Thursday, September 21, 2017

Kornog - Premiére: Music from Brittany (1984 France) @320

In 1980, Jamie McMenemy (ex-famous Battlefield Band from Scotland) met up with guitarist Soïg Siberil and fiddler Christian Lemaître. Under the name Kornog ('west' in Breton), the trio rapidly gained fame in Brittany, before being joined by fourth member Jean-Michel Veillon. 

From then on the Kornog sound was characteristic: dynamic flute and fiddle unisons (totally unprecedented in Breton music) backed by an impresive web of harmony and rythm spun by the bouzouki and guitar, highlighted by Jamie's introductions and his unique arrangements of Scots ballads.

As opposed to the majority of Breton bands of the 1980's, Kornog decided not to play for the traditional dance-band (fest-noz) market, and it was in the concerts circuit that they toured France, then all over Western Europe.

The public's reaction during their first tour in the U.S.A. was so enthusiastic, that the band recorded a live album in Minneapolis ('Premiere') for the american label Green Linnet. Three USA tour followed, and another recording ('Ar seizh avel/On seven Winds'), but, in contrast to this high activity, the absence of a efficient management in Brittany became difficult to endure. Soïg Siberil left the band in 1986, and Kornog was joined by guitarist Gilles Le Bigot.

Just after a new album(Kornog IV) was released, after a tour in Yugoslavia and several concerts with the Chieftains in Brittany, the band split up. Jean-Michel Veillon and Gilles Le Bigot founded Barzaz, Christian Lemaître joined Storvan, then toured as a member of Celtic Fiddle Festival (with Kevin Burke and Johnny Cunningham).

Jamie McMenemy put the bouzouki in the attic... but not for long, as he brilliantly featured in several recordings as soon as 1993 : 'E koad Nizan', 'Swing & Tears', 'La Ballade du Nord-Ouest' (Gérard Delahaye), and as a member of Taxi Mauve and Orion.

Finally, after incessant requests by Herschel Freeman, the band's America agent, Kornog reformed in 1999, this time with the excellent guitarist Nicolas Quemener, ex-Arcady and member of Breton band Skeduz.

1. Dans Loudieg  4:31  
2. The Demon Lover  4:38  
3. Ton Bale / Son Ar Rost  3:38  
4. Dans An Dro  3:04  
5. Jesuitmont  4:52  
6. Ton Bale Mure Ha Dans  4:19  
7. Gwerz Ar Marc'hadourig Bihan / Autrefois Disait Un Guerrier / Ton Dérobée   4:37  
8. Bonnie Jean Cameron  4:04  
9. Laridé / An Dro  3:43  
10. War Hent Kerrigouarc'h / Sheriffmuir  5:17 

Fiddle, Guitar – Christian Lemaître 
Flute, Low Whistle, Bombarde – Jean-Michel Veillon 
Guitar – Soïg Siberil 
Vocals, Bouzouki, Mandolin – Jamie McMenemy 


CrimsonKing said...


Anonymous said...

Hi CrimsonKing.
Excellent. Found lots of good folk on your blog for a long time now as you know, ao music from Brittany. Now one more! Thanks for the music and the inspiration.

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