Issue 23 09/2002

FolkWorld CD ReviewsDog

Tre Martelli "Semper viv"

Label: Felmay/Dunya; 8048; 2002
Tre Martelli is probably one of the most known names in the Italian folk scene. They started in 1977 and celebrate their 25 anniversary with this release. It contains songs of the first five albums which are no longer available in the shops. Tre Martelli shows on this cd their rich history and gives a good picture of Italian folkmusic. They use many ancient instruments including Hurdy-gurdy, bagpipe, horn, Button accordion and many other. The cd contains mainly dance tunes including some nice vocals - listen to the hypnotic female vocals in I prinsi d carignan. There seems to be more interest in Italian music during the last few years. Tre Martelli should be named as one of the leading bands. This cd is a welcome addition to each European folk collection and an inspiration for many young Italian groups
Eelco Schilder

Tony Reidy "The coldest day in winter"
Label: Own; 2002; Playing time: 39.55 min
Singer-songwriter Tony Reidy was born in Ireland and his music is a pleasant mixture of his singer-songwriter qualities and Irish traditional music. He chooses to record eleven songs that have a poetic and strong ballad feeling. The music is sober so you can concentrate on the lyrics without being disturbed by complicated instrumental accompaniment. It's clear that Reidy gets his inspiration from artists like Dylan but on a song like Draiodoir dubh he has a Nick drake sounds as well. Tony Reidy recorded this debut cd on an older age than most starting musicians. It's like on this cd he reflects on his life and makes us part of his country and his history. He does it in a beautiful and impressive way. This Coldest day in winter might turn out to be one of the warmest album in the 2002 singer-songwriter scene.
Eelco Schilder

Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars "Brotherhood of brass"
Label: Piranha; pir1683; 2002; Playing time: 65.54 min
The Piranha label just delivered a few fantastic Brass cd's. Besides the Fanfare Ciocarlia cd Iag Bari, this all-star project is the most interesting one released on this label the past year. The brotherhood of brass exists of the musicians of Klezmer Brass Allstars, the Boban Markovi Orkestar and the Hasaballa Brass Band. Three top groups bringing the history of the East European Jewish Klezmer music in such an exited way that it's impossible to not like this album. It was the meaning to see how the klezmer music travelled over borders and interact with the music of neighbouring countries. That's exactly what happens. Sometimes it's just straight Klezmer music but often the music shows influences from Italy, Bulgaria etc, but also from more Eastern countries like Turkey. This album is the third strong Brass album of this year. Together with the earlier mentioned Fanfare Ciocarlia and the Schal Sick Brass Band's new cd Kesh Mesh. This All-stars album makes this year a very successful one for Brass and klezmer music.
Eelco Schilder

Greg Brown "Over and under"
Label: Trailer; trub 33; 2000; Playing time: 48.19 min
Greg Brown might sound unknown to you but many known artists know his songwriters quality and recorded songs he wrote. He started playing more than 25 years ago inspired by a musical family in which his mother played the electric guitar, his grandfather played the banjo and his grandmother was a poet. He writes personal ballads that are a bit on the "depressing" side on some occasions but always with some hope. His music is a nice mixture of country, blues and soft-rock. Friendly finger picking on both guitar and banjo. His voice is heavy and he sings in a monotone way which suits his music very well. Over and under is a very nice cd indeed.
Eelco Schilder

Acoustic Blues Duo "Comic book"
Label: Coq au vin Records; cav128; 2001; Playing time: 48.32 min
This is a very special release that the acoustic blues-duo has made. In a special limited edition they synthesised blues music with art. The cd comes in a booklet which, as the title suggested, is a comic book. The drawings (mostly without words) tell a surrealistic story about a musician which can be interpreted anyway you want. (Is it a happy story? Does he die? Is he a good musician? I'm not going to tell you, you have to read the book )
Besides the comic book this cd also contains some music. Eleven pure blues songs brought with fun and power by this duo. No tricks, everything you hear is real. Why this is a good cd? Not because they are the best musicians you ever heard because they are not. But they play their music in a honest way. They like what their doing and that can be heard. Be fast if you want this cd because only 1000 are made. Visit the web page and order this. If you don't like blues, order it anyway because this duo should be supported so they can deliver another great piece of art in the future
Eelco Schilder

Huun huur tu "Spirits from Tuva"
Label: Jaro; 4243-2; 2002; Playing time: 50.55 min
A new cd by the known singers from Tuva Huun-Huur-tu? No, not really. This cd contains 11 remixes of old songs and one live song. When you are as popular as this group and you make music that sounds exotic to many people, there will always come a day that your songs will be re-mixed. The music of Huun-Huur-Tu is full with strange sounds and vocals so it must have been great to remix them. Although several artists were asked for this cd, I think the style is a bit the same. They preserved the original sound quit a lot and turned the songs into light dance songs. The cd contains some nice re-mixes, both powerful and more light-dance style. Can somebody explain me why there always has to be a sitar mix on this kind of cd's? This cd is fun and great to dance on. One of the few weak links that I should mention are the mixes of the songs Love ride and Chedy khaan. Both are called the Malerija mixes but seem to be done without any creativity, a pity because some of the other mixes I will use for sure when I organise a dance-party
Eelco Schilder

Okay Temiz "Magnetic orient"
Label: Jaro; 4244-2; 2002; Playing time: 74.42 min
Okay Temiz is one of those musicians who looks further than the borders of his own country. Born in Turkey in 1939 he studied percussion on the conservatory in Ankara. Already from the early start he was attracted to rhythms from all over the world. He originally played in Turkish show and dance bands but in Stockholm he discovered the music of the Afro-Americans to which he was attracted immediately. He stayed in Sweden and started several bands there mixing jazz with ethnic music. His last cd Karsilama which was issued in 1999, was a big breakthrough for him around the world. Now his new album has been released and this Magnetic orient sounds more orient indeed than his previous output. Still he plays with jazz, Balkan and Klezmer music, but most of all he translated the atmosphere of the orient night into music. His percussion is hypnotising, helped by strong clarinet solo's. Listen to the song Misket which has it all. Almost seven minutes of delightful music in which percussion is more than just giving rhythm to the other instruments. Weird is the final song Kim o Tomi. strange noises, almost like aliens arrive in their spaceship. This song is scary and funny at the same time. Enough variation, great music which works like an ear magnet, I have to listen to it again and again
Eelco Schilder

Demolition String Band "Pulling up atlantis"
Label: Okra tone; 4964; 2001; Playing time: 44.35 min
What the **** is this, was my first reaction when I saw the sleeve of the Demolition String Band. It looked like happy Cowboy music and I'm just not the happy cowboy kind of person. To be honest after a few times listening I still don't know what it is. Their music makes me happy, it has a relaxed sound full with influences from different styles. I smell some Hawaiian slide-guitar, taste some country guitar with a good touch of rock and just a drop of blues. These musicians must have had a great time recording this album, their music sounds fresh and has a feel-good atmosphere. The vocals of Elena Skye is very nice and the band sounds experienced. This is just the cd I will listen to on these sunny days in autumn when you think with both sadness and happiness about the great summer that has been.
Eelco Schilder

Richard Gilpin "Beautiful mistake"
Label: Tree Records; gil4; 2002; Playing time: 50.12 min
The singer-songwriter Richard Gilpin started in the late 80's in the band Admiral Speers. Since then he has toured through Europe, recorded an album with Portstewartband and now released his first solo-cd. Originally from Belfast, he brings intimate songs strongly influenced by blues and country music. But most of all his music should be seen as acoustic rock with nice, personal lyrics. Strong finger picking and modest singing. It's like he looks back on his live with both satisfaction and sadness. Longing to the things that has been but also curious to what the future will bring. I think this Beautiful mistake Is a strong debut album. Many beautiful songs like You coaxed the devil out of me or Tears in the end and only a few moments that can't convince me. Especially Be my prison which doesn't sound natural like his other songs. I miss his own style in this particular song. But without this Be my prison there is more than 45 minutes of good music left, enough I think to enjoy!
Eelco Schilder

edelschwarz "Alpine harte 1 von 2"
Label: Blanko; 07243812140; 2002; Playing time: 27.55 min
This cd is everything except boring. I'm always interested in a good mixture of tradition and rock or in this case metal and rock. And this cd by Edelschwarz is a remarkable one. They mix tunes with traditional Alps atmosphere with heavy guitars, drums and beat. Rocking accordion and some punk Yodelling here. I never heard this style of music before but after some research I understood that there are quit a few bands who mix Yodelling with rock, punk or whatever. The cd has a nice balance in heavy and bit light music. It's not only "noise" (like many people would describe metal music) but they also paid attention to the melody and atmosphere. Must be party to see this band live, hope I will be able to see them one day
Eelco Schilder

Roger McGuinn "Treasures from the folk den"
Label: Appleseed; 1046; 2001; Playing time: 62.47 min
Do I need to introduce Roger McGuinn to you? Well very briefly, The Byrds. That said enough I think because I don't care about what he did, it's this cd that counts. Armed with a computer recording machine (for the exact type please read the booklet) he recorded eighteen classic folksongs at the home of legendary names. This cd contains some impressive recordings, pure and powerful. The versions of willie moore with Joan Baez and Eliza Carthy, Bonnie ship the diamond with Judy Collins, Dink's song with Pete Seeger are great. Fair nottamun town with Jean Ritchie isn't as good as her solo version from the early seventies but absolutely better than many of the other versions I heard. Roger McGuinn did a great job here, authentic recordings from legendary artists.
Eelco Schilder

Katty Moffatt "Cowboy girl"
Label: Shanachie; 6054; 2001; Playing time: 66.04 min
Katy Moffatt's first album with western music caught me by surprise. Cowboy girl is not the title I would normally buy, purely because I have these strange stereotype kind of ideas in my head when I read the word cowboy. About the same ideas most American people get when they hear I'm Dutch (No i do not wear wooden shoes, yes I do eat cheese). This album is full of intense and emotional ballads, mostly with a clear touch of Western music. Besides western she sings the blues and some of her songs sound traditional English. My personal favourite is her version of the traditional The Brazos. Here she sings straight to the heart. Her style is sober and her music is serious business. I'm still worrying about this title because I know it will stop people from buying it because they have the same prejudice mind as I have. That's a pity because this cd deserves it to be heard.
Band Homepage:
Eelco Schilder

Pe Werner "Beinfreiheit"
Label: Universal; 340053; 2002; Playing time: 48.11 min
This cd beinfreiheit is my introduction to the music of Pe Werner. Because German isn't my native tong (neither is English which you probably would have guessed after reading some of my articles), it is sometimes difficult to understand the music when it's sung in German. I do not have this problem with Pe Werner. Her music is light and delicate. Bit folky but with a touch of modern rock music. Her lyrics should be Poetic according to the press information. I find her lyrics most of all Ironic. The best words to describe this cd are Sunny, smile, friendly and warm. But I'm sure people who have German as their first language will find much more in her music and lyrics.
Band Homepage:
Eelco Schilder

Al Cook "The country blues"
Label: wolf records; 120.927; 2001; Playing time: 64.39 min
Al Cook released his first lp in 1970 and after thirty years his new cd The country blues brings us back even longer. Pure blues country with rock'n roll influences. Guitar and vocals and autobiographic lyrics. A must for the real blues-lover who doesn't like all this modern blues mixing with pop music and other styles. Al Cook brings the music like it once was, and it still should be. Simple and pure.
Eelco Schilder

Adam Carroll "live"
Label: Down Hole; 4005; 2002
Coming from Texas, Adam Caroll brings music in the tradition of Van Zandt and Butch Hancock. This live cd contains sixteen of his songs brought with guitar and harmonica. His songs aren't about normal people. the characters in his lyrics all seem to have a special mission or at least gone through a tough life. His singing is serious but with a good sense of humour. His music is basic which shows that the story he wants to tell is the important part. A nice cd but only for real lovers of the genre.
Contact to record company:
Eelco Schilder

Bellwether "Home late"
Label: Rust Belt; 09712; 2002; Playing time: 36.57 min
Bellwether is a band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Four musicians playing what I would call country rock. This is their third album which contains twelve strong tracks. The opening song Dim light is an easy starter while After thoughts shows the real quality of the band. Starting like a campfire classic on harmonica this song grows into a beautiful ballad with a bit dark atmosphere. Same for songs like home late and The lake which has a nice psycho touch. The band shows quality by mixing such songs with light interruptions like Baltimore. This home late cd is a big surprise for me. The mix of country, rock and psycho music is always of high quality and on some occasions, like on the earlier mentioned songs, the band brings fabulous music. It will be hard to get this cd in your local store I think, so visit the webpage to order!
Band Homepage:
Eelco Schilder

Rice, Rice, Hillamn & Pedersen "Running wild"
Label: Rounder ; 0483; 2001; Playing time: 35.31 min
The RRHP is a name that asks for respect. If you ask people if they know these musicians they either look at you as if you are from another planet or people fall on their knees and tell full passion about their love for this Quartet. This is their third album and according to the sleeve their most integrated, coherent statement yet. Well, it's true. Four individuals , all great musicians, form one sound which is warm and technically of a high standard. But....I think this music is specially made for the bit older folk, bluegrass fan. Despite the high quality I think it's a bit to boring. Twelve songs, with the same midlife-crisis sound is a bit to much for me. Where is the passion, where is the real inspiration? why does it have to be so careful, almost afraid of making technical mistakes? But than, maybe I'm just too young to really appreciate this music.
Eelco Schilder

Kunsertu "Shams"
Label: Felmay; 21750 6701; 2002; Playing time: 46.40 min
This is the official cd-release of one of Kunsertu's early album. This group from Sicily brings a mixture of ethnic, rock jazz and funk music. The recordings are about thirteen years old and show the richness of the Sicilian musicale culture. Arabic grooves, real eighties funky beats mix into a quit experimental album. In that time they were one of the first groups to mix ethnic sounds with pop music. Now our ears are used to these kind of crossover music, Kunsertu might sound a bit old fashioned . But if you think that they recorded this music at the end of the eighties, you might understand the importance of re-releasing this "classic" cd
Eelco Schilder

Ostbahn "Kurtiositšten"
Label: Universal; 018 676; year; Playing time: 62.25 min
I never heard of the Ostbahn before but from the booklet I understand that the group already exists for a long time. This cd contains some rare recordings out of the bands history. It's not a real folkband but more singer-songwriter rock. It has a overall nice rocky sound and personally I prefer the older recordings on which the band has a full and impressive sound. Besides own work they also sing translations from artists such as Neil Young. It was nice to hear something from this for me unknown group and I think that Ostbahn fans will be happy with this collection of rare recordings.
Band Homepage:
Eelco Schilder

Yid Vicious "Forverts"
Label: Uvulittle; 2001; Playing time: 57.00 min
The name Yid Vicious might sound like a punk band, it isn't. This is a group of seven musicians who play Klezmer music in, what I would call, the American tradition. Nice tunes which are played carefully and because of that could use some extra power. Their music gets really interesting when Anna Purnell starts to sing. The song Vuszhe vils tu is a beautiful song with an exiting arrangement. But than the classic Yiddish song Lomir zich iberbetn has been done so many times before and so much better than this straight a head version that I'm getting a bit irritated. Why is Yid Vicious able to make exciting music in the one song but plays completely bored in the next song? If you choose to record songs that have been recorded many times than at least try to get something new out of it (like in A gleyzele vayn which has a nice electric guitar lead). I think this album is a missed chance and hopefully Yid Vicious dares to be more different on their next cd.
Band Homepage:
Eelco Schilder

Gary Brewer & the Kentucky Ramblers "Home brew"
Label: copper creek; 0202; 2001; Playing time: 38.17 min
Gary Brewer & the Kentucky Ramblers, the name sounds like such a bluegrass band from the fifties. Eell, they also sound like that. Straight and honest bluegrass in the best tradition. Simple but beautiful songs, traditional and from legendary musicians like Woody Guthrie. Gary Brewer plays without pretending to be renewing. He represents a music style that gets more attention again after some years of silence. If you want to enjoy some pure music, you will definitely enjoy this Home brew cd
Eelco Schilder

Julian Dawson "Hillbilly zen"
Label: blue rose; 272; 2002
Not much information about Julian Dawson only that this cd was recorded with Gene Parsons. But then, it's the music that counts. And I have to say that the mixture of country, bluegrass and rock is really a pleasure to listen to. It's feel-good music even in nice ballads like Don't just do something his music has a positive and cheerful atmosphere. His voice is warm and his gentle guitar-play makes the heart feel weak. With respect to tradition Dawson created a modern album which has both soul and passion. Like he sings himself: It's hard to be unhappy with a banjo in your hand.
Eelco Schilder

Gamelan of Central Java "ceremonial music part 2"
Label: dunya/felmay; 21750 8042; 2002
After the release of ceremonial part 1 , this is the second edition containing ceremonial music from Java. Played on the Gamelan, this music has a high spiritual and meditating atmosphere. The tunes are centuries old and have a healing effect on your soul. It's music that would help you rest after a busy day at work. It's music that some people are afraid of because it takes over the control on your emotions. It's not music that you listen to while your doing something else. Sit down, close your eyes and concentrate on what you hear. Feel the sound and notice how the music gets more intense. The tunes all start slow and easy but by adding small changes and change of rhythms it soon starts to feel like your hypnotised. Do you have the guts to try something ancient?
Eelco Schilder


More English CD Reviews: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6
More German CD Reviews: Page 1 - Page 2
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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 09/2002

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