Issue 25 6/2003
FolkWorld CD Reviews
Diane Zeigler " Paintbrush"
Label: Own; 0000.; 2002; Playing time: 42.09
Paintbrush is the third cd by Diane Zeigler. She won several US songwriter awards
and had some positive reviews in several media. Her style is singer-songwriter
music with guitar, vocals and backed several musicians on bass, fiddle, percussion
and other instruments. She mixes US folk with bluegrass and a touch of Irish,
Scottish folk. Her vocals are simple but nice. She brings her songs in a very
peaceful and relaxed way. Eleven songs long you know exactly what to expect, good
quality music but not one moment surprising. Diane Zeigler shows with this cd
that she can compete with a lot of singer-songwriters in the same genre but in
my opinion she has not her sound isn't specific enough to get noticed in the big
stream of talented singer-songwriters.
Artist homepage: www.dianezeigler.com
Aufwind " Inejem"
music ; 03045.; 2002; Playing time: 47.01 min
Aufwind is a German group that works intensively with the Yiddish music, language,
history and culture. They have been travelling through Eastern-Europe and bring
beautiful old Yiddish songs and tunes. They do not want to preserve the songs
as they were many years ago. They try to interpretate the music in their own
way but with respect to the original. The band exist already more than 18 years
and started making "klezmer" music long before it got popular to even talk about
this musical tradition. This cd Inejem is their fifth cd and of a rare beauty.
The band approaches the music almost as classical music which makes each of
the songs and tunes fragile and very intense. Many "Klezmer" groups think that
the harder and faster they play this music , the better it gets. I think Aufwind
understands what this music is really about. With emotion at these moments that
is requested and happy and free when the music allows it. I'm really impressed
with this strong album and I hope many people will enjoy this cd as much as
Artist homepage: www.aufwindmusik.de
Pamela Wyn Shannon " Nature's bride"
; 001.; 2001
Pamela Wyn Shannon is a US musician with her heart for a big part in Ireland.
It was there where she spend one year making, listening to and searching for
music. She met Johnny Moynihan Planxty, DeDannan eo. who taught her a lot of
things and helped her until she had to go back to the us. In 1993 she recorded
her first EP which got good critics in several media. Now her new cd Nature's
bride is a full length cd with a surprisingly strong collection of songs. Most
of the songs are Pamela her own work but she also sings the beautiful Nick Drake
song I was made to love magic. The cd contains 12 beautiful songs in the best
Celtic influenced singer-songwriter tradition. Pamela doesn't focus on one trick
but she has the talent to turn each song into a beautiful piece of art. I love
Orlando which has a nice classical backing while other songs are more Celtic.
The earlier mentioned Nick Drake song has this jazzy touch that makes this song
one of the few Drake interpretations that is acceptable. And again, now I'm
listening to this cd I hear new things and I feel that the music is getting
more and more under my skin.
Various artists " Malunde"
top twenty ; 003; 2002; Playing time: 47.02 min
Malunde is originally a film that received several international nominations.
The story tells about friendship and racial reconciliation in South-Africa.
For this film the composer Annette Focks composed the soundtrack which is now
out on cd. The problem with soundtracks is that it's hardly ever interesting
if you didn't see the film. The same counts for Malunde. Although the quality
of the composition and the musicians is very high, the soundtrack is nothing
more but a collection of fragments. Beautiful fragments, with strong South-African
vocals and sensitive orchestration by the Munich Philharmonic orchestra, but
often the songs are to short to impress me. I had moments that a song ended
right at that moment that its started to get interesting. Of course this is
normal on a soundtrack and nobody who saw this film would mind. But to hear
it as a piece of music and not as a soundtrack this Malunde has potential but
is to chaotic and unbalanced to really impress me.
One riot one ranger " Flat city nights"
Haydens Ferry ; 22012.; 2002; Playing time: 46.16 min
One riot one ranger is a US bluegrass ensemble which wears the original hats
and bring fine, smooth popular bluegrass music. The group exists out of five
musicians playing all the standard bluegrass instruments like banjo, dobro,
mandolin etc. According to the booklet, which comes with the cd and I quote:
'With their startling good looks and infectious, almost virulent, wit and charm',
this band is more than music, they are the most wanted man in this world! It
took me a lot of energy to keep this cd away from my wife, afraid as I was that
she would pack her bags and leave for a transatlantic adventure. Leaving me
with nothing but this new cd which I would listen over and over again. And maybe
I would because this is such a cd that has the 'positive atmosphere'. If you
listen to the twelve songs you feel the pleasure of the musicians in making
music. It's not the most daring bluegrass experience I ever heard but they know
exactly how to create a catchy and very pleasant sound. For everybody who likes
to get to know this style of music, this cd is a very good place to start. It's
accessible to a big audience and I'm sure there are some people who will enjoy
David Lamotte " Corners "
dryad music ; 9090 ; 2001; Playing time: 49.57 min
David Lamotte is a US singer-songwriter with quite a reputation already. His
music has it's roots in the North-Carolina mountains, not because he was born
there but he often visited the place on holidays and loved it. He had several
international awards and especially his children cd SS bathtub was a huge success.
He toured intensively through the US, Europe and other parts of the world. This
Corners cd is his sixth cd since his debut in 1991. The cd is recorded together
with guest musicians like Michael Manring and Hans Teuber. The cd contains twelve
intense friendly songs. Especially catchy songs like Deadline and Lenscape are
of high quality. Bit rocky approach with a good feeling for these two songs
while others are more personal and sensitive ballads with a minimum of instrumentation.
With this studio album David Lamotte shows he is a good and very talented singer-songwriter
which probably get a lot of fans when more people hear his music. Maybe a good
suggestion for the organisations of summer festivals in Europe?
Artist homepage: www.davidlamotte.com
David Lamotte " Good tar; double live"
dryad music ; 9091.; 2002; Playing time: 85.31 min
I already introduced David Lamotte in the review of his latest studio album.
This good tar is a 2-cd set with more than eighty minutes of David Lamotte live
on stage. He has a good reputation as a live artist, being on many big festivals
world-wide. He shared the stage with artists like Arlo Guthrie, Buddy Miles
and others. This two cd set is nice, especially to capture the live show atmosphere
but as a person who never heard his music before, I prefer his studio album.
The live cd has a lot of talking and the sound quality of his latest studio
album Corners is of much better quality. Still, with this live cd David Lamotte
proofs again that many people will enjoy it to see him on one of the festivals
or on a club tour. Preferably in Europe so I have the change to see his performance.
Artist homepage: www.davidlamotte.com
Kieran Goss " Out of my head"
Label: cog; 220.; 2002; Playing time: 70.01
Kieran Goss started in 1987 with his first cd Brand new star ever since this
Irish singer-songwriter has a steady place in Irish music. Not as much in the
traditional direction but more in the folk influenced pop-music. This cd gives
a fine overview on his solo work. All eighteen songs are of high quality and
very easy to listen to. Although his earlier songs are a bit more simple than
his later output, they already have the power and the urge to get as good as
the songs from his later cd's. The cd comes with a few rare tracks. Love at
a distance comes from an album he recorded with Francis Black and brand new
star is a single b-side. I think this cd is a good introduction to the works
of Kieran Goss. Seen his success on his latest Dutch tour and his performance
on Dutch national radio I think many people don't know yet that they like Kieran
Goss his music. These people should buy this cd. For all these people who discovered
Goss years ago and have all his albums, the bonustrack isn't enough to buy this
Artist homepage: www.kierangoss.com
Steinbacker " Best of"
; 066153-2.; 2002; Playing time: 75.19 min
This is a cd that I just cannot listen to more than three songs. Terribly simple
pop songs sung which I don't think many folk lovers will enjoy. Without any
fantasy, made to reach a big audience. What to say? I think this is the wrong
cd for this magazine. It has nothing to do with folk or good singer-songwriter
music-magazine. Maybe more interesting for the Eurovision song-contest, he will
probably have a chance to win.
Vermicelli orchestra " demo"
Label: Own; 2001
This is not a regular cd but a demo from the vermicelli orchestra to introduce
their music. The music of this Russian orchestra could be best compared with
the Dutch group Flairck in their late eighties period. Catchy instrumental folk
music with light beats and jazzy flute. The way this orchestra arranged their
songs, the melody line etc. This could be a Flairck spin-off. Influences from
Russia but also from Spain, Greece and western-Europe. Mixed styles from classical,
folk, light until jazz and pop music. As I'm a big Flairck fan I also like this
Vermicelli orchestra. Good, solid instrumental music which is brought in a clever
and enthusiastic way. I think that it's time they send me a real full length
cd so I can review it for the next folkworld.
Artist homepage: www.vo.org.ru
Dagored " acoustic blues'n roots"
Label: Own; 2002; Playing time: 16.12 min
Another demo from an Italian group this time. Not with folkmusic but acoustic
blues and roots. This group started in 1998 brings some traditional and a few
self written material. I would call this pure, inspiring blues. Strong low vocals
with balanced and sober instrumentation. The five songs on this demo cd convinced
me that Dagored is a rising star in the blues music. Although they also play
folk songs, I didn't recognise them as such on the cd. It's the blues that does
it for this band. They recorded other cd's, for more info you should visit their
Artist homepage: www.dagored.it
Big city indians " uncle peyote"
Label: monte russo ; 0599.; 1999; Playing
time: 66.12 min
The Big city Indians started in 1997 under another name; Grossstadt indianer
but now they use the much more international sounding English name. The band
mixes Indian tribal music with rock music. The result is a new-age kind of mood
music with all kind of specific vocals and rhythms. It's hard to tell where
a song starts and were it ends, it's more like a spiritual experience than twelve
independent songs. Besides the music they also pay a lot of attention to the
lyrics which tell about the rich cultural live of the Indians. It's not easy
to follow the lyrics throughout the cd, if this really is important for the
group I think they need to bring the vocals a little bit more to the front.
But than, the lyrics are also printed in the booklet so that gives us the change
to enjoy the special sound-landscape of this cd. I think this is a nice cd with
both hypnotising and spiritual moment.
Artist homepage: www.bigcityindians.com
Jienat " Daja"
Label: Own; 00001.; 2000
When I was looking for info about Sami music for an article in a Dutch magazine,
I accidentally got in contact with one of the members of Jienat. After some
e-mail contact he did send me a cd to review in folkworld. I have a high interest
in any Nordic music tradition and Sami music in specific so I was very happy
getting this private released cd. I even got happier when I heard it, this is
great music! Jienat comes from the Norwegian part of Samiland and includes besides
a female singer Yoik several percussionists and a bass player. The vocalist
Mari Hætta Øverli has been singing since she was a child and has performed throughout
whole Europe. Her voice is beautifully clear and powerful it's like each tone
she sings comes deep out of her body. The subtle percussion brings her vocals
to a higher level. The percussionists Andre Ferrari, Frederik Gille and Mikael
Nilsson are masters in creating the right rhythms at the right moments helped
with the bass played by Andreas Fliflet. The group has the right chemistry and
is convincing from the first to the last song. Great is the song Ole Gabriel
where they use a human beatbox and get up to 180 beats a minute. I recommend
this cd to everybody who likes the Sami music but I think this cd is also good
to get to know the Sami culture. Daja has an open and accessible spirit and
will be liked by many. Please visit their webpage for more info and ordering
Artist homepage: www.jienat.com
Ffynnon " Celtic music from Wales"
Green linnet ; 1221.; 2002
It's not s often that I hear a cd with Celtic music from Wales. It's like they
don't find their way to other regions as easy as the Breton, Scottish and Irish
ones. This Ffynnon recorded 16 songs mostly Celtic Welsh traditionals. Beautifully
sung by Lynn Denman accompanied by Stacey Blythe on keyboard/accordion and Dave
Reid on bass, guitar and keyboard. Ffynnon interpretates the Celtic music in
a different and surprising way. They turn the songs into moody, mystical music
without getting to dreamy. Sober bass-lines and fragile percussion are the main
ingredients besides Lynne her vocals. They approach the songs and tunes with
a light touch of jazz and they still have a feeling of tradition. The quality
of the vocals can be heard in each song but especially in the a-cappella song
aros mae. A really strong album which make me feel small and strong at the same
time. Sometimes a bit to sweet like in Galw but mostly pure and peaceful.
Elaine Morgan " Shine on"
Label: Own ; 001.; 2002
Elaine Morgan is a singer-songwriter from Wales. Her self written songs are
a mixture of Celtic folk, country and blues. On this album she is supported
by Derek Morgan on keyboard, guitar, bass and bogos and the Cardiff Arms park
male choir is doing some backing vocals. I would describe the music of Elaine
not as Celtic folk or country blues. It are more light popsongs that are influenced
by Celtic music mostly and a little bit blues and country added. Although the
songs have a nice, friendly atmosphere I find the this cd to much mainstream.
The songs are nice and simple but when I listen to them they stay on the background,
hardly ever do I get the urge to listen what's going on. I also have a problem
with the sound of traditional instruments coming out of a keyboard. it really
can be heard that the whistles etc. are not original but come out of an electric
instrument. I find that really disturbing. My personal conclusion would be that
this is a cd like many others, not bad but not extremely good as well. Nobody
will be bothered when it's played and I think there will be a group of people
who like it but for me it's to predictable.
Artist homepage: www.elainemorgan.co.uk
Another real treat from Scotland waiting to be discovered. Dóchas features
five girls from the Scottish Highlands and Islands and Ireland, all of them
with music degree. They play a wonderful range of instruments - among others
small, border and highland pipes (Carol-Anne Mackay), accordion, guitar and
piano (Kathleen Boyle), whistles and oboe (Julie M Fowlis), clàrsach
(Eilidh MacLeod) and fiddle (Jenna Reid). They have in Julie also an excellent
singer - it is rather unbelievable that she was coaxed into singing only a couple
of years ago! The songs on this album are all traditional Gaelic, featuring
ballads, mouth music and waulking songs, often with chorus singing from Eilidh
and Kathleen. The tunes are lively and create an exciting soundscape; they are
a mix of traditionals and compositions of band members. Additionally to the
excellent music, the booklet has been designed with a lot of love.
With a stunning debut album like this, I am sure we will hear soon again of
Homepage of the artist: www.dochas.co.uk,
contact to label: email@example.com
Kimmo Pohjonen "Kalmuk"
music; 87092; 2002; Playing time: 42.13 min
Kimmo Pohjonens music is not easy to describe. However, it is no easy music,
no music, you can play in the background while you concentrate on other things.
You have to concentrate and get into the music. This will be awarded with an
exceptional sound experience. The compositions on Kalmuk are mainly influenced
by classic music, again and again mixed with folk elements. Sometimes quiet,
sometimes full of suspense, sometimes classic music, sometimes avantgarde, always
diversified, never boring-as we already know from Kimmos music. New is the instrumentation:
on Kalmuk, Kimmo is accompanied by the orchestra "Tapiola Sinfonietta", serveral
stringed bowed and wind instruments, and by the percussionists Abdissa Assefa
and Samuli Kosminen, which makes the sound on this record different from their
predecessors and causes, that Kimmo presents new elements of his music.
Westpark music, www.westparkmusic.com,
P.O. Box 260 227, 50515 Köln, Germany, Tel. +49 221 24 76 44 Fax. +49 221
23 18 19
Flowinglass Music; FM006; 2000; Playing time: 43.09 min
Broceliande is a quartet from the USA, that plays celtic and renaissance music.
They use original arrangements of traditional and early music, together with
authentic instruments to keep the sound as unadulterated as possible. And they
succeed in doing so! The CD contains english and irish traditional songs, medieval
music and sacral songs, played by competent musicians and a pleasure to hear.
It's nice, but nothing exceptional, nothing, that distinguishes Broceliande
from other (european) bands of this kind. So the CD is no 'must to have', but
I recommend the band: you should visit a concert of Broceliande, if you get
the chance to do this.
Flowinglass Music, www.flowinglass.com,
2821 Truman Avenue, Oakland, CA 94605
Label: Park Records; PRKCD60; 2002; Playing time: 50.19 min
I think, there's no need to introduce Lindisfarne, since they are well-known
in the british folk-rock scene for many years. Their new CD is-as usual-a high
quality record, 13 pleasant songs in best english folk-rock and singer/songwriter
style, mixed with some blues elements, all played by excellent musicians. A
record one enjoys to listen!
Park Records, /www.parkrecords.com,
Sampler ''The world of Lusafrica''
Label: Lusafrica; 362772; 2002; Playing time: 56.55
The sampler ''The world of Lusafrica'' gives a cross-section from actual releases
of the france label Lusafrica. It contains 12 songs from different artists from
Africa and South America, without exeption brilliant musicians and high-quality
recordings-a fact, that clearly distinguishes this sampler from similar samplers.
The selection of songs shows the whole band-width for this kind of music, so
I can recommend the sampler to everyone, who wants to get new impressions or
wants to become acquainted with new artists from Africa and South America. You
will get the chance to hear: Bonga (Angola), Leyanis Lopez (Cuba), Orquesta
Aragon (Cuba), Cesaria Evora (Cape Verde), Dona Ivone Lara (Brasil), Sally Nyolo
(Cameroon), Polo Montanez (Cuba), Paulino Pinheiro (Angola), Tania Libertad
(Peru), Osdalgia (Cuba), Ildo Lobo (Cape Verde) and Teofilo Chantre (Cape Verde).
Lusafrica, www.lusafrica.com, 13 Rue
Auger, 93500 Pantin, France, firstname.lastname@example.org
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