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

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