Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Garmarna - Garmarna (2003 Expanded Edition) (Sweden 1993) @320


Adding modern touches to traditionally based Swedish folk music has made Garmarna one of top groups of the Scandinavian Folk resurgence of the '90s. Their debut album, 1994's Vittrad, was nominated for a Swedish Grammy while their second album, 1996's Guds Speleman, received the Swedish Grammy award "Album of the Year." Released in the United States, the album placed high on the CMJ New Music chart. In late 1996, Guds Speleman reached the fifth posotion on a Top 25 list compiled by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Societe-Radio Canada. Their third effort, Vedergällningen (Vengeance), released in March 1999 reached number eight on the European world music chart.

Formed in 1990, Garmarna was inspired by Olov Johansson's musical score for a production of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Initially a trio featuring Gotte Ringqvist, Stefan Brisland-Ferner, and Rickard Westman, the group quickly built a solid local reputation. An interview with a radio reporter following their set at the Umea Folkmusik Festival led to an invitation to perform at a major festival in Autsfred, Sweden. The festival performance proved pivotal. Drummer Jens Hoglin, who was added for the festival, has remained with the group. Audience members included Emma Hardelin, who subsequently joined the band as lead vocalist, and Mats Hammerman, president of the Massproduktion record label, who quickly signed the group. Soon after releasing an EP in 1993, Garmana began touring throughout Sweden. The following year, the band caught the ear of Drew Miller, bassist of Minneapolis-based band Boiled in Lead and the owner of an independant label, Omnium. Impressed by what he heard, Miller signed Garmarna for North American distribution. Their debut album, Vittrad, released in Sweden in April 1994, was reissued as Crumbling Away. Garmarna performed their debut North American tour in March 1995. In Autumn 1996, Garmarna received the prestigious jury's prize, the Iron Gustav Award, for their performance at the Malzhaus Festival in Germany. Garmarna later performed a song by Mats Wester and Py Bäckman at the Eurovision Song Contest. During a tour in 1998, the group performed a collection of songs based on the medieval work of Hildegard von Bingen. Emma Hardelin performed songs by Benny Andersson of ABBA during a show that was broadcast throughout the world on New Year's Eve 1999. Vengeance was issued that same year. A self-titled release also appeared two years later. ~ Craig Harris

This album is a remastered version of their self-titled 1993 debut EP, which has been expanded on CD by the addition of six songs from their 1992 demo.


01 - Lill-Mats Polska
02 - Skenpolska
03 - Jordbyggarlaaten
04 - Herr Olof
05 - Traanpolska
06 - Cow-Call From Haelsingland
07 - Klevabergselden
08 - Garmgny (unreleased bonus track)
09 - Flusspolska (unreleased bonus track)
10 - Maanpolska (unreleased bonus track)
11 - Antiokia (unreleased bonus track)
12 - Skenpolska (unreleased bonus track)
13 - Klevabergselden II (unreleased bonus track)

Bouzouki, Guitar, Guitar [Luteguitar] – Rickard Westman
Double Bass – Björn Eriksson
Guitar [Luteguitar], Violin, Jew's Harp – Gotte Ringqvist
Percussion, Vocals [Death Grunts] – Jens Höglin
Violin, Hurdy Gurdy, Jew's Harp, Viola – Stefan Brisland-Ferner
Vocals, Violin – Emma Härdelin

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sandy Denny - North Star Grassman and The Ravens - 2CD (England 1971) [2011 Deluxe Edition] @320


The North Star Grassman and the Ravens is a 1971 album by English folk rock singer-songwriter Sandy Denny. Built mostly around her own compositions, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens is distinguished by its elusive lyrics and unexpected harmonies.

CD1
01 - Late November
02 - Blackwaterside
03 - The Sea Captain
04 - Down In The Flood
05 - John The Gun
06 - Next Time Around
07 - The Optimist
08 - Let's Jump The Broomstick
09 - Wretched Wilbur
10 - The North Star Grassman and The Ravens
11 - Crazy Lady Blues
12 - Next Time Around (demo)
13 - Walking The Floor Over You (duet with Richard Thompson)
14 - Lord Bateman (instrumental)
15 - If You Saw Thru' My Eyes (duet with Ian Matthews)

CD2
16 - The Sea Captain (demo)
17 - The Optimist (demo)
18 - Wretched Wilbur (demo)
19 - Crazy Lady Blues (demo)
20 - Lord Bateman (demo)
21 - Late November (BBC Session Bob Harris)
22 - The Lowlands of Holland  (BBC Session Bob Harris)
23 - Blackwaterside (BBC Session Sounds on Sunday)
24 - The North Star Grassman and The Ravens (BBC in Concert)
25 - Bruton Town (BBC in Concert)
26 - Next Time Around (BBC in Concert)
27 - John The Gun (BBC in Concert)


Sandy Denny - lead vocals, acoustic guitar (2/3/11), piano (1)
Jerry Donahue - electric guitar (1)
Richard Thompson - electric guitar (1-5/7-9), accordion (2), vocals (4), acoustic guitar (6-7/9-10), bass (7/11)
Trevor Lucas - acoustic guitar (1/5/8)
Buddy Emmons - pedal steel guitar (11)
Pat Donaldson - bass (1-3/8-10)
Tony Reeves - bass (4/6)
Gerry Conway - drums (1-4/6-7/9-11)
Roger Powell - drums (8)
Ian Whiteman - piano (4-8/10-11), flute organ (10)
Barry Dransfield - violin (5)
Royston Wood, Robin Dransfield - backing vocals (5)
Harry Robinson - string arrangements (6/9)

Friday, October 5, 2018

Ivan Kupala - Kostroma [1999 Russia] @320


Ethno-dance-project was formed in 1995 as russian copy of "Deep Forest" on basement of authentic slavic folklore. Three DJs of "Radio Chance", Saint-Petersburg, being impressed by the album "Boheme" of "Deep Forest" started to work in the same direction. In a few years they have prepared material for the 1st album. The folk songs from old vinil discs and recorded during folk-expeditions in the 2nd half of the XX century became a basis for the album.

The path chosen by Ivan Kupala does not imply dance hits conveyor stamping. First you have to dig around in dusty archives, to ride with the recorder on quiet villages, to find old women and old men who can still remember the old tunes, to persuade them to sing all that stuff into the microphone (a fragment of this difficult process is represented at the seventh minute of the final track of the album). Then hard work in the studio, composing instrumental accompaniment for these vocal, which also have problems: in a purely electronic reading the lyrics are not sound. But in order to score all those horns, accordion and rattles into the tone-pot of synth, they must be first learned to play. And only after all of these works you can learn a new program with a concert vocalists.


01. Kupala
02. Kostroma
03. Brovi (Eyebrows)
04. Vinograd (Grapes)
05. Molodost (Youth)
06. Svatochki (Matchmakers)
07. Vorotechki (Gates)
08. Kalyada
09. Kanareyka (Canary)
10. Galya
11. Polosa (Strip)

Ivan Kupala - Radio Nagra [2002 Russia] @320


Ivan Kupala (Midsummer) is a folk pagan festival dedicated to pagan god Kupala, celebrated in Russia, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine. Midsummer is an old tradition of celebrating almost the whole of Europe. Before baptism of Russia celebration was timed to the day of the summer solstice (June 20-22, in the old style of UTC in the III century). After Christianity they began to celebrate the holiday on the birthday of John the Baptist - June 24, old style. With the transition to a new style of date of birth of John the Baptist has moved on 7 July (XX-XXI centuries) as well as the Orthodox Church lives by the old style. According to this fact festival has lost an astronomical solstice line. Ethno-dance-project 'Ivan Kupala' was formed in 1995 as russian copy of "Deep Forest" on basement of authentic slavic folklore. Three DJs of 'Radio Chance', Sanct-Peterburg, being impressed by the album "Boheme" of "Deep Forest" started to work in the same direction. In a few years they have prepared material for the 1st album. Basis for the album were the folk songs from old vinil discs and recorded during folk-expeditions in the 2nd half of the XX century.

"Nagra" is the tape-recorder, which recorded the songs that were used on the album. Grannies were recorded in Russian and Belorussian villages by members of band during folk-expeditions.


01. Pchyoly (Bees)
02. Velik den' (The day is great)
03. V roosche (In the grove)
04. Rosy (Dews)
05. Yascher (Lizard)
06. Pchyoly-2 (Bees-2)
07. Dyatel (Woodpecker)
08. Geo
09. Nana
10. Perepyolka (Quail)

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