Issue 15 8/2000

FolkWorld CD Reviews


V/A "Les Grands Airs Celtiques/The Great Celtic Airs"
Keltia Musique; KMCD104; 2000; Playing time: 48.19 min
For heaven's sake! One of the moments the heart of the reviewer slowing down is a compilation album calling "Great Celtic Airs". Reading the title list, another chill is running down the back: "Scotland the Brave", "Molly Malone", "Danny Boy", ... Fortunatly, own preconceptions are sometimes misleading. Keltia Musique felt it was time for the "sometimes forgotten and often forsaken Celtic repertoire. There are still reservoirs of beauty and wonder to be found on these well-tread Celtic avenues." The compilation includes no existing recordings, but is freshly matchmaking artists and repertoire. The line up alone promises quality: Jamie McMenemy, solo as well with Kornog and Orion, Patrick Molard, Alain Genty, Anuna, Richie Buckley, Donal Lunny, Pat O'May, Fred Guichen, the Fallen Angels, Dominig Bouchaud, Jacky Molard, Yann-Fanch Kemener, Bohinta, David Hopkins, and Jack Lukeman. There are tunes from Ireland, Scotland, France and Galicia (unfortunatly no Galician musician). Some interpretations are succeeding, others do not work so well, but none is destined for the tourist market at all. It might be questionable if an album with predominantly well-known Celtic airs was necessary, but if you already intend to complete your collection, this is the one. Try "Auld Lang Syne" - and you can hear what I mean.
Keltia Musique,; 1, place au Beurre, F-29000 Quimper, Tel.+ 9895 4582; Fax + 9895 7319
Walkin' T:-)M

Tony McLoughlin "Cine Rama"
Label: R&T Musikproduktion; Playing time: 50.36 min
The cover depicts the West coast of Ireland apparently. However, "Cine Rama" is anglo-american folk rock with a slight Country feel, characterized by the electric guitar of Thomm Jutz. Even thematically, Tony McLoughlin is more familiar across the Western Ocean than with his Belfast home. The "Waters and the wild" is not W.B. Yeats but lie inbetween of "Houston" and "Mexico". My favourite song is the title track, "Cinerama", a musical hommage to the western movies in Tony's childhood in Dublin. Tony McLoughlin is currently based in Germany where he can be experienced solo as well as a duo or with a full electric band. However, this music is meant to cross borders anyway.
R&T Musikproduktion,; Eisenbahnstr. 4, D-76571 Gaggenau; Tel. +49 7225 3225
Walkin' T:-)M

Craobh Rua "If Ida Been Here, Ida Been There"
Lochshore/KRL; CDLDL 1296; 2000; Playing time: 54.27 min
Craobh Rua is an output of the thriving Belfast folk scene for fifteen years now. With their fifth album "If Ida Been Here, Ida Been There", they are continuing, not at least with their choice of curious album titles. "There are so many great sayings around Belfast," explains founder member Brian Connolly (banjo, mandolin), "The new one came from Patrick's grandmother, who had missed an antiques show because she was on holiday." Besides Brian and Michael Cassidy (fiddle) there are now new recruits Patrick Davey (pipes, flute) and Aaron Jones (cittern, guitar, vocals). Pat is contributing seven own tunes, among them the marvellous "Antrim Narrow Gauge Jigs". Such trainspotting as well as the "Motorbike Set" show the boys letting off steam. Further on, the pace is reasonable. Craobh Rua has no need to prove anything with breakneck speed. A highlight is the rather unknown Carolan tune "Turlough Og McDonagh". Aaron is singing the Gaelic song "Cul Tiubh na bPearlai" and the lively "Belfast Mountains". Scotland is not too distant, thus two Scottish songs found their way across the North Channel, the Robert Burns' classic "A Man's A Man" and the traditional "Loch Tay Boat Song".
Lochshore/KRL,; 9 Warr Road, Hillington, Glasgow G52 4RY; Tel. +44 141 8829986, Fax +44 141 8833686
Walkin' T:-)M

Kathryn Tickell "Debateable Lands"
Park Records; PRKCD50; 1999; Playing time: 57.39 min
The "Debateable Lands" was a stretch of border country between England and Scotland. A troubled place for hundreds of years. No need for trouble or any debate is the smaller, more peaceful sister of the Scottish war pipes, the Northumbrian Small Pipes. Some argue, the Small Pipes "have that definitive but intangible feeling of femininity about them". In any case, Kathryn Tickell is one of the finest exponents of the instrument today. A suite of tunes is her interpretation of the different aspects and characteristics of the "Debateable Lands". The rest is traditional and original stuff from Northumbria, Scotland and Ireland. Kit Haigh accompanies on guitar, Julian Sutton (melodeon) and Gregor Borland (fiddle) join the tunes. "Our Kate", together with English Uilleann Piper Troy Donockley, is blending the male and female sound of both instruments. Some say, for the first time on a record. That's late enough.
Park Records; PO Box 651, Oxford OX2 9RB; Tel. + 1865 241717; Fax + 1865 204556
Walkin' T:-)M

Quintessence "Songs for a Winter's Night"
Hard Yacka Records; HYR CD 1010; 1997; Playing time: 53.24 min
It's August now, but looking out of the window I'm immediately frustrated by the ongoing rain and cold. I only miss the snow. So look for it in Australia. Light a gentle fire and throw in a bunch of songs for good measure. Quintessence is the ideal company for this kind of pleasure. Think of a mix of Joan Baez and Peter, Paul & Mary, tight harmonies plus two acoustic guitars - and that's it. No more, no less. The songs are contemporary from the British Isles - Jez Lowe, Dougie MacLean, Chris de Burgh - and the Americas - Si Kahn, Gordon Lightfoot, Nanci Griffith, Rick West, Eileen McGann - as well as fellow Australians Eric Bogle and Judy Small. You can meet them at the Hills Folk Club, maybe when you pay a visit to the Winter Olympics. Sorry, I mean Summer Games, of course.
Hard Yacka Records; PO Box 250, Nairne SA 5252; Tel.+ (08) 8388 0232
Walkin' T:-)M

Rod Paterson "Up-To-Date"
Greentrax; CDTRAX 197; 2000; Playing time: 76.45 min
Rod Paterson from Dundee is regarded as one of Scotland's finest singers, best known for his work with the groups Jock Tamson's Bairns and The Easy Club, and recently Ceolbeg. He also follows a successful solo career with two albums "Two Hats" and "Smiling Waved Goodbye" released in 1987 and 1988, respectively, but both deleted. Now Rod is "up-to-date" with his old stuff again. He provides a mixed bunch of songs: ballads from the Scottish tradition, ditties from Robert Burns, original and contemporary songs by the likes of Cole Porter or Paul Simon. On the first album Rod was only accompanied by Dick Lee (saxes, clarinet), on the second with a full band including piper Hamish Moore. One warning: Rod is rather at home in a Jazz club than in boozer.
Greentrax,; Cockenzie Business Centre, Edinburgh Rd., Cockenzie, East Lothian, EH32 0XL, Scotland; Tel.+ 1875 814155, Fax + 1875 813545
Walkin' T:-)M

Biella Nuei "Solombra"
Label: Coda Out; ; 1997; Playing time: 44.44 min
Aragon is a region in north eastern Spain - and as in many regions all over Europe also in this one the bagpipe is a traditional instrument. Biella Nuei can prove this fact, having released four postcards of old photos where old men from Aragon are playing the pipes...
The band Biella Nuei plays traditional music of Aragon - one focus of their music is the Aragon bagpipe, another surely the traditional song. The album sounds in parts quite archaic - it brings back the music from the ancient times. Via Biella Nuei you can also receive some CDs with old traditional music from Aragon.
Biella Nuei doing a great job in helping this reginal music of Europe to survive.
Biella Nuei's homepage
Christian Moll

Haugaard & Høirup "Duo for Violin & Guitar"
Danish Folk Music Production; GO0199; 1999; Playing time: 45.32 min
If you are into fiddle / guitar duos - this one is a must! The duo Haugaard & Høirup (Harald Haugaard, violin, viola; Morten Alfred Høirup, guitar, lute and vocals) belongs certainly to the top of the creme of Danish music playing musicians. Both musicians are well known faces in the scene: Harald has played /plays in DUG, Dk-Locomotiv, Sorten Muld, Puls and Serras; Morten in Danish Dia Delight, American Cafe Orchestra, Ouellete, Legault & Høirup and solo.
The duo came first together to represent Denmark at the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) festival in Solvenia - Alan Klitgaard, producer of the Danish radio, formed this duo... The music they made was for them and the audiance so breathtaking that this duo is still together.
They play together traditional Danish music and self written (of both) music, written in traditional style - but the magic of the music is coming from the arrangements. The music sounds traditional, yet very fresh, lively and up-to date. Personally I would put this duo (on the CD and especially in live) in the same world class category as Tony McManus & Alistair Fraser or Denis Cahill and Martin Hayes - at least there is the same magic in the air... Well worth checking out!
Danish Folk Music Production
Christian Moll

Jaune Toujours "Brusk"
Alea/Wild Boar Music; WBM 21014; 2000; Playing time: 51.44 min
Are you interested in new innovative European folk sounds that are breaking borders? Than you should give Jaune Toujour a try. This flemish (Belgian) band has lots of wild musical power.
The front man Piet Maris plays a very dominant accordeon, sings and writes (nearly) all song texts and all music. The other four members are Bert Bernaerts on double bass, trompet, tuba and voice, Theophane Raballand on drums and percussion and voice, Bart Maris on trompet, tuba, cornet and voice and Christophe Morisset on trombone and sousaphone. They have invited three guest musicians for this album: Mattias Laga (clarinet, sax), Wouter Vandenabeele of Ambrozijn and Olla Vogala (violin) and the singer Vera Coomans.
As you can see Jaune Toujour has a faible for brass music - so there are jazz influences, but also you can find mussette, rock and of course folk. The front instrument - either accordion or a brass instrument - is very dominantly played and gives the music a great drive.
The songs - mostly in Flemish with some French choruses plus one song in French language - are influenced in style by ballads, rock hymns, chansons and more. This is really a great way to present up to date music - fresh with much drive and uncommon...
It is not easy to put them into a musical box - but why should I do that; they are great, that is more than enough!
Alea/Wild Boar Music
Christian Moll

Kapela ze wsi Warszawa "Kapela ze wsi Warszawa"
Label: own label
; 1998; Playing time: 58.43 min
This band is - as you might have thought - from Poland, or to be more exact from the village of Warsaw (their band name can be translated as 'Band from the village Warsaw'). It is a young band presenting powerful Polish traditions in an acoustic way. Since this CD was recorded the line up changed a bit - three members have left and two new one came in.
Kapela ze wsi Warszawa consists of a female front row - singing with very powerful voices and playing string instruments like fiddle or suka (an ancient polish form of the fiddle); the backrow is the male rhythm section on percussion instruments and hand-drums. This is a very strong combination and shows what young people can make out of old traditions.
Although all the (sparce) information on the album are in Polish language, the music itself speaks for its own!
Hopefully this excellent young band will be seen more often on European folk festivals and concerts.
e-mail Kapela ze wsi Warszawa; Contact: Maciej Szajkowski, ul. Bagno 7/80, 00-112 Warszawa, Tel. (022) 6206248
Christian Moll

Kadril "Eva"
Alea/Wildboar Music; WBM 21007; 1999; Playing time: 41.25 min
Kadril is an old established Flemish folk rock band. They interpret both traditional Flemish and self written material in a fresh and original manner. The newest band member is the young (lead-) singer and klarinetist Eva de Roovere - the album's name tributes this new band entry. And right so - Eva is an excellent singer, singing the Flemish text in a fresh manner.
The 'rest' of the band are the fiddler Peter Libbrecht, his brother the acoustic guitarist Erwin Libbrecht (he is the head behind the excellent label Wildboar Music), their brother Harlind Libbrecht (mandoline, dlucimer), Bart de Cock on Flemish bagpipes and Nyckelharpa, the electric guitarist Dirk Verhegge, hurdy-gurdy and accordeon player Hans Quaghbeur and finally Koen Dewaele on e-bass. On the album they have some more guest musicians to help them out.
As you can see from the line-up it is quite a big band with quite a big sound. The music is highly enjoyable - I guess their live party must be great...
Alea/Wildboar Music
Christian Moll

Jim Malcolm "Resonace"
Label: Beltane Records; CD101; 2009; Playing time: 53.55 min
Jim Malcolm is one of the finest Scottish singers around. He is an excellent songwriter, too. But on this, his third album, not only his own material (4) but also traditional songs (2), Robert Burns songs (3 tracks) and songs of other songwriters (3) are presented.
Many of the songs on this album seem to be written excactly for him. And even if you have always thought, you would know the definitive version of an particular song already, Jim shows that you where wrong. You can hear Jim on this album as in a live concert - he sings, plays the guitar and the harmonica, the only guest musician is his fellow Old Blind Dog Tim Jennings who adds some percussion.
This is an album to day dream, with very sensitive singing. If you like Scottish songs, this is a must for your collection! A brilliant album.
Beltane Records,
Jim Malcolm's homepage
Christian Moll

Sharon King "24 hours"
Label: Hoodlum; HOODCD004; 1999; Playing time: 37.33 min
Sharon King is a young Scottish singer songwriter, singing 'just'her own material. The style is quite songwriter-like, somewhere between the British and the American folk songwriter, between folky ballads and country rock music.
Her singing is full of power and rich in stylistic range. Her backing is provided by herself on rhythm guitar, Al James (lead guitar), Aimee Leonard (ex Anam) on Bodhran, Jenny Gardner (ex Poozies, Salsa Celtica) on fiddle etc.
A debut album of a young stron singer and songwriter - time will show how she will develop.
Hoodlum, S. King, Limekiln Cottage east, Drem Road, Longniddry, East Lothian, EH32 =HP, Scotland; Tel. +44 (0)1273 205774
Christian Moll

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