Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Brenna Sahatjian - Knotted Orbits (USA - Releases March 15 2018)

Brenna Sahatjian is a Portland, OR based songwriter and musician. She makes original, layered music on cello, dulcimer, and guitar, creating a space of sonic and lyrical complexity with her music. She sings about social justice, personal stories, dreams, anti-capitalism and re-enchantment with the natural world. She is a published poet (Broken Word: Alberta Street Anthology Volume II ) and has written two zines of poetry, Buried Alive and Something Wretched Becomes Beautiful. She has toured all over the US (sometimes on a bicycle!) and her songs often touch on her solo adventures. Her lyrical voice is also shaped by her work over the years on prisoner support, forest defense, youth mentorship, and as a mental health social worker.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Whippersnapper - Tsubo (1987 England) @320

Former Fairport fiddler Dave Swarbrick leads this all-acoustic quartet through its second album (named after the Japanese word for pressure point). The result is exquisitely rendered chamber arrangements of folk forms -- sort of a British variation on Virginia's Trapezoid. 
Swarbrick and Chris Leslie play lovely twin fiddle parts against the guitars and mandolins, and everyone gets to sing at least one moving ballad.

01 - Farewell My Lovely Nancy
02 - The Pride Of Kildare
03 - Rouge and Red Shoes
04 - I Wandered By A Brookside
05 - The Seven Keys
06 - Romanitza
07 - Deneze-soues-doue (on the wall)
08 - Frank Dempsey's Lament and Joy
09 - My Little Fiddle
10 - There's A River

Dave Swarbrick, violin, mandolin, vocals;
Chris Leslie, violin, mandolin, vocals;
Kevin Dempsey, guitar, vocals;
Martin Jenkins, mandocello, mandolin, flute, vocals

Monday, February 26, 2018

Talar - Belle Héloïse [1999 France] @192

'Fest-noz' group from Nantes. The five musicians sign a disc still rooted in the Breton tradition and impregnated with the musical touch which made 'le talar'. Their musics are acoustic, energetic and lively and at the same time they offer an incredible diversity of  themes. Reflecting the creativity of the present Breton musical scene, that new opus gives more than his due to original compositions and new tunes.

01 - An Dro
02 - Rond Paludier
03 - Kost Er Hoat
04 - Valse
05 - Suite De L'oust - Rond
06 - Suite De L'oust - Baleu
07 - Suite De L'oust - Rond
08 - Suite De L'oust - Riqueniée
09 - Scottish
10 - Hantér-Dro
11 - Belle Heloise
12 - Kas-A-Barh
13 - Avant-Deux De Travers

Gwénolé AYOUL : bombardon, oboe
Frédérik BOULEY : fiddle, viola, mandoline
Olivier CAILLON : sax, soprano, biniou, veuze;
Philippe JEGOU : guitar
Erwann TOBIE : accordion, octaver

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Bröselmaschine - Bröselmaschine (1971 Germany) @320

This is a solid folk prog record containing surprisingly varied tracks, sometimes flirting with an Indo/raga rock style, like on the "Schmetterling" track. The lead vocals are shared between a man and a woman: the woman's voice is really very good. The quality of the numerous acoustic string instruments is VERY impressive, in terms of composition, sound and technicality. There are some very charming & childish duct flute-like parts. The bass has a funny carton paper sound. Some moments remind a simpler Mike Oldfield's or even Anthony Phillips' work. There is a long, funny and impressive wah-wah guitar solo on "The Old Man's Song"; the floating mellotron at the end is a very good surprise! There is something wrong with the sound of the metallophone on the last track, like if it came from a mono output lacking surround effect.
~Greenback from Prog Archives~

1. Gedanken 5.06
2. Lassie 5.06
3. Gittarrenstuck 2.03
4. The Old Man's Song 5.26
5. Schmetterling 9.31
6. Nossa Bova 8.06
 Rate This Album Online

Lutz Ringer - Bass, Mellotron
Peter Bursch - Guitar, Vocals, Sitar, Flute
Jenni Schucker - Flute, Vocals
Willi Kissmer - Vocals, Guitar
Mike Hellbach - Congas, Tablas, Mellotron

Al Tall & Muluk El Hwa - Xarq Al-Andalus (1985 Spain/Morroco) @128

by request

A Spanish Arabic fusion. Valencia's leading band meets the powerful Gnawa rhythms of 
Marrakech. In this classic recording Al Tall, the Catalan flamenco outfit, combines with Muluk El-Hwa, a Moroccan Gnawa ensemble. Muluk el-Hwa (The Demon of Love) are a Marrakesh-based Berber group formed by brothers Elaadili and Ben Bich Abderrahim. 

01 - La jove negre-absència (Ibn al-Khafaja / Abú Bak al-Turtuxi / Manolo Miralles)
02 - El viatge de les mans (Ibn al-Khafaja / Vicent Torrent)
03 - Les pigues (Ibn al-labbana / Vicent Torrent)
04 - Nostàlgia (Al Russafi / Vicent Torrent)
05 - Epístola a un amic (Ibon Amira / popular Mallorca / adapt. Manolo Miralles)
06 - La tirania (Ibn al-Khafaja / Muluk el Hwa)
07 - El jardí (Ibn al-Khafaja / Vicent Torrent)
08 - El vailet nadador (Ibn al-Zaqqaq / tradicional andalusí)
09 - La riuada (Ibn al-Khafaja / Vicent Torrent)
10 - Elegia valenciana (Al Russafi / Vicent Torrent)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Whippersnapper - Promises (1985 England) @320

Whippersnapper was an English folk band formed in 1984, consisting of Dave Swarbrick (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Chris Leslie (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Kevin Dempsey (guitar, vocals) and Martin Jenkins (mando-cello, flute, vocals).
Swarbrick left the group in 1989, and the band continued as a trio until 1993, with the only album recorded that line-up being Stories. During that time, Dempsey and Leslie released an album called Always With You as a duo. The band split when Jenkins left the group in 1993. However, they did tour briefly again in 1994.

01 - Whenever
02 - Banks of the Sweet Primroses
03 - An Sean Bhean Bhocht
04 - John Gaudie
05 - One Way Donkey Ride
06 - Hard Times of Old England
07 - Downtown Rodeo
08 - Carolanning
09 - Loving Hannah
10 - Lizzie Wan

Dave Swarbrick: violin, mandolin, vocals
Chris Leslie: violin, mandolin, vocals
Martin Jenkins: mandocello, mandolin, flute, vocals
Kevin Dempsey: guitar, vocals

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hoven Droven - More Happy Momments With... (Sweden 1999) [Folk-Rock] @256

The bad boys of Swedish folk / rock return with more great tunes, original and traditional, infused with brain tickling arrangements and head-banging grooves. On More Happy Moments... the Hammond organ of new member Janne Strömstedt provides a foundation for their great traditional and original tunes featuring the electric fiddle of Kjell-Erik Eriksson. 
On three tracks they are joined by the lovely female voices of Ulrika Bodén and Sofia Sandén (from Rosenberg 7 -- R7). Topping it off, it's an enhanced CD with five extra MP3 tracks and a "home movie" from Home Studios where the record was made.

01. Brekken    3:04
02. Möss och Människor    2:39
03. Vasen    2:56
04. Blinn Ulof    4:03
05. Ottje Pelle    2:46
06. Honing    3:20
07. Farväl alla vänner    5:08
08. Lycklig den som ogifter vore    2:56
09. Mørkertia    3:46
10. Jag for till stan...    3:25
11. Dortea    4:16
12. Myrslåttern    3:01
13. Herr Hillebran    4:22
14. Busters Doppolska    5:06

Bass: Pedro Blom
Drums: Björn Höglund
Fiddle: Kjell-Erik Eriksson
Guitar: Bo Lindberg
Organ, Accordion: Jan Strömstedt
Saxophone: Jens Comén
Trumpet: Gustav Hylén
Vocals: Sofia Sandén (tracks: 5, 8, 13), Stefan Sundström (tracks: 2, 7, 10), Ulrika Bodén (tracks: 5, 8, 13)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sibelius-Akatemian Folk Big Band - FBB (2014 Finland) @256

The strength of the SibA Folk Big Band (FBB) rises from the collective creativity of close to
40 folk musicians. Each member is a player, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, soloist and ensemble musician – as well as a skilled improviser! The orchestra performs without using a conductor or sheet music, with all the members communicating together in each given situation in a dynamic, rhythmic and expressive way, through improvisation and focus. 
Despite our careful research of historical singing and playing styles, we see folk music as something that lives strongly in the present. It doesn’t belong in museums; we live with it
every single day. The FBB is a part of a 10,000-year continuum, and the only way to continue is to keep creating new folk music. The end result is something unprecedented, powerful and contagious – it glows with pride for our own musical traditions!

01 - A-Taklax
02 - Kaivantomiehen Laulu
03 - Omatekopolkka  Vili-Vainaan Polkka  Reepakan Polkka
04 - Laulu Suomessa
05 - Haliasoitto
06 - Konstan Koko Tuotanto 16 Sekunnissa
07 - D-Mollisottiisi
08 - Neijon Valitus
09 - Maria Pohjan Neiti Osa I
10 - Maria Pohjan Neiti Osa II
11 - Vanhalla Nuorisoseuralla
12 - Paimendisko
13 - Ruskova
14 - Metsän Sävel
15 - Promootiokantaatti

Accordion [Five Row] – Juska Ojajärvi, Veikko Muikku
Accordion [Two-And-A-Half-Row] – Leija Lautamaja, Miia Palomäki
Arranged By – FBB* (tracks: 1, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13)
Cittern, Jew's Harp – Petri Prauda
Clarinet – Ine Nord
Double Bass – Anna Landvad, Elina Lappalainen, Mirva Tarvainen
Flute [Månmarkpipa], Sopranino Saxophone, Trumpet [Luikku] – Maija Kauhanen
Guitar – Jussi-Pekka Piirainen, Martin Gripentrog, Matias Tyni, Roope Aarnio
Harmonium – Helmi Camus, Lukas Kristo, Neea Harju
Harp [Folk Harp] – Niamh O'Brien
Kantele – Jutta Rahmel, Maija Pokela, Sarah Palu, Ulla-Sisko Jauhiainen
Nyckelharpa, Stroh Violin – Meriheini Luoto
Percussion – Minna Koskenlahti, Oskari Lehtonen (2), Tatu Viitala
Viola, Jouhikko – Iida Savolainen
Violin – Esko Järvelä, Matti Pitkänen (2), Nelli Ikola, Tero Hyväluoma
Violin, Jouhikko – Ella Isotalo, Nea-Maria Korpelainen, Päivi Hirvonen
Voice – Anette Åkerlund, Charlotta Hagfors, Désirée Saarela-Portin, Mirva Soininen, Noora Kauppila, Sirkka Kosonen, Zane Përkone
Voice, Triangle, Jew's Harp – Amanda Kauranne
Written-By – Trad.* (tracks: 1 to 3, 5, 8, 12, 13)

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