Issue 23 09/2002
FolkWorld CD Reviews
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
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.
Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars "Brotherhood
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.
Greg Brown "Over and under"
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.
Acoustic Blues Duo "Comic book"
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
Huun huur tu "Spirits from Tuva"
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
Okay Temiz "Magnetic orient"
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
Demolition String Band "Pulling up atlantis"
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
Richard Gilpin "Beautiful mistake"
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!
edelschwarz "Alpine harte 1 von 2"
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
Roger McGuinn "Treasures from the folk den"
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.
Katty Moffatt "Cowboy girl"
Label: Shanachie; 6054; 2001; Playing time:
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: www.katymoffatt.com
Pe Werner "Beinfreiheit"
Label: Universal; 340053; 2002; Playing time:
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: www.pewerner.de
Al Cook "The country blues"
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bellwether "Home late"
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
Band Homepage: www.bellwethertheband.com
Rice, Rice, Hillamn & Pedersen "Running wild"
; 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.
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
Label: Universal; 018 676; year; Playing time:
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: www.ostbahn.at
Yid Vicious "Forverts"
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: www.uvulittle.com
Gary Brewer & the Kentucky Ramblers "Home brew"
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
Julian Dawson "Hillbilly zen"
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.
Gamelan of Central Java "ceremonial music part
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?
More English CD Reviews: Page 1 - Page
2 - Page 3 - Page 4 -
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More German CD Reviews: Page 1 - Page
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