Friday, July 12, 2019

Alambic - Rue du Sablier (France 2009) @320

With "Rue du sablier", third album of the band, Alambic continues to compose and arrange its own music dedicated to "bal folk": let's dance!

01 - Ballotage Favorable (Scottish Et Polka)
02 - Absinthe Nitouche - La Fee Verte Du Xie (Mazurka)
03 - Paulette Musette (Valse)
04 - Passeur De Bal (Rond De L'onde)
05 - La Souris Verte - Croix De Chav' - Mind De Gap (Reel)
06 - En Attendant (Valse)
07 - Arc En Lune - La Grande Bleue (Scottish)
08 - Quadratures (Cercle Circassien)
09 - Benedicte (Mazurka)
10 - La Rue Du Sablier 1 (Suite De Gavottes)
11 - La Rue Ue Du Sablier 2 (Suite De Gavottes)

Jean-Pierre AUFORT : violin
Julien COUPEY : wooden flute
Rémy MASSE : guitar
Lionel TESSIER : percussions, bouzouki
Vladimir TORRES : bass, double bass
Bruno MINAIR : electric guitar

Sver - Fruen (2010 Norway) @320

Olav Luksengård Mjelva (fiddle, hardangerfiddle and viola);
Vidar Berge (Guitars, harmonica, mandola);
Leif I. Ranøien (squeezebox/ 2-row accoridion);
Anders Hall (fiddle, hardangerfiddle and viola);
Jens Linell (drums and percussion)

1. Kjostadlek (bergmannstrøyst) (pols Røros)
2. Fruen
3. Storhurven (logikk På Røros) (pols Røros)
4. Fossegrimen (halling Telemark)
5. Gorrlaus Gangar (gangar Setesdal)
6. St. Croix
7. Akkar
8. Pang! (indre Opprør På Standplass)
9. Fjompen
10. Jonas' Minne
11. Kømmen Frå Kongsvinger/kongo (ein Helvetes Pedagog) (pols Røros/sver)

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Bivoac - Bivoac en concert (2007 France/Bretagne) @320

Jazz and folk: this is a particular hybrid that, when it works, creates its own mood. Certainly the ECM label is the most recognized purveyor of this variety of border-crossing; and there are other worthwhile experiments to be found (Ronan Guilfoyle's Lingua Franca are one, and Pat Metheny and Anna Maria Jopek's recent Upojenie project both spring to mind). Bivoac are a new trio from Brittany that kick up a spectacular, jazz-drenched folk sound. The listener catches hints of the Breton tradition. None of the tunes are traditional, but written in accordance with folk forms (bourrees, hanter-dro, double plinn). Bivoac also have an affinity for the kind of improvisation one might expect to hear in French café culture.

I'm never a fan of live recordings, because too often I feel like a voyeur at a party. But live recordings allow bands to do several things: 1.) demonstrate genuine chops; 2.) show that they can have a good time live, even if you weren't there; and 3.) document their relationship with the audience. On Bivoac's recording, the audience does little more than express appreciation and some polite applause and hooting. But the musical chops are, indeed, much more in evidence. The album begins with 'John's Bourrees,' a tune begun on Ronan Le Gourierec's shrill bombard. Raphael Chevalier joins in on violin, and together with Ronan Robert's accordion work, they allow themselves to catch fire. In fact, Le Gourierec penned "John's Bourrees" with John Coltrane's modal compositions in mind.

'J'ai Perdu Ma Montre' finds the band motoring along behind Robert's pumping accordion: the tune is a 'ridees 6 temps,' and the lyrics convey a sense of modernist absurdity: "I lost my watch!...," which fits well with the cyclical, incessant melody. Elsewhere, I am particularly fond of the slow bombard during 'Les Pains Penauds/Patate Douce' and the tune's lovely denouement. Jackanapes emerge on a song such as "La Fille Nicole," where the vocal fun borders on the annoying; but when the band honks and screeches through 'Plinn-Pong "La Belle,"' they're mining gold. The call-and-response so characteristic of Breton music pits vocals against the echoing music, at times reminiscent of drunk kazoo players, on "La Femme Que J'Aime," before the brass machine gasps its last. For a trio, Bivoac are one big band. 
Lee Blackstone

Ronan Robert - accordéon diatonique / chant
Ronan Le Gourierec - bombarde / saxophone baryton
RaphaëL ChevaLier - violon / banjo

1. John's Bourrées (7:15)     
2. Succulences (4:31)     
3. J'ai perdu ma montre (6:22)     
4. Une luciole dans l'potage (7:56)     
5. La fille Nicole (5:45)     
6. Le pôle K / Mais que fait le pôle X (4:06)     
7. Les pains penauds / Patate douce (4:46)     
8. Plinn-pong la belle (5:39)     
9. La femme que j'aime (8:34)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Gay & Terry Woods - Tender Hooks (Ireland 1978) @320

Even in 1978, Steeleye Span were just a memory for Gay Woods and husband Terry. They had left after just one album and started The Woods Band using material they had written together. Unfortunately, after only the same output – one album, they disbanded and the husband and wife team was left to their own devices. After a time of living on their farm in Ireland they returned to the studio as a duo and enjoyed their most creative and successful musical phase. ‘Tender Hooks’ comes out of this mid-seventies time and given the styles around then, it is a wonder it was not a much bigger commercial success even than it was. In the same year as its release, Renaissance had a hit with ‘Northern Lights’ – a song not too
dissimilar to some of the material on ‘Tender Hooks’.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is possible to see why the album was so well acclaimed. The two had a wide repertoire of distinct musical styles to draw on, all of which were popular in that time and now make us folk of a certain age a touch wistful for what has passed. The album opens with ‘We Can Work This One Out’ – a song you will be singing long after the album is put away. It’s one of the most catchy and easy to listen to and the mixing on the album brings Gay’s voice to the front. It’s a very commercial sound. After that ‘Friends of Mine’ changes style with the emphasis on acoustic guitar. Likewise with ‘Full Moon’ it’s very much of it’s era. Terry takes vocals on ‘I’ve a Lady’ – a much more upbeat number and does it comfortably with backing vocals from Gay. ‘The Reward’ is much folkier and a bit like what you would expect nowadays – lovely vocals and a tune that stretches Gay and shows what a fine disciplined singer she had become.

Nick Clark

01. We Can Work This One Out (3.19)
02. Friends of Mine (3.14)
03. Full Moon (2.43)
04. I've a Lady (2.23)
05. The Reward (3.03)
06. I Won't Believe It (2.54)
07. Dream Come True (2.11)
08. Piece of Summer (2.21)
09. Lonesome Blues (3.45)
10. Heart of Stone (4.38)

Gay Woods: dulcimer, autoharp, vocals & harmony vocals;
Terry Woods: acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, banjo, vocals & harmony vocals;
Phil Palmer: lead guitar & 12-string guitar;
Jim Russell: drums;
Kate McGarrigle: piano & harmony vocals [6, 10];
Pat Donaldson: bass & harmony vocals [10];
Keith Donald: alto saxophone;
Martin O'Connor: accordion;
Neil Toner: mandolin;
Fran Breen: percussion;
Jolyon Jackson: organ & cello

The Woods Band - The Woods Band (Ireland 1971) @320

The Woods Band was an Irish folk-rock band formed in 1970 by husband and wife team Gay & Terry Woods, shortly after their departure from Steeleye Span. The band played and recorded for four years before evolving into Gay & Terry Woods. In 2001, Terry Woods formed a new band and named it The Woods Band, which performed and recorded through 2003.

01 - Noisey Johnny
02 - Dreams
03 - January's Snows
04 - Lament And Jig
05 - Over The Bar
06 - As I Roved Out
07 - Promises
08 - Everytime

Terry Woods: mandola, concertina, acoustic, electric & bass guitars, vocals;
Gay Woods: concertina, autoharp, dulcimer, bodhrán, vocals;
Ed Deane: electric, acoustic, slide & bass guitars, harpsichord;
Pat Nash: drums, vocals
Thanks to:
Tony Reeves: bass guitar [1, 8];
Austin Corcoran: acoustic guitar [2], bass guitar [6-7];
John Ryan: organ [4, 6], piano [7-8].

Monday, June 24, 2019

Les Mains Baladeuses - Les Mains Baladeuses (France 2015) @320

Fabien Bucher: guitare, mandoline
Fabrice Kieffer: accordéon chromatique, vielle à roue
Pol Small: rik, daf, derbouka

1. Bourrée Nikriz
2. Parquet surprise
3. Toulouze Blouze
4. Premiers pas
5. Valse de Fabrice
6. Transe frontalière
7. Mazurka des lucioles
8. Polska efter pal karl Persson
9. Scottish gitane
10. Bourrée Mixolydienne

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Naragonia - Tandem (2005 Belgium) @320

Naragonia :
Pascale Rubens (accordéon, violon, voix, xylophone)
Toon Van Mierlo (Cornemuses, uillean pipes, flutes, clarinettes, accordéon)

Invités :
Grégory Jolivet (vielle)
Philip Masure (guitare)

01. Martin-Pêcheur / Pink Molly         4:33
02. Le beau rosier         3:25
03. Le P'tit camée         4:01
04. Andanças / Shake Hans / Le petit Tarré         4:03
05. Alio         3:14
06. Jean Sucré / La minute         4:01
07. Evening Glory         3:45
08. Zebus / The blach Stork         4:14
09. Jeanne en Augustin         3:30
10. Boa's Tune         2:32
11. Le soldat chez sa mère         2:59
12. Dos Galôes         3:01

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting & Nancy Kerr - Murmurs (England 2015) @320

It’s one of the strengths of the current British folk scene that its leading musicians keep regrouping in different bands. So after False Lights and Leveret comes this distinguished new trio, in which guitar hero Martin Simpson teams up with singer and fiddle-player Nancy Kerr and squeezebox star Andy Cutting. They are all fine soloists and accompanists, and the result is varied set dominated by new songs about politics, history and nature. It starts with Dark Swift and Bright Swallow, a poignant, atmospheric piece by Simpson matching stories of bird-watching and wartime tragedy, and is followed a jaunty, accordion-led American String Band instrumental and the first of Kerr’s ecological warning ballads. The traditional songs include Simpson’s thoughtful treatment of The Plains of Waterloo, the instrumentals include Cutting’s melodic and elegant Seven Years, while the finale is a bluesy reworking of Lal Waterson’s Some Old Salty.
01. Dark Swift & Bright Swallow
02. Richmond Cotillion
03. Dark Honey
04. Fair Rosamund
05. Gather The Owls, Train On The Island
06. Toy Soldiers
07. Cruel Mother
08. Seven Years
09. The Plains Of Waterloo
10. Lads Of Alnwick
11. Not Even The Ground, Two Ladies
12. Some Old Salty

Friday, June 21, 2019

Leveret - In the Round (England 2016) @320

Leveret – an instrumental folk trio whose pedigree, should it be listed, would read like a condensed who’s who/family tree of English folk music.  Their second album comes  exactly a year since their ‘New Anything’ debut  (almost unheard of in this day and age) as a result of not so much a radical but a slightly different approach to recording. Nothing wrong with taking a risk, especially when it pays off.

01 - The Good Old Way
02 - The Rising Sun
03 - Dundas
04 - Namptwich Fair - Rose Howard
05 - Not Basingstoke
06 - Glory Of The Sun - The Road To Poynton
07 - Grinders - Solomon's Joak
08 - Miss Wright's Fancy
09 - An Italian Rant
10 - The Height of Cader Idris - Jack a Lent

Andy Cutting: diatonic button accordion, melodeon;
Sam Sweeney: violin, viola;
Rob Harbron: English concertina

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Topette!! - C'est Le Pompon... (England / France 2017) @320

With a ready-punctuated name and an appealingly simple approach to graphics, Topette!! would be immediately memorable even if their music was not so captivating. Born out of the friendship of five musicians playing Anglo-French music, they claim to be principally a dance band but they are just as good for listening. Andy Cutting on button box and Barny Stradling on bass are well known to English audiences, while Julien Cartonnet and Tania Buisse come from the French "bal folk" scene. Fiddler James Delarre is a new name to me, but has worked with Saul Rose and Mawkin among others. Together they produce a powerful and propelling sound, Cartonnet on Central French pipes and tenor banjo boosting the melody, Buisse adding bodhran and some choice French vulgarities to the rhythm section of bowel-shaking bass and Cutting's "warm bottom end" - according to the website which has videos and more details.
Bourrées and polkas, waltzes and schottisches, old English dances and new Swedish hornpipes, this is mostly dance music, but not really played for dancing - no chords to start, no once to yourself, no "bisez-vous" at the end. C'est le Pompon is more of a taster, a sampler, and a damn good one at that. You could dance to most tracks - Stradling's The Punisher in 5/4 might be a challenge, and Cartonnet's Opus Lent while technically a waltz is not really designed for dancing, but the rest is certainly suitable for a bal folk. There are some cracking melodies here too: my favourites include Cutting's Ricer, which now has a sequel, and the traditional Polka de Glux which is also on accordionist Seb Lagrange's new album, as well as a pair of delightful tunes by Blowzabella gurdyman Gregory Jolivet. Available to download from Bandcamp, or as a physical CD, this is an extremely enjoyable recording.
© © Alex Monaghan

Andy Cutting - Diatonic Accordion
Julien Cartonnet - French pipes, Banjo
James Delarre - Violin
Barnaby Stradling - Acoustic Bass
Tania Buisse - Bodhran, Feet

1. Venture (3:10)    
2. There We Are Then / Unknown Ditty (4:26)    
3. Bourrée morvandelle / La Lustrée (3:50)    
4. Balfour Road / Old Molly Oxford (5:23)    
5. Polkas de Glux & de Chevroux (3:27)    
6. La Pause (4:23)    
7. Ricer (3:39)    
8. Meatballs, Whiskey & Beer (6:12)    
9. The Punisher / Spot’s Tail (5:06)    
10. Hamouda / Droneless (3:28)
11. La Belle sur le navire / Bourrée des cochettes (3:43)    
12. Sunshine / Scottish Urbaine (4:31)    
13. Opus Lent (6:00)    
14.[untitled] (0:25)

Friday, June 14, 2019

Leveret - New Anything (England 2015) @320

Leveret is a new trio featuring three of England's top instrumentalists - Andy Cutting, Sam
Sweeney (Bellowhead) and Rob Harbron (The Full English). All three are well known for their work with numerous artists and bands - listeners will have heard at least one of them along the way, and probably all three - but you will never have heard them like this before: 
playing music for its own sake, spontaneously and in the moment. There are no arrangements - the trio's music is built entirely on listening, understanding and trust. Over several years of working together on various projects, Sam and Rob had built up an extensive repertoire of tunes that they'd unearthed from manuscripts and tune books. Both had played with Andy occasionally along the way, and when all three of them were playing with Fay Hield's Hurricane Party the idea of doing some playing as a trio seemed compelling. They spent a weekend in Sam's house sharing repertoire and promptly booked a tour of small venues. A few months later they found themselves in the beautiful Red Kite Studio in Wales recording this album. After a couple of days of getting played in, the CD was recorded live in one room, in one day. In most bands, arrangements are fixed - tunes are played the same number of times through, players often play the same parts and so on. For this band, it feels entirely natural for all the decisions about the music to be made in real time; each piece is played as new and no two gigs will sound the same. Yet the sound is clear and coherent, balanced and focused - three distinct musicians speaking as one voice. The 
English tradition has not always valued its instrumental repertoire as highly as some of 
our neighbours - there are only a handful of recordings of source players - and yet the 
tunes are there in their thousands. This album comes at a time when there is a growing 
interest in instrumental music; it doesn't always fit into what has come to be known as 
'the English style' but it's without doubt a current and contemporary recording of English 
repertoire by three top-notch instrumentalists with deep roots in the tradition.

01 - Bagpipers (4.58)
02 - Gallons of Cognac (3.15)
03 - Northern Lass / The Kings' Barrows (5.45)
04 - Jenny Pluck Pears (4.46)
05 - It's a Square Word / Cossack Square (3.46)
06 - Sylvia's Serenade / Blew Bell Hornpipe (6.12)
07 - Milford (3.10)
08 - New Anything / St Catherine (4.52)
09 - Glorishears / Foul Weather Call (4.59)
10 - Upon a Summer's Day / Abbots Bromley Horn Dance (6.24)
11 - Whitefriar's Hornpipe / Purlongs (4.44)

Andy Cutting: diatonic button accordion, melodeon;
Sam Sweeney: violin, viola;
Rob Harbron: English concertina

Left Blank's Compil Folk 58

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Duncan Chisholm - Redpoint [1997 Scotland] @320

The seminal album from Duncan Chisholm.

1997’s Redpoint is regarded in terms of fiddle recordings as a modern classic. Recorded at
Phil Cunningham’s Aigas studio this album has a classical flavour yet is deeply rooted in
Highland fiddle tradition.

This album set Duncan on the road to being regarded as one of Scotland’s finest fiddle
exponents and still holds as a great example of the strength and beauty that Highland music

01 - The Rose Of St Magnus
02 - The Congress Set
03 - Lady Ramsay
04 - Asleep At The Wheel
05 - Leaving Stoer
06 - Kirkhill
07 - Moonlight On Loch Ness
08 - Marnie Swanson Set
09 - The Lady Of Ardross

Acoustic Guitar – Ivan Drever (tracks: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6), Stuart Eaglesham (tracks: 2, 8)
Fiddle – Duncan Chisholm
Percussion – Graham Willoughby
Piano – Andy Thorburn (tracks: 8)
Piano, Keyboards, Whistle, Harmonica, Accordion – Phil Cunningham (2)

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Bon Débarras - Errance (Canada 2013) @320

Bon Débarras unites the worlds of music, dance and poetry through a collaboration between Montreal artists Dominic Desrochers, Jean-François Dumas and Marie-Pierre Lecault. The group brings together a fusion of Quebecois folk music, traditional step-dancing and global influences, for a show that is full of fun and inventive energy. On guitar, banjo, violin and harmonica, the trio opens a door to their recollections of America and their music is at the intersection of various traditions. Bon Débarras’ energy taps into the rhythms of today and ventures boldly on the multi-faceted road to tomorrow’s dreams, in an atmosphere that transcends boundaries and ages.

1.Le Reel Facile 04:09
2.Ô yaille! 03:49
3.Tombouctouche 03:45
4.Chanson du Forçat (introduction) 01:41
5.Chanson du Forçat 02:57
6.Vagancia 04:14
7.La vie du bon côté 05:07
8.Ti-Galop pour la Pointe-aux-Pins 04:24
9.Lettre à mon père 04:12
10.Bercitude 05:15
11.Le temps passe 06:29
12.Valse de l'infinitif 03:27

Dominic Desrochers : vocals, guitar, washboard, tres, ukulele, harmonica, jaws’ harp, triangle, jig, body percussion
Jean-François Dumas : vocals, banjo, guitar, podorythmie, harmonica, cajón, jaw’s harp, triangle, body percussion
Cédric Dind-Lavoie : vocals, doublebass, handsaw, body percussion

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Kornog - Korong (2000 France) @320

In the northwest of France lies the province of Brittany, where a unique Celtic culture has
flourished for centuries. Nearly twenty years ago, Kornog merged traditional Breton tunes with a Scottish vocal repertoire, creating an exciting new acoustic music. The quartet’s complex arrangements result in a style quite unlike any other, at once graceful and thrilling, ancient and contemporary.

Now, fiddler Christian Lemaitre (Celtic Fiddle Festival), flutist Jean-Michel Veillon, vocalist/bouzouki player Jamie McMenemy and new guitarist Nicolas Quemener (Arcady) bring us Kornog’s first recording in over a decade. Named for a river near the recording studio in Brittany, Korong is not a misprint but a playful anagram, and like its namesake, it travels deep into the heart of Brittany’s musical landscape.

01 - Ridée/Tour  2:05
02 - Laridé/Kejaj  2:12
03 - Gavotte Pourlet/Laridé-Gavotte  1:50
04 - Child Noryce  3:29
05 - Là-Bas Dans La Prairie/Ronds De Saint-Vincent  4:42
06 - The Braes O' Killiecrankie  3:28
07 - Air Pour FAire Pleurer La Mariée/Gavottes  3:52
08 - Gwriziad Difennet  2:36
09 - Gouel Hollvedel  1:45
10 - Feunteun Zen  1:22
11 - La Belle Eléonore/Les Filles De Saillé  4:07
12 - Lassie Wi' The Yellow Coatie  2:49
13 - Ar Plac'h Diw Wech Eureujet/Dans Fisel  4:04
14 - Thessaloniki Taxi  2:32
15 - Kolo Stara Vlajna  2:45
16 - For A New Baby  3:22
17 - Al Letanant Schmitt O Kimiadin Ar 5Ved Kompagnunez  2:11
18 - Dans Plinn  3:52

Fiddle, Viola – Christian Lemaître
Flute, Low Whistle, Bombarde – Jean-Michel Veillon
Guitar, Vocals – Nicolas Quemener
Viola – Jacky Molard (tracks: 14, 15)
Vocals, Bouzouki, Mandolin – Jamie McMenemy

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Oisín - Bealoideas (1978 Ireland) @224VBR

Bealoideas (Tradition) is Oisín's second 1978 album and concentrates on their vocal work. Here the songs come from the oral tradition, hence the title. Peata Beag do Mhathair is a stunning opener where Geraldine and the band work in perfect tandem. The Bonny Irish Maid is another example of the restraint Oisín were capable of when necessary on such a beautiful piece. Mick Davis' The Cow ate the Piper adds a humorous note while Brian and Tom McDonagh tackle The Gold Ring with great skill. Musically muscular on the Star of Munster and The Providence, their tightness and attack is good enough to move mountains. 
Oisín could really deliver still nothing less than a masterpiece.
~John O'Regan

01 - A1. Peata Beag Do Mhathair  2:20
02 - A2. The Star Of Munster (Reel)  3:10
03 - A3. The Cow Ate The Piper  4:04
04 - A4. The Gold Ring  2:30
05 - A5. The Bonny Irish Maid  5:16
06 - B1. The Rambling Soldier  3:00
07 - B2. The Irish Girl  3:10
08 - B3. The Orphan / Tobin's Favourite (Jigs)  3:10
09 - B4. Fear An Bhata  4:25
10 - B5. The Providence / Cooley's / The Moibhin (Reels)  4:10

Geraldine McGowan: vocals, bodhrán
Tom McDonagh: bouzouki
Mick Davis: fiddle
Brian McDonagh: mandolin, guitar
Seamus McGowan: guitar, vocals
Paul Brady: guitar, whistle, harmonium

Friday, May 31, 2019

Oisín - Oisín (1976 Ireland)

This 70s Irish folk group comprised Geraldine MacGowan (b. Dublin, Eire; vocals, bodhran) and, joining in the early 80s, Anne Conroy (accordion). Oisín’s 1987Winds Of Change, on Tara Records, was largely credited to MacGowan and Conroy but were supplemented by Davy Spillane (uillean pipes, low whistle), Tom McDonagh (bouzouki), Brian O’Connor (flute, whistle), Maire Bhreathnach (fiddle), Gerry O’Connor (fiddle), Steve Cooney (bass, synthesizer), Noel Bridgeman (percussion), and Shay MacGowan (vocals, guitar).

In the 80s MacGowan, with her husband Shay, opened an Irish pub and music venue in Hannover, Germany. She continues to peform and record into the new millennium. In 1990 Conroy married the respected accordianist, Joe Burke (b. 1939), and togther they perform as a duo.

01 - A1 - Doherty's Jig / Donnybrook Fair
02 - A2 - Geordie
03 - A3 - The Old Grey Goose
04 - A4 - I Was A Young Man
05 - A5 - Oh Ro My Johnny / Terry's Travels
06 - B1 - Farewell To Nova Scotia
07 - B2 - The Maple Leaf / Man Of Arran
08 - B3 - The Peeler And The Goat / The Humours Of Whiskey (Guitar – Paul Brady)
09 - B4 - The Walk Of The Fiddlers Bride
10 - B5 - Love Is Teasing
11 - B6 - Cherish The Ladies

Bouzouki – Tom McDonagh
Fiddle, Vocals – Mick Davis
Guitar, Vocals – Seamus McGowan
Mandolin – Brian McDonagh
Producer – Paul Brady
Recorded By – Paul Waldron
Recorder, Vocals, Bodhrán – Geraldine McGowan

Geraldine MacGowan Band - Somewhere Along the Road (2004 Ireland)

This long awaited recording from the Geraldine Mac Gowan Band is a rare and beautiful collection of songs from the vaults of Irish Tradition to the wealth of modern-day storytellers, together with newly written compositions from long time collaborator Brian O’Connor, all delivered with the confidence and grace of a true musical traveller.

01 - Lover In Erin
02 - Someone I Used To Love
03 - Midnight Ladies And The Diet Reel
04 - Go From My Window
05 - The Pretty Little Pistols
06 - Dimming Of The Day
07 - Back Smiling Again
08 - The Lark In The Morning (The High Walls Of Derry)
09 - Border Town
10 - Maggies Mushy Peas And The Down Jig
11 - Somewhere Along The Road

Geraldine Mac Gowan: vocals
Brian O’Connor: whistle, low whistle & vocals
Eamonn de Barra: piano, bodhran & vocals
Shane McGowan: guitars, bass & vocals
Cormac de Barra: irish harp
Wayne Sheahy: percussion

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Geraldine MacGowan & Friends - Reconciliation (1995 Ireland)

The one-time singer in the band Oisin touches you with ballads and folksongs of feeling, traditional consciousness without schmaltz or pathos. With a heart warming voice, she sings poetic traditionals and contemporary songs including two compositions by her guitarist and previous Oisin colleague, Chris Jones. Swinging instrumentals in which Brian O’Connor proves his talent on flute and tin whistle, beautifully supplement the softest vocal pieces of Geraldine MacGowan.”A moving and fine album, oozing with substence and style.” 
(Hot Press Magazine)

01. West Coast Of Clare 5:28
02. Jealousy 3:58
03. Whatever Goes Around Comes Around 4:22
04. Rottweilers Set-The Groves-Caislean An Oir 5:47
05. Never Get Enough Of You 4:36
06. Angel Of Paradise 3:59
07. Bonnie And Cloyde Set - Boyles-The Fisher 4:44
08. The Lowlands Of Holland 5:01
09. Liffey Banks-Spike Island Lassies 4:30
10. Reconciliation 5:12
11. Whatever Goes Around Comes Around (reprise) 2:09

Geraldine Mac Gowan: Vocals.
Chris Jones: Guitars, Sequencer Programming, Vocals.
Brian O'Connor: Flute, Tin Whistle, Synth Bass on track 1
Shay Mac Gowan: Vocals.
Johannes Eichenauer: Keyboards.
Frieder Gottwald: Bass.
Michael Witzel: Percussion.
Frank Mulcahy: Accordion.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Battlefield Band - Scottish Folk - Farewell to Nova Scotia (1976 Scotland) @320

Farewell to Nova Scotia is Battlefield Band's debut (studio) album. It was first released on LP in 1976 on the Breton label Arfolk as Scottish Folk and on the Escalibur label as Volume I - Farewell to Nova Scotia
A1 - Richmond - Le Reel Du Pendu  2:33
A2 - Farewell To Nova Scotia  4:20
A3 - Denis Murphy's Slide  2:33
A4 - The Bonny Whaling Laddie  5:15
A5 - The Bonny Wee Lassie Who Never Said No  3:13
A6 - Pipe Tunes  6:10
B1 - The Rybuck Shearer  4:45
B2 - The Fourposter Bed - Staten Island - Colonel Rodney  3:07
B3 - The Back O'Benachie  5:05
B4 - Revie's Reel - Mary McMahon  2:50
B5 - The Forfar Sodger  3:13
B6 - Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore  5:37

Brian McNeill: fiddle, vocals
Alan Reid: keyboards, vocals
Ricky Starrs: guitar, mandolin, vocals

Kentigern - Kentigern (1979 Scotland) @VBR192

Kentigern was a group formed in 1978 out of a regular session at the Victoria Bar, Glasgow. 
This was a band who realised the increased range of variation which could be achieved by having more members, at a time when larger groups were relatively uncommon. This put them at the forefront of a musical development which increasingly saw individual band members being given opportunities to lead sets or take solo numbers, thus helping to inspire many others.
A1 - Culen Bay-Jig O' Slurs-Seagull  4:19
A2 - The Corncrake  3:57
A3 - Breton Tunes-Greenwoodside  3:52
A4 - The Weary Farmers  2:30
A5 - Pipe Major Donald McLean Of Lewis-The Weavers Of Newley-Kail And Pudding-Loch Roag  3:28
A6 - The Iron Horse  2:20
B1 - The Last O' The Tinkler  4:18
B2 - Rathven Market-The Conundrum  3:03
B3 - Gin I Were Shot O' Her  2:08
B4 - Hebridean Air-The Braes Of Tulimet-The Braes Of Mellinish  3:35
B5 - Wild Roving No More  4:30
B6 - Put Me In The Great Chest-The Three Peaks Of South Uist-South Uist  2:23

Jim Barnes: cittern, guitar, vocals;
Sylvia Barnes: vocals, dulcimer, guitar, bodhrán;
John Gagahan: whistle;
Jimmy McGuire: fiddle, banjo;
Dougie Pincock: pipes, whistle;
Sandy Stanage: cittern, guitar, banjo

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Huldreslåt - Vallfärd Och Viljevandring (Argentina/Sweden 2015) @VBR

We are Huldreslåt, a Swedish-Argentine trio that perform Nordic Folk music with a particular taste of the Baltic island of ‪Öland‬.

01 - Genklang Från Det Förflutna (intro)
02 - Käringen På Barnsöl
03 - Plötslight En Da (En Hyllning Till Allan Edwall)
04 - Böl-Olles Schottis
05 - Bryggstolen Går
06 - Johannas Blonsterkrans / Vägen Till Punkahaju
07 - Infirmus - När Du Blifwer Sjuk
08 - Kajsas Vaggvisa
09 - Vallfärd
10 - En Midsommarnattsdröm
11 - Barnsull
12 - Alvarsången
13 - Änderäle (outro)

Johanna Ribnikov Gunnarsson – Vocals, Mungiga, Kulning.
Sergio Ribnikov Gunnarsson – Vocals, Guitar & EADGBE Guitar, Irish Bouzouki, Härjedalspipa, Vevlira.
Martín Fuchinecco - Fiddle, Kantele, Accordion, Säckpipa, Guitar, Nyckelharpa. 

Duo TTC - Aux objets trouvés (France 2013) @320

The chromatic accordion is one of the most common instrument in the world ; it is also an instrument emblematic of France. However, it remains marginal in the revival of the music, trad, especially compared to its little brother, the diatonic accordion. Tiennet Simonnin and Thomas Restoin provide a duo a little against the current in the world of trad ! Side directory, it is a sacred recipe : a good dose of compositions, a sprinkling of traditional tunes, a touch of musette, sprinkled with jazz, variety, and even disco. In short, everything (or almost) goes ! Innovative approach ? Not really : the " old " collected in the course of the Twentieth century passed without resort to a jam-packed traditional to a hit song of 1900... With the duo TTC, Tiennet and Thomas adhere to the vision of things : the trad yes, but yes also to all the musics that surround us today, as long as it makes good music to dance to ! Surprises guaranteed...

1. Louisette / Les harcouettes
2. Aux objets trouvés
3. La folkia
4. Pull the knife and stick it again.....
5. Namu
6. Léon la lune
7. La menteuse / Tout feu tout flamme
8. Flâneuse
9. California roll / Captain courageous
10. Sur le fil
11. Danse macabre / Capitaine Flam

Thomas RESTOIN : accordéon chromatique, accordina
Tiennet SIMONNIN : accordéon chromatique, whistle
Invités :
Rachel AVERLY : flûte traversière
Anne-Lise FOY : chant
Johan JACQUEMOUD : contrebasse
Stéphane MAUCHAND : cornemuses 16 et 20 pouces

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Vilsevind - Dag o Natt (Argentina/Sweden 2019) @320

Vilsevind is the new band of Sergio and Johanna Ribnikov Gunnarsson (ex Huldreslåt). The name (pronounced Vílsevind) means "errant wind" in Swedish and describes the essence of his music perfectly: a musical journey on the back of the boreal winds, crossing the seas of the North in search of new horizons. Founded in the year 2017 by the Argentine Sergio Ribnikov Gunnarsson and the Swedish Johanna Ribnikov Gunnarsson, their music can be categorized as Swedish folk (Nordic folk, Scandinavian folk) and shares many characteristics with Celtic music and fantasy / epic movie music.

01. Ingång: dag 02:06
02. Fuego 03:05
03. Ödeblues 04:05
04. Flat White / Elfshot 03:50
05. Thorsten fiskare 06:14
06. Majsol 05:06
07. Törnetaggsnår 03:50
08. Virvelsinn 05:36
09. Kalabalik 04:02
10. Tusentals färdas 04:34
11. Utgång: natt 02:37
12. Oración (Bonus Track) 05:00

Johanna Ribnikov Gunnarsson – Vocals, Concertina.
Sergio Ribnikov Gunnarsson – Vocals, Irish bouzouki, Guitar, Mandilin, Hurdy Gurdy, Jaw's Harp, Offerdalspipa.
Albert Castillo Asenjo – Bodhrán
Alejandro Sganga - Fiddle
Alejo Nobili – Cretan lyra, Sarange, Percussion. 
Carlos Yoder - Percussion.
Félix Pérez - Guitar.
Lucas de Carlo – Percussion
Manuel Villar Lifac - Contrabass, Cello, Sitar.
Martín Corrupio - Hurdy Gurdy.
Patricio Villarejo - Cello.
Piotr Nowotinic - Hurdy Gurdy, Bawu.
Samuel Izcaray - Viola, Violin.
Santiago Molina – Galician bagpipe, Irish Flute, Low Whistle, bansuri.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Topette!! - Chez Michel EP (2015 England / France)@320

Some bands are meant to be. The new Anglo-French acoustic dance band Topette is one such…a collective of uninhibited musical adventurers playing self-penned and traditional music from anywhere with a winning mix of bonhomie and grit.

1.Bourree Morvandelle / La Lustree 03:26
2.Meatballs Whiskey and Beer 04:16
3.Deule Duece / RSB 03:54
4.Maybe Macedonian? 03:55
5.Spots Tail 03:50
6.Hamouda / Droneless 03:00
7.The Almond and the Olive 05:00
Andy Cutting - Diatonic Button Accordion
Julien Cartonnet - Bagpipes and Banjo
James Delarre - Violin
Tania Buisse - Bodhran
Barnaby Stradling - Acoustic Bass Guitar

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Toctoctoc - Bonsoir Clara ! (2009 France) @320

A door opens and admits these three musicians who crossed their musical horizons to investigate the fantastic world of the dance. It is thus about a meeting, about an alliance between the power of the voice and about the hurdy-gurdy of Anne-Lise Foy and about the volcanoes of Auvergne, about the ardour of the bagpipe and about the clarinet of Vincent Boniface & about the Valley of Aosta (French-speaking region of Italy) and of the strength of the accordion diatonic of Stéphane Milleret & alpine mountains.
In the crossroads of these three trans-regionalist cultures, is born a universe profoundly human around the European traditional music. The pleasure to make people dance, to unite them & to propose them always a different play, starts then creativity in the research for an original & unpublished directory.
The music of Toctoctoc arises especially from the friendship between the components of the group. They arise from apparently different realities within the vast panorama of the traditional music managing to produce a new tone in a formation of the most classic : the Trio hurdy-gurdy / bagpipe / accordion. The directory is completely unpublished & consisted for the dance, dips into the contemporary sensibility inheritance of the minimal music, the rock, the jazz and the composed songs. The rhythmic & melodic colour of the singing and the trad music satisfies the ears, which listen to, and the feet, which dance in a dimension sometimes intimate & often full of energy & life.

1. Nous, D'un Côté / Vache Folle (Scottish) 7:15
2. La Bohème De Marcel (Valse) 4:32
3. Boing (Andro) 4:55
4. Rossigolet Du Bois (Bourrée 2t) 4:09
5. Vici Luna (Gavotte De L'aven Caresse) 4:56
6. Dans Les Grandes Largeurs (Bourrée 3t) 3:31
7. La Rumeur Est Née Chez Léon (Suite Plinn) 9:37
8. Tom / Tomette (Bourrée 2t) 6:28
9. La Délaissée (Gavotte) 9:24
Vincent BONIFACE : bagpipe, clarinet, percussions
Anne-Lise FOY : vocals, hurdy-gurdy
Stéphane MILLERET : diatonic accordion , accordina

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