Issue 16 10/2000
Label: Keltia Musique; KMCD111; 2000; Playing time: 49.00 min
And there is even a bonus to the brill music - musicians can find the tablatures and scores of the tunes on the CD Rom part of the disc.
Homepage of Yann-Fañch; Keltia Musique
Label: Acoustic Music; 319.1218.2; 2000; Playing time: 50.50 min
Lovely music for a quiet evening with a glass of wine, well worth to listen to.
Ansgar Dälken's homepage, Acoustic Music
Label: Vredesconcerten Passendale; VP 002; 2000; Playing time: 70.50 min
The piece is interpreted by Une Anche Passe, which is a group featuring a lot of brass instruments (saxes, tuba, euphonium), Clarinettes, Hautbois, Percussion. They are joined by folk music guests Wouter Vandenabele (fiddler of Ambrozijn), Stefaan Smagghe (fiddle), Jean Pierre van Hees (Bagpipes, flutes) and the singers Patrick Riguelle and Koen de Cauter. The music is somewhere between an orchestral piece, traditional music, bigband and French chanson, capturing always the appropriate atmospheres. Recorded live in a church in Passendale, this is a fascinating musical documentation of literature. The listener who knows French can find out a lot about the backgrounds in the well illustrated booklet. Those who are interested in the organisation "Vredesconcerten (peace concerts) Passendale" and also in this CD recording, can have a look for more infos at their homepage.
Label: Shanachie; 78030; 2000; Playing time: 53.53 min
With Ciarán Ó Gealbháin, Danú have found a brilliant new singer. On the album, he sings three English language Irish ballads, and two in the Irish language, which is a bit of a pity, as he is definitely best at home in the Irish language songs, getting the full magic out of them. While this should not mean that the English songs are bad; they remind me pretty much of the singer Sean Keane, which is surely not the worst person to be compared with. Yet of course Sean Keane's band is far away from the superb quality of Danú.
This album is not at all disappointing; Danú can very well keep up with the very high standard they set themselves with their debut album. "Think before you think" will please their man fans all around Europe and the world, and make them a lot of new ones, who will discover that Danú are the best in Irish trad.
Label: Go' Danish Folk Music Production; GO0499; 1999; Playing time: 47.57 min
Centre of Serras is the talented young fiddler Harald Haugaard (read the interview with him and Morten Alfred Høirup), whose instrument is competing in Serras with a saxophone. They are backed by bass, drums and guitars, plus special effects. The music is mighty and powerful, taking the listener away. Stylistically it lies somewhere between Rock, Trad, Jazz and other styles; it is the same class as the Swedish Hoven Droven are. And that not only musically but also from the stage show. (Serras were, btw., in the live act top ten of 1999.)
Highly innovative instrumental Rock-Folk Music, sometimes very heavy and dark, sometimes also more light and loud. Superb destinctively Scandinavian cross over stuff which is great fun. Most of the tunes were recorded in the studio, but two of them were taken live from Tonder festival 1999 - this brilliant concert will be remembered well by anyone who has been there...
Watch out for them!
Serras; Go' Danish Folk Music Production
Label: GO Folkmusic Distribution; Go 0399; 2000
On their debut CD, the Danish folk rockers provide a convincing mixture of loud and powerful songs and tunes, with a particular Danish sound in it, still opening always the bridge to the music of their Swedish neighbours. Combining the traditional instruments fiddle, flutes and bagpipes, all skilfully played by the only female member of the band Katja Mikkelsen, with rock stuff like electric and acoustic guitars, drums, bass and piano, the music is an exciting and creative dance music. Most of the tunes are written by band members; the songs are mainly traditional based and are in Danish.
One of the many fresh Danish folk recordings that have come out in the last couple of months. Highly recommended to any fan of Swedish and Scandinavian dark and powerful folk rock music.
GO Folkmusic Distribution
Label: Idea Records; EZ/27
Having said that, the album does grow on you, once you get used to Brychan's leaps of logic. The tunes mainly see the acoustic guitar and percussion leading the way, occasionally accompanied by vibraphone and bodhran.
The tracks are recorded mostly live in studios in Wales and Italy, and this reflects on the overall sound of the album- acoustic more than electric. It also represents a new phenomenon we might see more of in the future, perhaps- an alliance between the Celtic countries and regions such as Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Brittany, and less traditionally Celtic nations, yet ones which offer a modest sprouting of Celtic-influenced folk-music talent from time to time, such as Italy and Germany. (You might wish to consider the fact that the e-zine you're currently reading is based in Germany!)
I think Brychan might play to a receptive audience at a folk festival, or in a small pub, for that is the type of atmosphere I envision for the music. The lyrics and melodies are not catchy enough to top the folk music charts, but if you clear your head of all preconceptions and expectations, simply immersing yourself in the man's voice and guitar, it's an enjoyable enough listen.
Label:Emerald Tablet Publishing
The band is fronted by Irishman (oh, ay, from Cavan!) Peter McGowan, who sings lead vocals, and plays a medley of instruments ranging from bass to bouzouki and accordion. Then there is Marta Collier, who plays effortlessly on the whistles, bodhran and percussion, David Williams who plays mandolin and guitar, and Pattie Kelly who assists on vocals as well. Reading past reviews of the band’s gigs though, I couldn’t help but suspect that their live performances were characterised by something that their CD recording didn’t reveal. The band have played in several high schools and colleges, and have earned themselves many an enthusiastic student fan.
The tracks themselves are fairly eclectic in style, ranging from the new age (‘Flying with the Spirits’ and ‘The Dream of the Moonstone’) to the jangling guitar rock numbers (‘Listen to the Sky’ and ‘The Dragon’). There is no doubt that the band have put a lot of hard work into making this album, from enlisting the help of special guests to play on the tracks, to dressing up in their tailor-made medieval-looking costumes (thanks to friend Donna Collier!) for the glossy photo-shoot. (Do these guys really wear the costumes on stage, is what I want to know!)
Finn MacCool have their own website: www.finnmaccool.com, and I’m sure the band would love to hear from anyone interested in their music, so do drop them a line!
Label: Iona Records IRCD067
So what does the music sound like? Well, a blend of folk/pop-rock I guess, but I like their style. Take track 7, for example, entitled ‘Fiona’. The lyrics are catchy, and reminiscent of Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. In the middle of the song, the band break out into a rendition of a popular instrumental folk tune, and the listener is left singing, in ‘The Commitments’ style, ‘Hold my hand Fiona/ Hold my hand Fiona/ Hold my hand Fiona/ Until your daddy comes’ long after the track ends.
The next track, ‘The Bread Man’, is a catchy one too. I like the sound of Emma’s piano notes interweaving through Jim’s vocals, and Colin Train’s special guest appearance on the accordion adds to the texture of the tune. Personally though, the nicest touch to the album was Emma’s flawless saxophone playing, which added a jazzy feel to the tunes, which Graham’s percussion picked up on smoothly. Listen up for the band’s rendition of the classic gem ‘On Broadway’ on track 8.
All in all, this was a very listenable and likable CD, and proves that Follow That Camel are a promising young band indeed. If you like music from the likes of ‘The Men they Couldn’t Hang’ or ‘Great Big Sea’, I’d recommend buying this one.
Label: BMG Music/ Wicklow Entertainment Total playing time: 68:10 mins
With a total playing time of 68 mins, this compilation is the perfect accompaniment for any occasion. Simply follow these instructions: Step 1- Make yourself a nice Bacardi breezer or gin and tonic. Step 2- Kick off your shoes, and snuggle down on your comfy sofa. Step 3- Reach for the remote control, and play track 1. When the CD ends, repeat Step 3.
What more can I say? I think I’ll hang on to this one.
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