Issue 22 06/2002

FolkWorld CD ReviewsDog

Jaune Toujours "Camping del Mundo"
Label: own; chou 0202; 2002; Playing time: 56.58 min, Belgium
Jaune Toujours have been a favourite of mine since I have first heard them - obviously I am very pleased to review this great CD. The band around Piet Maris (voice and accordeon, etc.) is highly original, they have created their own sound with lots of influences. The "yellow band" has put up their tents in Brussels, their music is a urban mix of Belgian traditions (both flemish and wallonian - they sing in french and flemish), mixed with musette, jazz, music from Europe (especially a south eastern influence is there) and the rest of the world, a bit of rock and much more. Main instruments apart of the voice and accordeon are the brass section (trumpet, tuba, trombone, sousaphone, saxophone, clarinet.
All the album is made by the six musicians of the band; only on two tracks there are additional female voices (Laila Amézian; Katharina Pohlodkova & Lubica Macova) as guests.
If you don't want to miss one of the best bands for the third millenium (in my opinion) go out and buy this album - it is unconventional a bit mad and highly original music. I am sure this band can create the same buzz in live!
By the way their previous album 'Brusk' was voted by the editors of FolkWorld (that is me and my brother) as best album of 2000!
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Christian Moll

Pancho Alvarez "Nas Cordas"
Label: Do Fol / Boa; 27; 2001; Playing time: 57,04 min, Galicia, Spain
Galicia in northern Spain has a big boom of traditional and folk music since 15 years or so. Pancho Alvarez was a man of the first hour of this boom, he always has played a major role in the Galician scene, he has played in many of the well known folk bands of Galicia (at least as a guest). Nevertheless he is still quite unknown, although being the best arranger of traditional music in Galicia.
Panchio is multiinstrumentalist and singer - on his previous album 'Florencio, O Cego Dos Vilares', which was voted by the editors of FolkWorld (that is me and my brother) as best album of 1998, he played all the instruments himself. Because this album was so well received Pancho formed a excellent group to perform the music in live.
On 'Nas Cordas' Pancho Alvarez plays again a lot on his own, but additionally he has invited some members of his band to help him: Pancho himself playes violin, bouzouki, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, banjo, concertina, teclados, percussion and he sings of course. Then there are the brothers Felix and Castor Castro Vincente (concertina and accordeon / flute), Fernando Fraga (accordeon), Alvaro Iglesias on double bass, Miguel Seoane (guitar), Xurxo Nunez (brother of the well known Carlos) as an exciting percussionist and finally on one track Carlos Nunez on flute.
An album full of passion - hopefully Pancho will get some more international attention in future...
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Christian Moll

Last Night's fun - aka Sherburn, Bartley & Scott "Dubh"
Label: own; Ada 102, 2001; Playing time: 53.06 min; England/Ireland
The duo of Chris Sherburn and Denny Bartly has been part of the English scene for quite some time now. Sometimes they appeared as Sherbart sometimes together with Chris' sister Jane. In Last Night's fun they are joined by Nick Scott.
Dubh (Irish word for blackness /darkness) is Last Night's Fun's second album - and as you can see in the Irish name the album is 'their testament to Irish music'. The line up is quite unconventional: Chris Sherburn playes an Anglo Concertina, Denny Bartly guitar and he sings and finally Nick Scott the uilleann pipes.
Although their music is surely mostly Irish and their instruments are acoustic and even much of the material is traditional, you cannot call their music simply traditional Irish music - it is more open. They have their own way to interpretade the music - Denny's singing style is individual - he has a strong voice, sometimes it seems that he wants to blow everything away with singing. The two melody instruments concertina and uilleann pipes build a nice contrast to each other. Besides blowing the audience away with his singing Denny has a very rhythmic guitar playing pushing the melody instruments further on.
Sometimes (especially in some songs) the album has a dark and serious atmosphere - the fast and furious tunes are a good contrast for that.
A good album of an interesting band - in live they are excellent (and very funny) as well!!!
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Christian Moll

Debout sur le Zinc "L'homme à tue-tete"
Label: agathe / next music; MDCD 731; 2001; Playing time: 53.34 min, France
Hearing this band for the first time at Tilburg international folk festival in January 2002 - Debout sur le Zinc directly became one of my favorite bands!
In the last years I have not heard much new folk music bands from France - but now I have discovered a great band. The lads sing in French - they have three very different, but all great singers: the fiddler Simon Mimoun, Romain Sassigneux (clarinet, guitar) and Christophe Bastien (guitar and piano). Now having started with the line-up, here is also the rest of the band: Dreuf on accordeon, on double bass William Levti, Oliver Sulpice plays banjo and mandolin and last but not least drummer / percussionist Cédric Ermolieff.
Their music is all self written and arranged. Debout sur le Zinc is a group with many influences - there are french traditions, but also musette and Klezmer music, a bit of jazz, traditions of other regions - all mixed up to the individual sound of Debout sur le Zinc.
The album is absolutely stunning and a must for everybody who likes new folk music from Europe. And in live they are even better...
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Christian Moll

Lucilla Galeazzi "Lunario"
Label: CNI Music; CNDL 13186; 2002; Playing time: 40.12 min, Italy
Lucilla Galeazzi is a great singer songwriter hailing from Rome. Her songs are steeped in the Italian traditions, but she has created herown very intensive atmosphere.
Her songs are the focal point of the album, with the musicans backing her songs making the most out of them. The Lucilla Galeazzi band has a very appropriate sound with lots of atmosphere. The band (also her live band) consists of Massimo Nardi (guitar and arrangements), Massimo Carrano (drums), Antonio Ramous (cello) and Salvatore Zambataro (accordeon and clarinet).
Lucilla's voice has a wide field to offer: harmonious and quiet, sad and melancholic and also very powerful and intensive. The album is full of southern emotions.
Great work!
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Christian Moll

Sarakina - Grekow Mlejnek Mlejnek
Label: own; 2001; Playing time: 53.25 min, Poland
Sarakina are three lads from Poland: Jacek Grekow (accordeon, bagpipe and kaval - Bulgarian flute), Jan Mlejnek (clarinet, guitar) and Bartosz Mlejnek (double bass). All three are professional musicians and are studying / have studied at music universities (of Vienna and Warsaw).
They are playing in Sarakina music from different regions of Bulgaria and Macedonia - the music from the Balkan is their love. They are taking partly traditional melodies and they arrange them in a new way. The music is full of emotion - to make this atmosphere even stronger they have invited Weronika Grozdew to add with her vocals a new dimension to the CD.
A very promising professional young group from Poland - hopefully we will hear much more from them in future!
Additional points go to the highly original cover design of the album...
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Christian Moll

Wenzel & Band "Grünes Licht"
Label: Conträr; 25 0878-2; 2001; Playing time: 49.20 & 44.31 min, Germany
Wenzel is one of the best German singer songwriters at the moment. He started his career quite some time ago - and has released already some songs. 'Grünes Licht' is a kind of best of - it is a live (double) CD, where he has recorded his material with an excellent band. His songs - especially the choruses - often have earwhig character. The instruments - especially the brass - support his songs. Many of his songs have interesting stories, some are critical, others are 'just' fun songs.
To name some of my personal favorites: Banane, Schöner Lügen, Halb und Halb, Zeit der Irren und Idioten - but I am sure everybody has his personal favorites....
If you haven't heard of him before - this double CD is the right way to start...
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Christian Moll

Trebunie Tutki "Jo clek wolny"
Label: Pomaton.Emi, 7243 5 30494 2 3; 2000; Playing time: 70.00 min, Poland
Trebunie Tutki is not just a name of a band but also the name of a famous highlander family living for generations in the Podhale region of Poland. The band with the name Trebunie Tutki is maybe the oldest still existing folk music group from Poland. They have released many albums up to now. This CD is a sampler with music from the years 1992 to 1999.
On the one hand you have the music and traditions of the mountains of the Podhale region - on the other hand many other influences, especially through the collaborations they have made. Very special is the collaboration with the Twinkle brothers, a Jamacain roots reggae group. It is fascinating to listen to the total different cultures coming together.
A fascinating group which is open to travel all the time to new grounds... Those readers who are going to attened the folk festival in Rudolstadt (Germany) can see them live there.
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Christian Moll

Ed Boyd, Michelle O Brien, Colette O Leary, John Jo Kelly "Steve's Kitchen"
Label: own; 2002; Playing time: 46.49 min, Ireland
If you like Irish music you surely have heard the names of these musicians before. Ed Boyd (guitar) and John Jo Kelly (bodhran) are the rhythm section of the genius quartett Flook. Colette O Leary (accordeon) and Michelle O Brien (fiddle) are part of the Bumblebees (and other bands). Actually the four musicians made in spring a tour through Germany as Bumblebees - but this Bumblebees line up was exclusively for this tour...
When you have the album in your hand you can see that it is a production of the musicians themselves - the information in the booklet is sparse and the booklet itself looks self made - the design is nice though...
Nevertheless the musical and production quality is high. You can feel that Irish music is the world of the four young musicians, and they do their best in it!
Unfortunately I think you will get this album just from the musicians themself...
Christian Moll

Tony Mc Manus "Ceol More"
Label: Greentrax; CDTRAX 226; 2002; Playing time: 50.23 min
Guitar CDs are sometimes for people who do not play themselve, a bit unspectacular. I have got several CDs of very gifted guitarist, where the playing is absolute perfect, but somehow the atmosphere is missing.
Tony McManus' work is different, he really knows how to make a very soulful and strong atmosphere with finger picking guitar. Ceol More is in my opinion the best of his solo CDs, the arrangements of the tunes will keep coming round in my heads for hours.
On Ceol More the talented Scotsman only got some sparse support of Ewen Vernal on bass and (on two tracks) Guy Nicholson with Tablas. Tony himself plays besides the guitar the mandolin.
His playing style is uniquely steeped in Scottish roots, but with his own flavour. He has gathered for this CD a bunch of tunes from all over the world. His journey starts in Scotland with some tunes including a Piobreachd, Ceol Mhore (=big music) - name for the classical music of the highland bagpipe - interpreted with loads of highland atmosphere, and a beautiful instrumental version of the famous Burns song 'Banks and Braes'. Further on he visits Ireland and Brittany to go via 'Shalom Aleichem', a 17th century Hebrew hymn from Eastern Europe, to Northern America, to be more exact to Quebeque, a french speaking province of Canada, where his friends of La Bottine Souriante come from... Finally he finishes with 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' a slow air written by bass legend Charles Mingus.
Tony really knows what to do to get the attention of the listener - great album of the guitarist who knows best how to put atmosphere into the tunes! The music is relaxed and never gets boaring.
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Christian Moll

Rosario De Marco "Intuition"
Label: Move; MD3241; 2001; Playing time: 51.08 min
Rosario De Marco hails from Italy, the information is not very clear, but it seems that he is from Napoli. Nevertheless, the Italian guitarist recorded and published this album in Australia...
Rosario is a gifted musician and composer, he can create a mediterrean atmosphere with just a guitar. His style is something between melodious picking and rhythmic percussive playing. The general impression is agressive and experimental, he adds a lot of influences into his tunes but it always sounds somehow rooted in the Mediterrean, yet with a unique flavour to it. He has also a project called United World Music project, and he has performed with the leading Jazz musicians of Australia...
It is always a pleasure to get CDs with so much emotion in solo instrumental music - Rosario can entertain with giving an insight into his (musical) soul!
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Christian Moll

Willy Schwarz "Home"
Label: Clearspot; CS 057 EFA CD 60203; 2001; Playing time: 59.37 min
Half of humanity don't wear shoes, and the rest hear about it on the evening news. Two out of ten got all the cash, while the other eight search through the pile of trash to see what's for dinner today. More than 21 million people today are on the run, says UNO, and as much disrooted in their own countries. Nevertheless many in the Western hemisphere seem to think that's kind of funny. Willy Schwarz took care of immigrants, refugees and exiles with a song cycle simply titled "Home". The griefs of inequality, suppression and war. Soldiers arrive in the night. Some of them 14 years old, look at the shiny new toys in their hands. The things left behind. (Schwarz recalls the immigration of his Jewish parents from Italy to the US.) Each week we'd get a bundle of Corriere della Sera and he'd read about his homeland as the Opera played on. Tears are dripping from the statue of the Virgin in the chapel, and a thousand naked Magdalenes lie tanning in the sun, the young policeman directs traffic as if it were La Boheme. The belief in a better world, full of dreams and aspirations. Someday I'll walk through the front door, with my wife I'll choose a first course and give orders to the waiter. Schwarz is at home with afro-funk, jazz, and Balkan and Indian sounds. I am reminded sometimes of Ronan O'Snodaigh's chanting (Kila). And to get the understanding completely, German, Italian and Spanish translations are provided in the accompanying booklet.
Walkin' T:-)M

Shane MacGowan's Popes "Across the Broad Atlantic"
Label: Eagle Records; EAGCD192; 2001; Playing time: 75.25 min
It's too big. It's full of idiots. It's soulless. I'm talking about WASP's. The Irish-American fans were great. I always loved playing New York, Boston, even Chicago. Thanks to Foot and Mouth Disease, Paddy's Day in Dublin had to be moved from March to May and thus Shane MacGowan, the unoffical patron saint of contemporary Irish music, became the first known Irish performer to be able to celebrate (and record) Paddy's Day on stage in both New York and Dublin in the same year. Inbetween Shane's introduction God bless America - not (could be a reply that his "Crock of Gold" album received some foul reviews in the US due to controversial lyrics) and his farewell Fuck Paddy's Day!, MacGowan delivers over an hour of "Best of Shane live". Irish songs are about fighting, fucking and drinking. The important things in life. 55% old Pogues stuff, 35% from the Popes era, plus "Angel of Death" by Hank Williams and the traditional "Granuaille". "Fairytale of New York" features Shane's mother Theresa on guest vocals. Despite of swallowing every substance to abuse yourself, Shane is still alive and kicking. Mind you, his alter ego Brendan Behan didn't make it that long: Behan came from the Irish literary tradition of the bard being a drunk, getting paid in whiskey and sleeping in a ditch. I don't get paid in whiskey and I don't sleep in a ditch, but I see myself metaphorically like that - as coming from that tradition. Long may he play.
Eagle Records
Walkin' T:-)M

Greenland Whalefishers "Loboville"
Label: Own Label; 2001; Playing time: 42.28 min
The name Greenland Whalefishers has nothing to do with whale hunting or similar activities. We just play rock'n roll. But it is more than a sly reference to the traditional song, included on the first Pogues album. Singer Arvid Grov from Bergen may claim to be the Norwegian answer to Shane MacGowan, fishing in the same pond of life'e experiences. His voice is as close as you can get, to the extent that you can easily mistake it for the pure drop. (Maybe Shane has been cloned, but Arvid has reportedly better teeth and less prominent ears.) The line-up of fiddle, mandolin, banjo, whistle, guitar, bass and drums adds to the resemblance. This is not the most inventive, but Arvid is able to write songs that can cope with the man's himself. It's only rock'n'roll, but I like it.
Greenland Whalefishers
Walkin' T:-)M

More English CD Reviews: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5
More German CD Reviews: Page 1 - Page 2
Overview: CD Review Contents

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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 06/2002

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