Issue 24 12/2002

FolkWorld CD ReviewsDog

Kate Campbell "Monuments"
Label: Evangeline; 4057; 2002; Playing time: 39.37 min
Unfortunately I didn't get much info about this (for me) unknown singer Kate Campbell. She is an American lady who sings beautiful Americana ballads and rock which is inspired by country music. Kate Campbell is a strong vocalist who is capable to sing her story in such a way that I want to know where she is singing about. I prefer her ballads like Joe louis furniture. They have a sadness but she brings them with a voice full of hope. She makes me feel melancholic in a pleasant kind of way. This monuments is not a monument in music history but surely is on the better side of the big Americana scene.
Eelco Schilder

Shane Brady "A light shines out to sea"
Label: Ivycourt; 2002; Playing time: 40.38 min
The Irish Shane Bradly lives in Germany since 1977. Here he started his musical career writing for television and performed on several cd's by other musicians. This latest work A light shines to sea Brady goes back to his Irish roots playing eleven traditional and self-written songs with traditional element. He has a peaceful way of singing and his music is of such kind to which you have to listen. His pleasant voice needs a few instruments only to give the music just that what it needs and nothing more. I have the feeling that the songs he sings are personal treasures for him. He sings like he is telling about his childhood. He does this both seriously and with a smile. Recommended cd for all people who like good, strong Irish singer/songwriter music.
Eelco Schilder

Michelle Shocked "Deep natural / Dub natural"
Label: Mighty sound; 2002; Playing time: 120+ min
A new Michelle Shocked cd is always interesting to look out for. Not just one, no two cd's full of music. One cd is called Deep natural which seems to refer to pure and honest singer songwriter music. 15 great songs with influences from rock'n roll, blues, folk and pop. Immediately I feel the strong atmosphere on this cd. This is not just a collection of songs but they seem to be bound together by a invisible wire. I like intimate songs like Why do i get the feeling but I find her voice particularly strong on more rocky songs like Little Billie. One of my favourite is the song What can I say which sounds like an old gospel song but with a surprisingly modern sound. I enjoy this Deep natural a lot. I didn't listen to hear music since her Arkances traveler album but this Deep natural made me get interested in her music again. The second cd is called Dub natural. The name says it all. Somebody has been messing around with her songs and tried to create a new "feeling". That can be very irritating but somehow this is well done. The songs seem to tell a story like a trip through a surrealistic landscape. Sometimes a bit funny but mostly relaxed and inspiring. I don't know about others, but I enjoy these cd's a lot. Too late for your Christmas present? Ask them for your birthday. Just had your birthday? Be creative and find another way to get this cd.
Mighty sound
Eelco Schilder

Zulya "Aloukie"
Label: Westpark; 87091; 2002; Playing time: 51.05 min
I have to be honest and tell you that I never heard of Zulya before. That this is at least a bit stupid of me proofs the fact that she won two big international awards. In 2001 she was voted artist of the year in the world music awards and in 2000 her album was chosen as the best world music album in Australia. Zulya was born in the Wolga region in central-Russia. She started performing Russian and Tartar songs when she was nine years old. This cd Aloukie contains 13 songs mostly from old Tatar tradition and a few self-written songs. Zulya mixes her music with styles from all over the world. Songs have Indian influences, African sounds, Russian vocals etc etc. She picks rhythm's, techniques from all over the world and she manages to create a new impressive own sound. She does this in such a natural way that I'm willing to believe she has her roots in all these countries. The cd has a melancholic overall atmosphere and is in perfect balance. Zulya deserved her awards, that is what this cd proofs to me.
Eelco Schilder

Folkrose "Canti e danze della tradizione musicale Italiana"
Label: private release; 9902; 2000; Playing time: 32.58 min
At this moment I'm discovering more and more the beauty of the Italian traditional music. Suddenly I got this cd by the unknown group Folkrose who play traditional music mostly from Central and Southern Italy. The cd has an impressive start with Tarentella del 600. Bit angry, dark song with strong female vocals. Not the music you expect when you know it's a tarantella. Most tunes on this cd are brought very traditional and with lot of accordion and string instruments. Their choice of repertoire isn't very surprising, most tunes are known and recorded by other artists before. I prefer the songs before the tunes because the voice of Carla Cristofanilli is a voice that sounds like live it self. She doesn't have a sweet or terrible good voice, but she sings with honesty and passion. Nice cd which is great as introduction to the Italian folk music.
Eelco Schilder

Folkrose "in concerto"
Label: private release; 9901; 1999; Playing time: 54.45 min
Please read first the review of their studio album for an introduction on the group Folkrose. Because this review can give you a wrong impression of the group because I'm not going to write very nice things about this live cd, while I'm much more enthusiastic about their studio album. Folkrose live in concert and something very strange happens here. On their nice studio album they play Italian traditional music which is very enjoyable. On this live album I can't find even one(!) Italian song. All songs are from Brittany, Ireland, Galicia and even Asturia. This tells exactly what is wrong with this cd. Songs that have been played so many times by other groups (and often much better) and the recordings are not always of great quality (this is not the groups fault but we should blame the recording equipment for this.) What a missed chance this is, folkrose showed on their studio album that they are capable to make good music and suddenly they turned their back to their own tradition. I do hope this group will focus on Italian music again in future and leave songs like Lark in the morning and La jument Michao to other musicians.
Eelco Schilder

Ralph Stanley & the clinch mountain boys "Echoes of the Stanley brothers"
Label: varese sarabande; 302066215 2; 2001
This is pure country/bluegrass music from the early seventies. Two albums original from 1971 and 1973 are brought together on this cd. Although two years only in between, the sound quality of the 1973 album Sing gospel echoes is much better than that from the 1971 album Michigan blues. Nice traditionals sung in the straight way. Banjo and fiddle, harmony vocals, roaring dances and beautiful ballads. For freaks this cd is a must, for people interested in history of American music this cd should be part of your collection.
varese sarabande
Eelco Schilder

Tucker Zimmerman & nightshift trio "Walking the edge of blues"
Label: private release; 2000; Playing time: 45.48 min
This is an older cd by Tucker Zimmerman's nightshift trio. Recorded in 1999. As far as I understand last august he released a new one which is a tribute to Derroll Adams. This cd walking on the edge of blues contains ten self-written songs which all are brought in the best blues tradition. Sensitive ballads, banjo, guitar, harmonica and bass are the main ingredients for this album. Zimmerman sings with emotion and his voice has this touch of live that many other singers do not have. Although I'm far from a blues-man I feel the honesty and quality of this album. No tricks, no lies just honest and pure music. If you are a blues man, you should at least listen to this album and see if this is the kind of blues you like.
Eelco Schilder

Christine Collister " Into the light"
Label: Topic; tscd1002; 2002
Christine Collister is by now one of the leading names in English folk-pop music. She released several albums during the eighties with Clive Gregson. I never was a big fan of these albums but It's different with her solo work. This cd "Into the light" contains twelve nice pop songs with a light jazz-folk touch. Many self-written songs and a few covers like the famous "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" which she brings as a sensitive midnight ballad. What I like of this album is not only the quality vocals of Christine Collister but also the sober arrangements of the songs. Often not more than vocals and guitar or only some percussion, bass and keyboards added. This Into the light is a quality album with a peaceful and friendly atmosphere. Somehow this album is perfect for winter. When it's cold outside, it gives some warmth on the inside.
Eelco Schilder

Eddy Morton & the Bushburys "Timeless"
Label: Pläne Records; 88870; 2002; Playing time: 61.30 min
This is such a cd that needs time to settle in your heart. The first time I listened to Timeless i thought that it was nothing more than twelve middle of the road songs. But after a few times listening the music got more and more under my skin. This band started 10 years ago and what I understand they started as street-musicians. Central in the band is singer-songwriter Eddy Morton. His songs have a social aspect and tell about all the facts a live could meet. The music is rock with heavy Irish folk influences (like in Lighthouse with a guest Uilleanpipes player) and a touch of blues. Especially the vocals by Morton have this folk-blues sound which make this album extra interesting. My only problem with this album is some piano pieces, but this is a personal trauma what has nothing to do with the quality of the piano player. If you are into nice Irish rock/pop, this album might be of your interest.
Pläne Records
Eelco Schilder

Jonny Duhan "Tree"
Label: private release; blcd04; 2002; Playing time: 32.02 min
This might be an unknown name for you but his influence on the Irish music scene is much bigger than you expect. Artists like Christy Moore, Mary Black and the Dubliners have recorded his songs and recently his autobiography There is a time was published. Tree is a cd full with personal songs in the best Irish singer-songwriter tradition. Often alone with guitar and occasionally a violin, bass and keyboard can be heard. Duhan has a very emotional voice that is especially strong in the darker songs like The dark side. His texts are simple without being cliché. It's a singer-songwriter that doesn't need many words to tell his story. This album is a very intimate piece of music which comes right out of the heart of Johnny Duhan. Respect!
Eelco Schilder

Enkh Jargal "Hoirr ongo"
Label: Klang welten; 20017; 2002; Playing time: 59.36 min
From Mongolia comes musician Enkh Jargal. On this cd he brings traditional tunes and songs with the typical rhythm's and overtone singing. The album has a acoustic, sometimes almost classical, approach. It's a mixture of field-recordings and western re-mixes with keyboard, percussion and Celtic harp. Besides singing he also plays the Morin Khoor (horse fiddle). The overall idea I have from this cd is nice but not terribly impressive. The last few years there have been so many Mongolian or Tuva groups bringing their rich musical history alive that you have to add something new if you want to get noticed. Mixing some tunes with "western" instruments in the way Enkh Jargal does it is not enough. His vocals are good but not as impressive as I had hoped. His Horse fiddling is much more interesting, he is a master on his instruments and he manages to create a cool and exiting atmosphere when he plays his instrument. This Hoirr ongo is certainly not a bad cd but it just misses a bit of the magic touch to really impress me.
Eelco Schilder

Hornberger "Wir sind einsam aber viele"
Label: goya; 440764-2; 2002; Playing time: 57.52 min
The cd Wir sind einsam aber viele by the German singer-song-writer Hornberger is such a cd that is only interesting when you also understand the lyrics. Well happy enough I had German during my secondary school career and I live only 5 kilometres from the German border so I was able to understand the lyrics Hornberger wrote. It's not a singer-songwriter in the classical way. More he brings, like we say in Holland and I think it's also a German word, kleinkunst. His texts are critical, a bit sad and have some humour. he is more a storyteller than a great musician. His lyrics are personal and their not always written in my style. But because this is a personal cd, I'm sure there will be others who feel this cd touches them and they understand where he is singing about. I have no opinion about this cd, listen to it in your record store and see if it gets you or not.
Eelco Schilder

Malerija "Malerur"
Label: Roff; 046; 2002; Playing time: 47.28 min
It's a long time ago since something from Russia reached my ears. In the past I've always enjoyed what came out of Russia so I was very curious to hear this unknown group Malerija. From the first moment I put this cd on I'm enthusiastic. Heavy beats, grooves, strong mixes with ancient instruments like Gaita, Kaluka and others. Strong sampling of Russian traditional singing and other authentic sounds. The first song is one of my favourites. This Babushki just is the perfect dance song. Strong beats with melody on ancient instruments and samples of traditional vocals. It wants to make me dance and loose my head! The cd is full with this kind of surprises. Sometimes a bit more subtle like Tonight but always with and exiting undertone. In their music you will also find some Irish influences but most of all this is just great Russian underground dance music. I already passed their cd to one of the main festivals here in Holland, I hope they will like it as well and get this group into Europe because this cd taste like more. Buy it, one of the best cd's of 2002 I heard. (and believe me I heard a lot of cd 's during the past year...)
Eelco Schilder

Dawn of the replicants "Touching the propeller"
Label: flying sparks; tbcd067; 2002; Playing time: 40.29 min
This is such a cd that actually should not be reviewed in folkworld. It's not folk music at all but it reminds me more of the great progressive/psycho music of late 60's and early 70's. Well done, strange atmosphere full of sounds and even the vocals sound like they are from thirty years ago. It has alight blues touch but most of all this is just strong retro-progressive in a modern jacket. Although I actually like this cd, it's not a cd that should be reviewed in this magazine.
Eelco Schilder

Leftover salmon "Live"
Label: compass records; 743392; 2002
Leftover salmon, live on stage! Didn't know this group before but it must be party to see them play live. This cd contains happy country rock. Beating drums, blues piano, roaring banjo, screaming violin and other instruments. The group doesn't try to be subtle in any way. They just play their music with a lot of fun and energy. Songs like steam powered aeroplane just give a good feeling. No complicated tricks or intellectual music, straight on, honest country rock which is very enjoyable I'm only jealous to all these people who were present at their concert.
Eelco Schilder

Kings of county queens "big ideas"
Label: rubric; rub 42; 2002; playing time: 35.33 min
The kings county queens is a US group singing country/blues. The songs are all self written and besides female vocals this album contains accordion, violin, harmonica, lap steel and al, the other cliché instruments you can think of. This cd just wont get interesting. The same beat keeps coming back, brought without any fantasy with as deepest point the song It's wrong to love you but i do. Simple arrangements, technically nice vocals but without any emotion. thirteen in a dozen album which is just not good enough to get above all the hundreds of other cd's that are issued each year in the same direction.)
Eelco Schilder

Tanja Ries "Metanoia"
Label: Traumton; 1885-2; 2002
Tanja Ries brings German music in the old tradition of Weil and Brecht. Although in a modern jacket her self written songs sometimes have the same atmosphere, dark and powerful. According to the promo sheet she is a post-modern diva, angel and antichanteuse. (what the **** is an antichanteuse??, sounds like cheap champagne) She works hard to give the impression she is a dark kind of diva but somehow her music also shows hope and happiness. Tanja her world ain't as dark as she wants us to believe. The problem again with this cd is that you need to understand at least a bit of the German language. Although you will be able to feel the atmosphere without understanding what she is singing, her bit surrealistic-poetic lyrics completes the melody. Intriguing cd which keeps my attention more than I want to.
Eelco Schilder

Martin Hutchinson "Water from a stone"
Label: private; 003; 2002; Playing time: 55.50 min
The Irish Hutchinson lives in the Dutch city Utrecht. His music is a nice mixture of both folk, blues and rock. On his latest cd Water from a stone his fourteen songs have a friendly and open atmosphere. A song like Don't you wait is just perfect. Strong lyric and everything seems to work in this song. Smooth rhythm and his voice is at it's best. Same for a more intimate song like a trick of fate. Besides these more subtle songs, Hutchinson recorded some rocky songs as well. Listen to Feels like a king pure blues rock on a high level. Besides his vocals I have to mention his strong guitar work. Together with the fine self-written songs I can conclude nothing else than that Hutchinson delivered a high quality cd which should not be left unnoticed.
Eelco Schilder

Various artists "African heartbeat"
Label: Klang welten; 20018; 2002; Playing time: 71.40 min
Already since the early 1950's there exists record labels that specialises in world music and if possible as authentically as possible. Klangwelten found it necessary to issue a cd full with xylophone music, you know; these big wooden African ones. More than 70 minutes is just too much. If this label were the first one to record this but they are far from that. I have fantastic folkways records and even some cd's with the same instrument. Sure it's hypnotising and they have very special techniques etc etc. But can we please stop pretending like we discovered new music styles and record them because it happens almost never that such a cd really adds something to the existing catalogue of ethnological music.
Eelco Schilder

Cantrip "Silver"
Label: Footstompin Celtic Music; No. CDFSR1717; 2002; Playing time: min
I have a bit mixed feelings about this album. Cantrip have been evolved from the Edinburgh session scene, and feature several talented and well known musicians, including Gavin Marwick (Iron Horse, Burach) and John Bews (Malinky, Burach). The rest of the band are Dan Houghton (Scottish Border Pipes, Flutes, Whistle), Ian Willis (percussion) and Cameron Robson (guitar, bouzouki, banjo).
A lot of the material on this album is very well played, and even if the numbers are not outstanding, they are a joy to listen to - skilled musicians playing Scottish music in the traditional style. There are however several numbers which sound not particularly melodic; the playing together of fiddles and Scottish Border Pipes sounds at times in my ear rather cacaphonic. Is it just me, or do those numbers sound rather noisy?
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Michael Moll

Emily Smith "A Day like Today"
Label: Footstompin Celtic Music; No. CDFSR1716; 2002; Playing time: min
A very positive surprise is the debut album of the young Scottish singer Emily Smith. Emily made her fame in Scotland this year when she won the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2002. Hailing from Dumfriesshire, Emily is not only a beautiful singer with an attractive, sensitive light voice, but she is also a talented accordion and piano player.
On this album, Emily presents a tasteful selection of seven songs, mostly traditional (e.g. Green Grass Grows Bonny, The Cruel Mother, Molly Lovely Molly) added by one lovely song composed by Emily (the title track) and a Robert Burns (Rigs o Barley), and three sets of tunes. Emily is joined on most numbers by the Emily Smith Band, featuring the young musicians Ross Ainslie (whistles, border pipes), Jamie McClennan (Fiddle) and Sean O'Donnell (guitar, backing vocals). A few songs are also a capella songs.
This album is stylistically similar to the shooting stars Malinky, and the calibre of the Emily Smith Band is comparable to Malinky. It offers beautiful songs, well and subtly arranged, balanced by a range of tunes. It is good to see that there is a new generation of young musicians in Scotland taking up very traditional acoustic music, securing that it survives and develops.
A real discovery.
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Michael Moll

Trio Dor "Le jambon Faché"
Label: Wildboar; No. WBM21033; 2002; Playing time: min
Trio Dor is a Belgian trio of classically trained musicians, playing a music mixture of Balkan music, Klezmer and Tango. The trio features violin, accordion and clarinet/bass clarinet. The music is full of improvisation and interplay. Sometimes this improvisation creates a spooky or uncomfortable atmostphere, at other times, when the music is more melodic, it has a lively and energetic feeling. The material the trio plays is partly trad, partly composed by the band members. It seems to me like they do not manage to bring the authentic passion and life into Klezmer and Tango music; the music feels overall rather cold. As talented as the three musicians are, to my taste they improvise too much making the listening a bit unsettling.
Homepage of the artist:, contact to label:
Michael Moll

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