FolkWorld Issue 33 05/2007

FolkWorld CD Reviews

Prodigals "Momentum"
Label: Grab entertainment; 1106; 2006
The Prodigals is a Manhattan based folkrock band with musicians deeply rooted in Ireland. The band focuses on nice folkrock with mainly Celtic influences. The musicians have a very different background, Ireland is one of the similarities between them. They have been playing folk, jazz, funk and many other styles before they found each other in The Prodigals. Here they bring these style together in a pleasant rocky mixture in which the Celtic influences are most obvious. The cd contains traditional instrumentals like Ginleyís gravel and Music in the abbey and nice songs in the same vein, such as One morning as I roved out. The Prodigals know how to play nice energetic music and they have a pleasant no nonsense sound.
www.prodigals.com
Eelco Schilder


Beer Belly "Noric Kingdom"
Label: Sazas; 001; 2006
Like almost all other country in this world, also Slovenia has his Celtic band and this one is called Beer Belly, which already suggest that we might have to do with a band that makes music with a humoristic approach. Beer Belly has divided the cd Noric kingdom in four parts. They start off in Scotland with a fabulous bagpipe imitation on the accordion and a funny introduction about how to get a kilt. The second part is Irish and, same as the Scottish part, the band took the most clichť songs of both regions. Molly Malone, Wild rover, Loch lomond, they have been played a million times and although this band sounds funny it doesnít add that much to all these other versions. Beer Belly sings the songs as if they have been in the pub for weeks. Low and heavy vocals and brought without any form of delicateness. A tune like Dicey reilly surprises somehow because it shows that the band is also capable to make proper music in a nice way. The third part of the cd are self penned songs in the Celtic tradition. These are in the same pub style as the songs mentioned above. The best part is the fact that this cd taught me that Those were the days is actually a Russian folksong called Dorogoi dlinnoju. This is a nice version as well, much better than the Mary Hopkins version by far. Anyway, Beer belly is hanging a bit between a serious folk band and an anarchistic type of Celtic music. Sometimes they amaze me, but they also took the easiest way a bit too often to my opinion.
beerbelly.aza-ms.si
Eelco Schilder


Penny Lang "Stone+sand+sea+sky"
Label:
Borealis; bcd176; 2006
Penny Lang can be seen as the grand lady of the Canadian folk-blues. This Stone+sand+sea+sky is her eighth cd and the first studio release in seven years. She has been active in music for over four decades and is one of the most legendary Canadian musicians. The good thing about musicians that have a long history and already reached the status Penny Lang has, is that they donít have to proof themselves any longer and can make music that comes right out of the heart. Thatís exactly what Penny Lang does, she sings a pure kind of music that feels real and original. On a song like Sudden waves she sounds very fragile, while on a song like Let me fly she sounds very vivid and energetic. Two sides of Lang that suit her very well. On the cd she is backed by her son Jason Lang, Dave Clarke, Sue Lothrop and other Canadian legend Kate McGarrigle to mention a few. Stone+ sand+sea+sky doesnít need any longer recommendation, itís pure folk and blues from Canada of the highest quality you can get.
www.pennylang.com
Eelco Schilder


Niftyís "Takeshi Express"
Label:
Extraplatte; ex695p; 2007
The Austrian group Nifty's focuses on a mixture of klezmer and eastern-European folk music. The band exists out of two guitarists, a trumpet player, bassist and percussionist. Not the usual line up for a klezmer band, a bit fewer trumpets one might think. Nifty's shows on this Takeshi express that a band only needs one good trumpet player to create a real nice brass effect. This Nifty's is not just a standard Balkan influenced band, they are much more than that. I hear great progressive-rock influences in one of my favourite tunes Kelomatics, a nice jazz touch in Sirba to floreshty. But mostly this is great klezmer like music played with passion and in a fresh new way. Although the guitars and trumpet are on the main ground, they wouldnít be sounding this good without the strong fundament created by the bass and well done percussion. Listen to Unza waltz in which they bring together all the things I mentioned above, good straight, but effective, percussion, nice rocky guitar intermezzo and a good Klezmer like melody on the trumpet. Interesting cd, this Takeshi express has much more to offer than the standard klezmer or brass orientated bands.
niftys.klingt.org
Eelco Schilder


Ffynnon "Adar Gwylltion"
Label:
Taith records; 003; 2006
For more than ten years the band Ffynnon has represented the traditional music from Wales. Their debut cd from 2002 got worldwide good critics and itís a cd that still finds its way to my cd player now and then. The band exists of four musicians, Lynne Denman who is into both the Welsh, English and French folksongs. Stacey Blythe is a multi instrumentalist who collaborated with Frankie Armstrong and Meredith Monk, just to name a few. Emma Trend is the fiddler of the band with great interest in worldwide styles, which can be heard in her fiddling. Matthew Lovett is the bass player, he adds a nice jazzy sound to the songs and tunes. This new cd Adar Gwylltion goes much further than their debut cd. Besides traditional material from Wales, the cd also contains own material and a Canadian traditional song En filant ma quenouille, which has been made famous by Kate and Ann McGarrigle in the seventies. Altough Iím a big McGarrigle fan, this version by Ffynnon has a different style but is at least as good. On Adar gwylltion you can hear a top Welsh band at work. Strong vocal work and original and creative musical arrangements. Sometimes very close to tradition, otherwise almost in French Chanson style or more jazz-folk crossover. A pleasant cd to listen to and a nice step forwards compared to their strong debut cd.
www.ffynnon.com
Eelco Schilder


Hradiötan & Jari Pavlica "Live"
Label:
Indies; mam333-2; 2006
The band Hradistan is probably one of the oldest bands in European traditional music. It was founded in 1950 and since than several generations of musicians, singers and dancers have been part of the band. It was originally founded together with a dance group and is the most legendary dulcimer band in Czech history. The band origins from Moravia which is part of the Czech republic. This live cd, recorded with Jiri Pavlica who has been the artistic director and first violinist since 1975, contains an overview of the long history of the band. Itís their 27th album and includes folksongs, original material and songs about historical themes. The music of Hradistan has a friendly and intimate atmosphere. The violin, dulcimer and harmony vocals are the most important ingredients of their music, although you can also hear an occasional crumhorn, hurdy gurdy or other instruments. The dulcimer is not only used as a solo instrument but also as a percussion instrument that forms the foundation for the other instruments and vocals. This live cd is a well recorded and strong piece of music and a great way to get to know the Moravian tradition. It contains some strong vocal parts, sometimes in a very ancient style, especially when Alice Holubova takes the leading role. She has an almost classical voice that gives a medieval atmosphere to the music. When the male singers do the (harmony) lead the music sounds much more rooted in tradition. Itís a nice combination that works very well. So for all Hradistan fans and for people who like to get to know the Moravian tradition any better, this cd is highly recommended.
www.hradistan.cz
Eelco Schilder


The Waybacks "From the Pasture to the Future"
Label:
Compass records; 4430; 2006
The Waybacks is a US band that combines folk, country, blues and bluegrass with rock music. The musicians have a long history in music varying from blues rock to jazz and everything in between. This is the band's fourth cd and it contains eleven songs, mostly original but also a traditional, a Ray Davies and a Chick Corea song. The cd kicks off with The petrified man, a middle of the road country-rock song that made me fear the worst for the rest of the cd. But happily it only gets better after this first one. From the pasture to the future is a great rock tune with a good sound and fabulous guitar work. I love the ancient feeling of Bluebird waltz with strong fiddling by Evan Price. This song is followed by the Ray Davies song Motorway, here with a nice blues touch and a great tuba sound added. Strange that number seven, Ninety-one, is such a soft mainstream song, again like track one. Why? Itís a mystery to me, the musicians are of high quality and they show that they can handle various styles of music. Like a nice rhumba in Armandoís Rhumba or a classic traditional song in The Blacksmith (although Iím not to wild about the vocals in that particular song). This From the pasture to the future is a very nice cd and when you skip track 1 and 7 you have nine great tracks left.
www.waybacks.com
Eelco Schilder


Lirio "Lirio"
Label:
Wild Boar Music; apr 1309; 2007
Lirio is a Dutch folk band focussing on French and Dutch/Belgian traditional music. They perform a lot on bal-folk events in Holland and Belgium. This is their first full length cd, they have been part of the NAP cd, a cd they recorded together with some other Dutch folk groups. There is something strange going on with this debut cd. The recordings are three years old and the group has grown a lot since then. Besides that, the cd includes musicians that are no longer part of the band. The result is a nice acoustic folk cd that focuses on music that is perfect for the bal folk concerts. It are the violin and accordion that play the main part in Lirioís music, besides these instruments some bagpipe, guitar and bass makes it complete. Iris Ficker is guest musician who takes care of all the vocal works in a nice way. That actually describes Lirio the best, itís a nice group with a promising sound but on this cd it is still in development. The musical arrangements are a bit simple and could use some more originality and I think the band should develop a kind of unique Lirio sound before recording a new cd. Actually, this got much better the past years, thatís why itís such a pity they decided to issue a cd with old recordings. Keep following this young and fresh Dutch band, they have the potential to be one of Hollandís prominent folk groups in near future.
www.lirio.nl
Eelco Schilder


Yevgueni "Aan de arbeid"
Label:
Petrol; 0783086; 2007
The Belgian band Yevgueni has just released their second cd Aan de arbeid, the crown on their work after two turbulent years. They won a Belgian national radio station ďbest songĒ election and since then the Yevgueni sun is rising high. The band is formed around lead vocalist Klaas Delrue and is not a folk or traditional group in any way. Yevgueni plays Belgian (sung in Dutch) rock combined with strong lyrics, all original material composed and written by the earlier mentioned Klaas Delrue. Aan de arbeid is a fantastic cd with not only great lyrics but also lovely fresh sounding music. Delrue shows to be a great observer of daily life and he is able to turn these small daily life things into intriguing poetic lyrics. But it are the musicians who give lots of extras to his words, make them get alive. The title song is one of the best ones, such a rich sound with two playing Hammond and a catchy refrain without being mainstream. On the other hand they recorded Overal schoonheid which more modest, more introvert but still very powerful. In Man zijn Yevgueni reminds me of the legendary Bram Vermeulen, the style of singing and the way the song is arranged. A fantastic song that has so much energy, that itís about to explode because of the bands enthusiasm. Aan de arbeid is a great cd which will be enjoyed by all who like Ďhet betere, moderne Nederlandse luisterliedí sorry for that but if you donít understand the Dutch language, this cd might not be very interesting for you. But for everybody who does, you should get it as soon as possible.
www.yevgueni.be
Eelco Schilder


Benita Johnson "Stars and Fireflies"
Label: Own label; 2006
A great thing about websites as Sellaband, Youtube and Myspace is that it gives many talented (and lesser talented) musicians the change to get heard world wide. Benita Johnson used the myspace site and got enough positive reactions to issue a demo cd with six self penned songs. This EP shows Johnson very pure and acoustic, only vocals and guitar. She manages to create a full rich sound and shows a lot of talent. I like Firefly which is a nice, sad song with a fragile guitar sound. On the other hand she can be very powerful in a song like Free, in which she sounds a bit bluesy. This Stars and fireflies shows a Benita Johnson who has all the talent to conquer a prominent place in the big world of singer-songwriters. This debut EP is a very promising start.
www.myspace.com/benitajohnson
Eelco Schilder


V/A "Sevdalinka"
Label:
Piranha; 2113; 2007
Sevdalinka is a collection of Sarajevo love songs, a collection of Bosnian soul which shows the many varieties of the ancient Bosnian culture of music. An intriguing collection as it shows many sides of the style. It starts with a nice collaboration between Mercan Dede and Zerina Cokoja, who bring a dreamy hypnotising version of Moj ilbere kud se öećeö. And the cd ends with a pure traditional version of Knjigu piöe Tahir-Beěe on saz and vocals only by Emina Zečaj and Mehmed Gribajčevič. It shows two sides of this project, two sides of many of the Bosnian traditional music. In between them you will find music by Quattro bassi, Jadranka Stojakovic, Markus Burger and many others. Often the musicians cooperate on a song together and a few bring their own interpretation only. This is a very nice view into the ancient Bosnian culture that might open the eyes of many who, after hearing this cd, will pay more attention to this rich culture.
www.piranha.de
Eelco Schilder


The Barra MacNeils "All at once"
Label: Shoreline Records; 400332; 2005
The Barra MacNeils are deeply rooted in the Celtic tradition of Cape Breton. For more than 20 years the band focuses on the traditional music from their homeland and today they are one of the best known Cape Breton bands touring and recording internationally. This All at once, is their tenth album and a nice collection of modern folk music. The songs are often original material based on traditional works. Strong male vocals, like in Havenít got a care, beautiful female vocals, like in Craobh nan ubhal, and some exciting instrumentals in Celtic-jazz style like the tune The keeping it reel. The band still shows a lot of pleasure making music and a great technique on their instruments. The cd has nice variations in styles and atmosphere without loosing their musical identity. It has jazz influences, like mentioned above, light rock influences or just well played traditional material. After hearing this cd I fully understand why The Barra MacNeils is one of the top acts from Cape Breton. They bring the tradition in a modern and open minded way. The thirteen songs and tunes are very accessible and therefore ready to be liked by a big audience.
www.barramacneils.com
Eelco Schilder


Susie Boehm "Elemental"
Label: Own label; 2006
Susie Boehm is a US singer-songwriter who lives in Germany. She used to be part of the band The Dames, which had some international success. She doesnít like anything pickled (according to her biography), well, I love everything that is pickled so letís hope our musical taste matches more than our taste of food. Her style is honest and pure singer-songwriter rock with some very light folk influences. She has a strong voice and I have to say that the cd is really well produced and has a nice and friendly sound. Her lyrics are a bit standard, she tells in her biography that she doesnít like to talk about herself and that can be heard in the lyrics. They are a bit shallow now and then, but that doesnít bother much because on the whole she knows how to create a nice piece of music. A song like Elemental has all the potential to be liked by many, accessible catchy pop/rock music. Personally I like the more intense and a bit less predictable songs like Waking up (nice ballad style) or the jazzier House on fire, which has a bit different sound than the rest of the cd. I think Susie Boehm might interest a lot of people, not those who like folk music but the lovers of nice and easy going pop/rock music. Elemental is a well produced cd that shows a singer who has the potential to grow to a much higher level.
www.susieboehm.com
Eelco Schilder


V/A "Electric Gypsyland 2"
Label:
Crammed; 37-p; 2006
After the success of the first Electric Gypsyland, the second edition is now out. In many countries the so called Balkan disco events are a big success. Several DJ's have mixed Balkan beats into modern disco versions and make people dance for hours. On this second Electric Gypsyland cd there are not only DJís who have done some mixing. Also some well-known groups have turned a Balkan classic into a modern dance tune. A few examples? The electronic folk band Tunng, Shantal and Oi va voi versus Taraf de HaÔdouks, Buscemi, Animal Collective and 43 Skidoo versus Kocani orkestar and so on. This cd has a great mixture of styles and all groups create their own, unique and strong sound. A good extra is the bonus cd with the original, unmixed songs by Taraf de HaÔdouks, Kocani Orkestar, Zelwer and the Mahala RaÔ Banda. This way you can hear the basic of the songs and what modern times did to them. I like both versions and I think many people would enjoy this as well.
www.crammed.be
Eelco Schilder


Morris Open "Tomorrowís Tradition"
Label: Own label; 2006
The German group Morris Open exists for more than 25 year and they released their first lp exactly 20 years ago. Enough to celebrate for this band and they do so with a new cd which contains some live recordings from a DŁsseldorf concert in July 2006. The band is a trio including founder of the band Claus von Weiss, Matthias HŲhn and Ulrike von Weiss. The group focuses on the English tradition including the music used for the Morris dancing. Besides dancing tunes, on the cd they have recorded famous songs as John Barleycorn, the Willow tree and the Cuckooís nest. There are also some own compositions in the same vein. Morris Open is a band that clearly enjoys what itís doing. Sometimes they play very traditional with bells, flutes and all. But in some other songs they add some synthesiser to create a basic drone on which they play their music. To my opinion Tomorrowís tradition is a decent cd with friendly and well played music. The arrangements are a bit predictable and not to complicated. That makes the music very accessible but also a bit boring after hearing it a few times.
www.morris-open.de
Eelco Schilder


Svjata Vatra "Svjata Vatra"
Label: Manniku metsatalu 4740156902280; 2006
The first thing that I notice about this cd is the beautiful cardboard packing it has. Nice print and really taken care of. If the music is as nice as the sleeve... Svjata Vatra is founded by the Ukrainian musician Ruslan Trochynskyi, who was a member of the Haydamaky group, a once legendary band. He started to play with students of the Viljandi culture academy in Estonia. The result is this group Svjata Vatra in which Trochynski, together with three other musicians, bring both the Estonian and Ukrainian tradition alive. The basics are the Ukraine oral tradition and the Estonian runo songs and bagpipe tradition. They mix these styles in a very effective and creative way. The cd starts with a beautiful song called Esimene mida ma. A sad accordion, a mystical flute and intense vocals make this a very melancholic song. Followed by the dance tune Tantsulugu which has a nice brass sound with some Celtic touches. Great is also the Estonian Ma olin enne nuori miesi, which is so typical for the Estonian area that it will not easy be mixed up with any other style. This song contains some nice, very earthy male harmony vocals and has a strong drive. On the Ukrainian traditional piece, Kelle hobune seal seisab, you can hear the same typical Ukrainian melancholic as in the opening tune. This song is very nice and brought right out of the heart. Voortants is a dance out of the Estonian bagpipe tradition with uplifting percussion. Almost at the end of the cd the group makes a short trip to Armenia with the Armenian traditional song Armeenialugu. A very nice tune with more oriental influences, clearly from another part of the world than Ukraine and Estonia, but a strong addition to the cd. So I can conclude that itís not only the sleeve that is beautiful. Svjata Vatra recorded an intriguing cd of high quality. I think they found a perfect balance between Ukrainian sadness and Estonian down to earth mentality.
www.svjatavatra.ee
Eelco Schilder


Balkan Express "mokkAnanda"
Label: Own label; 2007
The Balkan Express is a band from Switzerland which plays, surprise surprise, music influenced by the Balkan tradition. Macedonian, Rumanian, Albanian tunes together with Jewish, Polish and Greek music. To the melodies they wrote English lyrics about dancing, coffee and Dracula. Both the music and the lyrics show very clearly that Balkan Express is a party band with musicians who love what they are doing. They easily switch from Balkan sounds to rocky electric guitars or jazzy dance music. Itís the perfect cd as a souvenir after a night of fun with the band. But without ever seeing or hearing them live and without being in the party mood itís a bit hard to get into the feeling of this cd. But that can also be my Dutch down to earth mentality. Anyway, I would invite them for a good night of fun, because I think they are the perfect band for that.
www.balkan-express.ch
Eelco Schilder


Dr.Bajan "Fantasmagoria"
Label: Own label; 2006
Dr.Bajan is a Russian/German band based in both Saint-Petersburg and Berlin. This is their second cd with Russian music mixed with German influences, some Balkan like styles and even some bluegrass and zydeco moments. The opening track Dym nad vodoi is a strong start. At first itís like an ancient Russian song but soon it changes into a modern Russian song. By the way, great vocals on that song! The title song Fantasmagoria shows the other side of this band. Itís more straight party music, nicely done with some good twists in the music, but also a bit less intense than the opening track, this is more music to dance to. I like how the group sometimes mixes influences from all over the world into their music. Fabulous is Moja Ljubov that starts as a Spanish flamenco classic and changes into a Russian Flamenco dance song. Dr.Bajan is a nice band which crosses borders to create their own music sound. Itís great party music with sometimes surprisingly inventive arrangements.
www.drbajan.de
Eelco Schilder


La Minor "Death of a Jeweller"
2006
La Minor is a Russian band which was founded in 2000. It brings Russian street ballads with influences from the folk and Klezmer influences. The group plays music from the Soviet era and especially the music of gangsters. They like to sing about swindlers, prostitutes, thieves etc. La Minor brings music from the Russian Underworld in a fresh and open minded way. The bayan (Russian accordion) plays a big role in the music and sounds really well. I love the way this instrument gives extra power to the saxophone in the song Death of a jeweller. In Forgive and Farewell Odessa mama, they play some traditional Odessa klezmer that sounds really ancient and brings back the atmosphere of an old Odessa nightclub. La Minor has created a nice cd with music that is Russian in any way. It is professionally played and this Death of a jeweller has a good overall sound.
www.morezvukov.nl, myspace.com/laminor
Eelco Schilder


Tara Fuki "Auris"
Label:
Indies; mam400-2; 2007
Tara Fuki is a duo from the Czech Republic which concentrates on vocals and violoncello music. This Auris is their third cd and somehow a different one than the previous two. This cd is inspired on travels the duo made and that can be heard. Besides influences from the east of Europe, a song like Słoneczko has Indian influences and other songs have some African and Arabic percussion weaved throughout the music. Besides that a jazz sound pops up now and than. I think Auris is very different than their previous cdís. The first two, Piosenky do snu and Kapka, were sober and very basic cdís with a mystical atmosphere. I remember on Kapka a fantastic haunting cello part that still drives me crazy when I hear it. On Auris the band tries new ways and has a more modern approach. They also work with a group of guest musician that brings a new challenge. To be honest, I preferred the more basic sound; it made the two musicians more creative. A song like Czerwone jabłuszko shows exactly what I mean. Easy programming with a jazzy trumpet mixed through the song, it has been done so many times before and often it doesnít add a thing to the music. Then I rather have Majli where the programming is much more subtle and effective. After this you might think I donít like Auris a lot, well, actually itís a good cd but compared to their previous work I think itís the lesser one. But Iím sure for others this cd will open the way to the unique sound of Tara Fuki.
www.tarafuki.eu
Eelco Schilder


Doug Cox & Salil Bhatt "Slide to Freedom"
Label:
Northernblues; 00039; 2007
Doug Cox is a US roots musician and composer who focuses on blues-like music. He was the first dobro player at the Montreal jazz festival and has played with several known (blues) musicians and contributed to over fifteen cdís as guest musician. He has released four solo cdís and several project cdís with other musicians. This is his first with Indian musician salil Bhatt who is the inventor of the Mohan veena, a nineteen strings hybrid slide guitar. On this cd they work together with Ramkumar Mishra on tablas and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt on Mohan veena. All musicians have a great reputation in their style and this cooperation sounds like a promising mixture of styles. This cd has a laid back atmosphere and mixes the bluesy guitars of Doug Cox and the Indian sounds in an impressive way. It feels like a very natural combination. It doesnít matter if itís a blues song like Beware of the man or itís a more raga type of song, the compositions and combination of instruments sound like they have been made to play together. So without loosing their own identity Cox and Bhatt are able to create a nice new sound which can be called Indian blues or Ragues or whatever label you like to give it. Fact is that Slide to freedom is a technically strong album with long, great string work on a subtle wall of tabla percussion.
www.dougcox.com, www.salilbhatt.com
Eelco Schilder


Tidal Wave "Tidal Wave"
Label:
Great Meadow Music; 2022; 2007
Tidal Wave is a band which combines Quebec musicians Rachel Aucoin, piano, and Sabin Jacques, accordion, percussion, with new England bass and banjo player Stuart Kenney. All three musicians have experience in several styles of music and in Tidal Wave they found each other in their mutual interest in Quebecois traditional music. On this cd they work together with three guest fiddlers, Andre Brunet, Eric Favreau and Claudine Arcand. Unfortunately there isnít much background information available about the group, no bio was included and the webpage is still under construction. The cd contains a fine collection of twelve tunes, mostly reels out of the musical heritage of Quebec or tunes from known musicians from the area. The tunes are very easy going and many of them have the sound of foot percussion that is so typical for Quebecois music. Although well played the cd misses a bit of adventure. Its great dancing music, but it needs more to be attractive to listen to at home and to stand out of the many groups that produce a cd in the same style. I think a bit more variation would have helped; the chosen reels are sometimes too familiar to each other in arrangements. Nevertheless, technically spoken this is an outstanding cd with some great musicians. I think to get really noticed they need more of an own sound and recognisable style.
www.tidalwavemusic.com
Eelco Schilder


Yellow Sisters "Fingalana"
Label:
Indies; mam 332-2; 2006
The Yellow Sisters are four girls from the Czech Republic forming a close harmony group with big success in their home country. This Fingalana is their first official cd and contains ten vocal works, mostly composed by the band. The band reminds me a bit of the Belgian formation Zap Mama, although this group is rooted more in the African music. Yellow Sister uses influences from many musical styles to create their own unique sound. Together with a few guest singers they switch from jazz to R&B, soul and world music. Yellow Sisters show that instruments are not necessary to record an adventurous and nice cd. The singers create sounds, rhythms, mystical atmosphere or a modern dance feeling purely with their voices. And on top of that they are all four good solo vocalists. They surprise with inventive twists and creative musical arrangements. Songs like Singalana and Vitr are in the more roots music style, while others have modern (vocal) beats and fit in the modern music scene easily. The Yellow Sisters made a fine debut cd with Fingalana and can compete with the best close harmony groups of Europe.
www.yellowsisters.com
Eelco Schilder


Martyn Oram "The Bridge of Broken Dreams"
Label: Muffy; 103; 2006
The name of Martyn Oram might not ring a bell straight away to most people, strange because he has made a big contribution to the folk music for over thirty years now. In 1974 he formed the band Waterfall together with his friend Keith Donnelly. The group recorded three lpís of which Three birds is probably the best known one. Personally I like the Waterfall lpís a lot and was surprised to get a solo cd for review by one of the members. Besides Waterfall Oram has been part of several groups in Celtic, klezmer bands and other styles. On his latest solo cd, The bridge of broken dreams, he recorded a collection of sixteen original songs together with eleven guest musicians including the earlier mentioned Keith Donnelly. The cd is deeply rooted in the English folk / singer-songwriter tradition. I think Martyn Oram is at his best in the more sober ballads like Nothing to fear or Wherewithal which are very pure and honest songs. On a few occasions I think the production could have been a bit better. Somehow the violin sounds a bit dull in some songs, like in Rain, while in other songs it has a much more clear sound. And on Pont aven itís like the instruments were played in different rooms, the volume of the instruments donít match, strange explanation but I donít know how I can explain it differently. Nevertheless this is a nice album with some nice songs which I really enjoy but I also have the feeling that with more time and care of the production this cd could have been of even higher quality.
www.martynoram.co.uk
Eelco Schilder


V/A [Demo CDs & DVDs]

Wizz Jones (England): Great acoustic folk blues from a long-time charismatic finger picking guitar player.
www.wizzjones.com
Jiri Kralik & Rowdy Rascals (Czechia): Fiddle, guitar/banjo and double bass playing old-time, bluegrass, western swing, jazz and even classical music once in a while. Not too rowdy!
www.fiddlegeorge.com
Monsieur Lambert & le Bébert Orchestra (Canada): La Bottine Souriante (-> FW#26) founding member and his young companions digging Quebecois music with virtuosity and passion.
www.lapruchelibre.com
La Zarabandina (Spain): Traditional Music from Castilla y Leon with dulzainas, saxophones, brass and drums to stage a party on the streets.
www.folkesi.com
Marie-Marine (Canada): French-Canadian singer with tender voice playing jazz with French lyrics.
www.lapruchelibre.com
Eddy Morton (England): Once would be professional footballer turned to his other love, music, and turns out to be prolific Celtic McTell-Dylan hybrid.
www.eddymorton.com
Lee Roy Parnell (USA): Southern rock 'n' soul 'n' blues.
www.leeroyparnell.com
Tradere (Spain): Castilla y Leon + traditional music = Tradere; six junior and senior musicians passing on the tradition.
www.folkesi.com


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German Reviews: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3

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