Issue 20 12/2001
FolkWorld CD Reviews
Ánde Somby, Rosynka, Boknakaran "Moya
Label: Steinbeat (Boknakaran's label); 2001;
Playing time: 52.23 min
Moya på tvoja was an old greeting in the Russian-Norwegian pidgin language
used a good 100 years ago during the coastal trade, where Russian traders brought
life-saving corn (traded against fish) to the people in northern Norway.
This is somehow a fitting name for this exciting project - three different cultures
from the most northern part of Europe come together. First there is the northern
Norwegian folk music group Boknakaranfrom Tromsø, four singers mostly singing
their own songs backed on acoustic instruments like accordions, bagpipe harmonium
and a broud string section. Then there is the Sami yoiker Ande Somby from the
northern Norwegian region Finnmark - he sings both tradtional and new yoiks -
one of his special skills is imitating animals (from mosquito to wolf) - it is
often very unexpected what he is doing. Completing this multi cultural project
is the the female vocal group Rosynka from Petrozavodsk in the Russian republic
Karelia. The young women sing traditional Russian-Karelian women songs, traditionally
a capella songs - with this project it is actually the first time that this group
sings with instrumental backing.
The music was recorded in Tromsø in summer 2000 - I like the result of
this northern cultural meeting. Some tracks have a very strong expression, some
are interesting, some sound funny (at least for me, as I cannot understand anything
of the texts), and some are really strange to my ears. There are very fascinating
tracks, where Rosynka are weaving their Karelian songs through the music - and
somtimes even through the songs - of the Norwegian lads of Boknakaran, that's
a big, fascinating sound.
The shortish infos in the booklet of the CD are written down in four languages:
Norwegian, English, Russian and another lanuage I can not identify.
Moya på tvoja is a fascinating project, sure worth to listen to - if you
are into northern European music, this is a must. Hopefully they will come futher
south for concerts in future - so festival organizers if you want to have something
different, give them a listen...
Boknakaran's homepage with more infos
on this project
Törf "Op Roemte"
Label: own label;
TSP004; 2001; Playing time: 47.19 min
If you are a friend of music of the north eastern parts of the Netherlands,
Törf, for sure is a well known name. Many of the other folk music lovers
in Europe have never heard of this great, well established long and strong going
Frisian band - and that is a shame!
Törf is an excellent quartett presenting characteristic music of their
native region with strong connections to their roots. On 'Op Roemte', Törf's
fourth album, they have chosen to make a concept album to present poems of Jan
Boer (1899-1983) a writer from Rottum in the region of Groningen. Jan Boer wrote
many poems in praise of the very characteristic flat landscape of that region
- it is a very special, a bit menancholic region at the edge to the Wadden coast.
The poetry, presented very suitingly as songs with new music written by Törf,
creates the right atmosphere - if you know the scenery of the Wadden coast you
surely will immediately be there with your heart hearing their music. If you
do not know the landscape, I think while listening to this album, you will feel
it. The landscape, the poetry and the music are together one whole unit - well
Some more words about the band - Törf has four members: the singer Henk
Scholte - he has a great voice, and he can create a very strong atmosphere,
then we have Bert Ridderbos with the string intruments guitar, citter and bouzouki;
Geert Ridderbos on accordion and last but not least Eddy de Jong on guitar and
bass - he has, by the way, written most of the music. On this album they have
two guests to give even more atmosphere - Marius Greiner (violins) and Flip
Rodenburg (bagpipes, recorder and tin whistle).
All in all a great work, a bit menancholic and with lots of atmosphere, it grows
with every time listening to it...
Serras "Second hand"
Folk Music Production Go; Go0201; 2001; Playing time: 51.55 min
As you could imagine from the titel of this album, 'Second hand' is the second
CD of this young furious Danish band. And with their first CD they have started
to create their very own sound - the first CD leads to this one, here they went
even further with their ideas.
Their name Serras has polish origins (bread and cheese) but it is the name of
an old fast and furious 18th century Danish three quarter time round dance,
which was danced in pairs to end a set of three dances.
Serras are playing old Danish tunes (from notebooks mostly of the mids of the
18th century) - but their arrangements are not oldish... They create with this
a furious combination of old Danish tunes with Jazz, rock adn many other influences.
Leading instruments are the fiddle played by Harald Haugaard and the Sax of
Hans Mydtskov backed by the guitars of Sune Hansbaek, bass of Mads Riishede,
drums of Sune Rabbek and (sometimes quite heavy) programming. As guest they
have Poul Lendal on jews harp and old Danish drum - you want think how you can
use a jews harp in such a context, very special!
If you like modern folk bands like Hoven Droven or Shooglenifty you defintely
should give Serras a try.
BEV - BonificaEmilianaVeneta "variabile/naturale"
Label: Dunya Records / Felmay;
FY 8040; 2001; Playing time: 47.01 min
BEV - BonificaEmilianaVenata, this name is surley well known to regular FolkWorld
readers. In 1999 the FolkWorld editors voted their first album "Apotropaica"
as best album of 1999. Now they have published
their second album - and yes, it is another gem. If you want to have a good
European folk music collection, this album should surely be included.
BEV hail from the northern Italian regions of Emilia and Veneto, their music
is fresh often composed by the band members but deeply rooted in their traditions.
BEV's sound is full, their arrangements are well made and highly individual.
Lead singer of the band is Marco Mainini, but all the other band members do
sing as well, and this gives a full mature feel to the songs.
The line up did slightly change since their first album - now BEV are Claudio
Pesky Caroli on double bas, Luciano Giacometti on melodeon, Marco Mainini on
guitar, piva (northern Italian bagpipe), sax; Alessandro Mottaran on piva, mandoloncello,
guitar, clarinet and last but not least Stefano Olivan on violin - and as already
mentioned they all sing. As a guest they have the percussionist Sbibu giving
them even more rhythm to their rhytmic music.
It is always hard to do a second album after a very high praised debut CD -
you made it. BEV is one of the hottest bands from northern Italy!
Label: Zocu / Emi Belgium; 07243 826595 2
5; 2001; Playing time: 43.49 min
Fanders in Belgium is one of the fastest growing folk music scenes in Europe
at the moment - at least if look at young innovative bands creating new music
out of their own traditions. Fluxus are one of these - they are known for some
time as one of the leading bands for innovative instrumental music from Belgium.
Now they have an additional strong focus on songs (4 of the 12 tracks are songs),
Greet Garriau has a good voice and she knows how to present the songs - some
of them have a earwig character. Besides being a fine singer Greet is also an
outstanding diatonic accordionist. The other leading melody instruments are
bagpipes, flute and clarinet (Stefan Timmermans), divers saxophons (Koen Garriau)
and hurdy gurdy (Paul Garriau). The backing is provided by guitar (Paul Garriau),
fretless bass (Samuel van Ingelgem) and drums and percussion (Geert Simoen).
Much of the material plaeyed by Fluxus is composed by some of the band members.
The arrangements are special and often breathtaking. And even if this is s great
CD - in live they are even better. Go and buy this album, and then try to catch
them in live!
Danny Guinan "A Pint of Guinan's"
Label: own label; FPCD2; 2001; Playing time:
Danny Guinan is an Irish singer songwriter nowadays based in the Netherlands.
I know him from the time he played in his band Speranza - one of my favorite
bands at that time. In my opinion Speranza got much too little attention...
Danny is an interesting singer with his very own style, influenced by very different
music styles (to name just some folk, rock, blues, country....), and also his
songwriting is highly individual and a bit wired. He gathered a bunch of Dutch
musicians to help him with this album: Ronald de Jong plays double bass and
does backing vocals, Siard de Jong (no relation to Ronald) plays fiddle bouzouki
and mandolin and Martijn Bosman drums and percussion. These lads (often not
all) are also part of his band, toruing heavily in the Netherlands. Nearly all
of the songs are written by Danny himself, two are re-recorded versions of Speranza
songs, and there are two additional songs by other songwriters (Ellis Island
by Noel Brazil and Let the Mystery be by Iris Dement).
Although you can see and feel at some points that this album is a 'cheap production'
- made with loads of love for the music, but with a small budged - I like it
a lot. Danny is a very fine singer songwriter and his lads do a nice job, too.
Hopefully he will get back to become a more European wide known artist...
Disk; ADCD 3035; 2002; Playing time: 55.38 min
This is the fist CD of the year 2002 reviewed in FolkWorld. I was lucky to get
a copy of this album already more than a month before the publication date on
Plommon's christmas tour in Germany...
Plommon are five girls from Sweden, the band exists already for 10 years - you
won't believe this if you see the girls on stage... - and they extensively tour
through Germany and some other European countries for five years now. 'SAH'
is Plommon's second album on the German label Akku Disk (they have published
CDs on a Swedish label, too). SAH is a live recording, recorded in late summer
2001 in Leer in Germany. The recording quality is high, and you can feel the
pure energy of their concerts. The only thing of the live recording is that
the audiance claps along on the last tune of the album - but as I said it is
only one track, so it is not that bad....
Plommon has an intersting line up - five girls, who at some point do all play
the fiddle, additional they have an harmonium (Klara Rosén), played on
most of the tracks and a recorder (Maria Persson) - and all af them sing. When
they sing together the sound is very full. Ingeborg Svenonius left the band
about two years ago, new member became the great singer Anna Elwing. With her
Plommon has a new addition to their repertoire - they do now solo (sometimes
a capella, sometimes with a light instrumental backing) singing. Anna has a
great voice and the songs sung by her (e.g. 'Fars visa' or especially 'När
som elden') are simply breathtaking - it is pure northern beauty.
Their sound is often full and very much in a forward direction. Most of their
mateiral is traditional from southern Sweden (mostly from Skåne but also
from Halland), additional there is some fine self composed material by the band
Additional points for this album I can give for the nice booklet with the text
of the songs in Swedish and English. If the standard of the albums in 2002 stays
as high as this one - 2002 will be the year of folk music albums!
Now go out and try to catch this swedish energy in live - or make at least a
small concert at home with this album.
Music Contact/Akku Disk - Plommon's
agent and label based in Germany
Zoe' "Sangue Vivo"
CNT.IT1005; 2000; Playing time: 63.06 min
I must admit - I have never heard of ZOE' before I have seen them on the great
small Tatihou island festival in France this summer. I immediately got stuck
by their breathtaking energetic stage performance, by their deep love for the
music. You can feel that they do not only play music, but they live it. (In
one of the next issues will be an interview with them...)
Sangue Vivo - Live Blood, the title of the album is also the title of a film,
playing in southern Italy, where the musicians of ZOE' are the major characters.
The film has got some prices on European film festivals.
But let us come to the music - it is driven by the fast and furious rhythm of
the tarantela (tambourine), played mostly by more than one bandmember. Additionally
there are flutes, diatonic accordion, classical guitar, guitar, fiddle, diverse
percussion instruments (including violino a sonagli) and of course very strong
singing. Zoe have two very strong male and two very strong female singers, all
of them have extremely powerfull voices which can easily cope with the driving
rhythem of the percussion.
In live Zoe is maybe the most powerful folk band I have seen this year, with
this album you can get an idea of their stage energy...
ZOE's homepage at cnt.it
Sott A101; 1998; Playing time: 41.24 min
Rosapaeda is a very strong and moving singer from southern Italy - this album
was already produced in 1998, but arrived in our office only recently. I can
only say it is very good, that it arrived - better late than never. Otherwise
we would have missed a fascinating album of a fascinating Italian voice...
Rasapaeda started her musical career with a different style - she started as
a singer of a reggae group. But soon afterwards she started her folk career.
She has gathered for this album a very fine bunch of musicians: Eddi Romano
(accordion), Stéphane Delicq (accordion); David Viterbo (violincello,
classical guitar), Gigi Celestino (mandoline, tamorre, etc), Francesco Patruno
(ac. bass), Mauro Gargano (double bass); Bachir Gareche (voice, darbouka, tambourello)
and Angelo Pantaleo (sopranino, clarinet, recorders). They create together a
full sound fitting to the strong voice of Rosapaeda. A bit more than half of
the material is traditional. The songs are in various dialects from Southern
Italy (Sicilian, Calabrese, Greek from Salento, Neapolitan, from Luciana), the
material which is not traditional, was especially written and composed for Rosapaeda.
A strong voice with a strong band - all in all a very strong album. I am waiting
for the follow up album!
Scots Women "Live from Celtic Connections 2001"
CDTRAX 213D; 2001; Playing time: 50.53min + 55.02min
Scots Women - this was the titel of a major concert in 2001 at the annual Celtic
Connections festival in Glasgow in January. The festival director wanted 'to
redress the balance' after the success of the gaelic women the year before...
So many of the best singers in Scots language gathered on stage - the names
are like a who is who of that chategory: Aileen Carr, Elspeth Cowie, Cilla Fisher,
Annie Grace, Corrina Hewat, Heather Heywood, Maureen Jelks, Chris Miles, Gordeanna
McCulloch, Alison McMorland, Anne Neilson, Karine Polwart, Sheila Stewart, Stravaig
and Sheena Wellington. And for that the whole event is not a vocal only affair
they have had some musicians as support: Brian McNeill (musical director of
the concert and producer of this album) on fiddle, bouzouki and concertina;
Annie Grace (whistles); Corrina Hewat (harp); Duncan McGillivray (pipes, guitar,
mouthorgan); Andy Thorburn (Keyboards and accordion) and Mike Travis (Drums
Thsi was now a lot of name dropping, but what to do if you have such a star
line up? The entire concert was recorded, and because of the quality all was
published on these two CDs. If you like Scots songs sung by women, you simply
have to have this album....
Mairi MacInnes "Orosay"
CDTRAX 209; 2001; Playing time: 45.11min
Mairi MacInnes from South Uist is one of the best voices of the younger scene
of female gaelic singers in Scotland. She has a great very emotional voice full
of passion. Mairi has gathered a star force of the Scottish music scene to support
her on this album: for backing vocals Cathrine Ann MacPhee and Penny MacInnes,
James MacIntosh on drums and percussion, Ewen Vernal on bass, Tony MacManus
on guitars, Iain MacInnes on small pipes, Billy Jackson on harps and whistles,
Mairi Campbell on fiddle and viola, Mats Melin as Scottish step dancer (great
effect) and finally the producer of this album Calum Malcolm on piano and keyboards.
Orosay has a very nice booklet with good photos, lots of informations on the
songs and song texts in gaelic and English.
This is a strong album, although for my taste sometimes a bit pathetic - well
somehow this fits quite well and creates an interesting atmosphere...
Opa Cupa "Live in Contrada tangano"
Sott A106; 2001; Playing time: 52.18 min
Opa Cupa hail from Italy - but their musical origin is more eastern, they play
dance music from eastern Europe especially from the Balkan. The band consists
of ten members playing instruments like trumpet, accordion, sax, drums, bass,
guitar and trombone, and they do songs as well.
The musicians have different cultural origins - Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania
and southern Italy, they are gathered around the trumpet player Cesare Sell'Anna.
They do have many different influences both cultural wise and musical wise.
Opa Cupa is a term used by the gypsies of south-eastern Europe as an exhortation
to dance - and this music can make you dance, it is often fast and wild.
Jenn Adams "In the Pool"
Label: White Boxer Music; no number; 2000;
Playing time: 49:02 min
Jenn Adams is one of the seemingly millions of mediocre American singer- songwriters
whose recordings continually flood any reviewer's doorstep. Hers is an elaborate
Nashville production with full rock band backing and carefully chosen additional
melody instruments including extra guitars, accordion, piano and trumpet. Her
problem is that her songs simply aren't all that good, as evidenced by the far
superior lyrical quality of the two covers (Julie Miller's "Speed of Light"
and Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower"). Adams' own phrasing is so
personal as to be almost unintelligible - telling stories through song lyrics
clearly isn't her strong point. She is however a competent - if by no means
outstanding - singer.
Jenn Adams website
Asha "Close Enough"
Label: Shindy Arts; ASHACD 001; 2001; Playing time:
Kitchen Girls "In Your Dreams"
Label: Shindy Arts; KG 002; 2001; Playing time:
The link between these two albums is English fiddler Jackie Allen (née
Rawlinson), who is behind Shindy Arts and part of both groups (and a few others
like Token Women). Asha, according to the website, "is the result of a
collaboration to put together a compelling concert and ceilidh band with an
eclectic feel." They're a trio, with Peter Lubbock (guitars) and Pete Lockwood
(synthesizer, saxophone, percussion) completing the line-up. As the description
suggests, they play dance tunes (all-instrumental), although the album is also
perfectly suitable for just listening to at home. The three musicians have about
equal weight, each taking the lead alternately. It seems a little odd at first
hearing the synth used as a lead melody instrument in a folk context, but I
think it works pretty well, without ever slipping into new-age territory.
The Kitchen Girls are an all-female six-piece, with no less than four fiddles,
an acoustic guitar and a cello. They concentrate on dance music of the American
South in their choice of tunes and songs. The gutsy sound is reminiscent of
old-timey American string bands, and they're a cracking ceilidh band live, though
they sound somewhat tamed on this recording unfortunately (more so than on their
excellent debut cassette release "Six Assorted Tarts"). Even so, four
fiddles blasting away on a bed of guitar and cello is always a glorious sound.
They've got a number of decent singers in their midst, too, as evidenced by
the four songs (on two of which Fiona Larcombe takes the lead vocal). Anyone
into old-timey music or string quartets should definitely seek this out.
Shindy Arts; Kitchen Girls website
More English CD Reviews: Page 1 - Page
2 - Page 3 - Page 4 -
More German CD Reviews: Page 1 - Page
Overview: CD Review Contents
To the content of FolkWorld
online magazine Nr. 20
© The Mollis - Editors
of FolkWorld; Published 12/2001
All material published in FolkWorld is © The Author via FolkWorld. Storage for private use is allowed and welcome. Reviews and extracts of up to 200 words may be freely quoted and reproduced, if source and author are acknowledged. For any other reproduction please ask the Editors for permission.
FolkWorld - Home of European Music
Layout & Idea of FolkWorld © The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld