festival of Brodeuses, on Sunday, July 13, 2014. It naturally includes all the great classics.

1. Gouel an Erer Kozh 4:38
2. Dans mon jardin 3:59
3. Les Perdrix 4:24
4. Les Points 4:20
5. Ti-tan 4:25
6. Louise 4:52
7. Fromentine 5:24
8. Le Vieux Chêne 4:25
9. Canter Cajun 4:14
10. Le Banquet des Trépassés 4:24
11. Evit ar Re Gozh 5:52
12. Histoires de filles 4:41
13. Frankiz 6:43

Gérard Belbeoch (since 1985) : Drums, percussions, programming, vocals
Dominique Lardic (since 1988) : Electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
Philippe Ferec (since 1995) : Keyboards, accordion, programming, vocals
Chim Cadudal (since 2010) : Scottish bagpipes, biniou kozh, veuze, gaïta, vocals
Julien Tymen (since 2010) : Bombards, flutes, clarinet, vocals
Claude Ziegler (since 2011) : Fiddle, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, vocals
Christophe Runarvot (since 2013) : Bass, vocals

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