FolkWorld Issue 34 11/2007

A Decade of Folk A Decade of Folk

A Decade of Folk

FolkWorld's Best Loved Artists 1997-2007

Nordic Countries - Britain/Ireland - France/Benelux - Germany/Austria/Switzerland - Eastern Europe - The Mediterranean

FolkWorld's editors, staff and regular contributors have taken to the difficult task to find out about the greatest and best loved European folk, world and roots music artists of the last decade. We eventually chose 10 artists and groups in 6 regional categories, respectively. Please share with us the incredible wealth of European music.

                                                                                         Mari Boine

                                                                                      Triakel                             Värttinä
                                                                            Hoven Droven          Maria Kalaniemi
                                                                                Garmarna             Kimmo Pohjonen
                                                                                    Väsen   Hedningarna
             Salsa Celtica           Kerstin Blodig
                                  Old Blind Dogs
                  Lúnasa                                  Haugaard & Høirup                     Ilgi
           Niamh Parsons    Flook                                       Malbrook                      Farlanders
                    Danú    R.Thompson             Törf   Wolfgang Rieck
         Karan Casey                 Ambroz./OllaVog.   Wenzel    Warsaw Village Band
                                Oysterband   Kadril/Aedo    Cara            Kroke
                                             Urban Trad/Laïs        ulman   Raduza
                      Dan Ar Braz   Jaune Toujours   Hiss              Iva Bittová
                                       Gabriel Yacoub   Deitsch    Transsylvanians
                                                       Doppelbock   H.v.Goisern   Márta Sebestyén
                                                             Bonifica Emiliana Veneta
  Mercedes Peón   Kepa Junkera          La Lionetta                          Fanfare Ciocarlia
   Carlos Núñez
    Berrogüetto                                                 Riccardo Tesi
  Cristina Branco

  Cesaria Evora                                                                                               Psarantonis

Nordic Countries

Mari Boine - Garmarna - Haugaard/Hoirup - Hedningarna - Hoven Dro-
- Maria Kalaniemi - Kimmo Pohjonen - Triakel - Varttina - Vasen

Mari Boine Mari Boine (Norway)   
Straight from the heart. [es]
Icon Library FW#19.
Icon Sound Here I Will Stand, The Night is My Sister, Song of the Lumberjacks.

Garmarna Garmarna (Sweden)   
Welcome to the world of new-folk. Garmarna are the innovators of the Scandinavian folk music. They are able to create a new sound that has respect for the past and fits into our modern world. [es]
Icon Library FW#10, FW#16, FW#19, FW#19, FW#22, FW#26, FW#26.
Icon Sound Herr Holger, Herr Mannelig, Skenpolska.

Haugaard & Høirup Haugaard & Høirup (Denmark)   
The entire spectrum of human emotions can be found, from tender sweetness to effusive passion. Harald Haugaard & Morten Alfred Høirup are simply the best weapon that Continental Europe has to offer against the Celtic invasion. [wt]
Icon Library FW#15, FW#15, FW#20, FW#20, FW#24, FW#24, FW#27, FW#31, FW#32.
Icon Sound Middag i Haven, Trekant/Rail Road Ræs/Trædballehus, Vindmøller.

Hedningarna Hedningarna (Sweden/Finland)   
In my top five of best cd's ever, Hedningarna would definitely be in it. Seldom I felt so overwhelmed by music. I don't think you will find better Scandinavian modern-tradition music in the past, present or future. [es]
Icon Library FW#10, FW#28.
Icon Sound @

Hoven Droven Hoven Droven (Sweden)   
Hoven Droven is a band that plays traditional music in a new way; their music bringing any audience into a trance, but still keeping the typical Swedish elements. [mm]
Icon Library FW#6, FW#6, FW#13, FW#19, FW#19, FW#32.
Icon Sound @ Amazon.

Maria Kalaniemi Maria Kalaniemi (Finland)   
Where does the grace come from with which Maria Kalaniemi is celebrating melancholia? She is an expert in packing emotions into sounds and wrapping up the listener at the same time. [kr]
Icon Library FW#9, FW#15, FW#18, FW#23, FW#32, FW#32, FW#32.
Icon Sound Kevään Kurjet, Salin Hämärissa, Sa Skimrande Var Aldrig Havet.

Kimmo Pohjonen Kimmo Pohjonen (Finland)   
Kimmo Pohjonen shows something far away from my stereotyped idea of accordion players. One might get the impression to hear 'Ummagumma' on accordion. [tk]
Icon Library FW#18, FW#18, FW#19, FW#23, FW#25, FW#25.
Icon Sound Kalmukki, Kirkuna, Optikus.

Triakel Triakel (Sweden)   
Triakel's Swedish traditions: when the days get shorter, the villagers meet for the old storys and songs. A fiddler plays polskas, granddad tells of terrifying trolls ... [wt]
Icon Library FW#9, FW#16, FW#18, FW#29, FW#30.
Icon Sound Bläck, Solen Sig Sänker, Älskaren I Gluggen.

Värttinä Värttinä (Finland)   
From being a folklore outfit playing for the barn dancers to the most successful of Finnish groups. Värttinä blends Finnish-Karelian folk music with a pop sound out of the ordinary, all held together by female harmonies. [kr]
Icon Library FW#7, FW#14, FW#18, FW#21, FW#26, FW#27.
Icon Sound Maaria, Riena, Valhe.

Väsen Väsen (Sweden)   
Part of the current success and popularity of Swedish music goes back to Väsen. Still very close to the tradition, but nevertheless cool and trendy. [cm]
Icon Library FW#2, FW#13, FW#13, FW#17, FW#23, FW#28, FW#33, FW#34.
Icon Sound Carl Linnæus Polones, Linnæus Långdans/Kör i Lunken, Tiliandermenuetter.

Britain & Ireland

Capercaillie - Karan Casey - Danu - Flook - Lunasa - Old Blind Dogs
- Oysterband - Niamh Parsons - Salsa Celtica - Richard Thompson

Capercaillie Capercaillie (Britain)   
The voice of Karen Matheson would alone be reason enough to buy any of Capercaillie's several albums. But add to that the inventive instrumental and song-writing skills, and even a Scotsman's wallet should gladly surrender its contents. [pg]
Icon Library FW#3, FW#8, FW#12, FW#16, FW#17, FW#23, FW#24, FW#28, FW#29, FW#31, FW#34.
Icon Sound @

Karan Casey Karan Casey (Ireland)   
With three highly-acclaimed solo albums to her name and an alluring soprano voice to match, Karan Casey has every right to be smiling. [kt]
Icon Library FW#20, FW#25, FW#30, FW#30, FW#30, FW#34.
Icon Sound Chasing the Sun, When Will We All Be Free.

Danu Danú (Ireland)   
Danú is the mystical Irish goddess of prosperity. I am inclined to think this is indeed music fit for the gods. Traditional favourites are given a refreshing twist. [kt]
Icon Library FW#5, FW#7, FW#16, FW#27, FW#29, FW#30, FW#32, FW#33.
Icon Sound @ Amazon.

Flook Flook (Britain)   
Both terrificly fast twin-flute sets with driving guitar and bodhran backing and beautiful slow tunes. Flutopia: international flute music with interesting, often unique arrangements. [mm]
Icon Library FW#1, FW#7, FW#11, FW#12, FW#22, FW#28, FW#30, FW#31, FW#31.
Icon Sound Asturian Way, Beehive, Sligo Reel.

Lunasa Lúnasa (Ireland)   
Ireland's best instrumental band. So far, Lúnasa have avoided adding a female singer (today's ultimate fashion accessory). When you're this good you don't need to be trendy. [am]
Icon Library FW#5, FW#12, FW#21, FW#24, FW#26, FW#27, FW#28, FW#30, FW#32, FW#32, FW#32, FW#33.
Icon Sound @ Amazon.

Old Blind Dogs Old Blind Dogs (Britain)   
Customary gutsy groove somewhere between blues and birl. Reliance on fancy percussion to lift the tunes. Solid, engaging music whose warm and intimate delivery is easy to appreciate. [am]
Icon Library FW#1, FW#3, FW#8, FW#12, FW#19 , FW#28, FW#31.
Icon Sound @ Amazon.

Oysterband Oysterband (Britain)   
An English band playing folkish rock with an urban, punk-influenced edge. The Oysters maintain that determined English toughness. [pg]
Icon Library FW#2, FW#8, FW#8, FW#10, FW#10, FW#24, FW#24, FW#25, FW#25, FW#26, FW#29.
Icon Sound Here Comes the Flood, Over the Water, Where the World Divides.

Niamh Parsons Niamh Parsons (Ireland)   
Another real gem from Ireland. Niamh Parsons is Ireland's best female traditional singer, having a very rich and mature voice, and the skill to let the full beauty of any song flourish. [mm]
Icon Library FW#1, FW#10, FW#12, FW#16, FW#17, FW#23, FW#34.
Icon Sound @ MySpace.

Salsa Celtica Salsa Celtica (Britain)   
This is real fun - but what else should you expect if you combine Scottish traditional and especially pipe music with hot Latin rhythms and songs? [mm]
Icon Library FW#15, FW#26, FW#26, FW#28.
Icon Sound Intro, Auld Lang Syne, Cumbia Celtica, El Agua de la Vida.

Richard Thompson Richard Thompson (Britain)   
Rolling Stone magazine listed Richard Thompson as #19 of its 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He brought the electric guitar into folk music, at the same time became the singer's songwriter for good and all. [wt]
Icon Library FW#25.
Icon Sound Harlan's Bounce, Sights and Sounds of London Town, Treadwell No More.

France & Benelux

Aedo - Ambrozijn - Dan Ar Braz - Jaune Toujours - Kadril
- Lais - Olla Vogala - Torf - Urban Trad - Gabriel Yacoub

Aedo Aedo (Belgium)   
Aedo are a cool innovative young band, with a new exciting brand of music. The listeners are taken to a bal folk, then into a cool cocktail bar, then to a rock concert. [mm]
Icon Library FW#31.
Icon Sound @

Ambrozijn Ambrozijn (Belgium)   
It is often amazing how full the sound of a band with only three instrumentalists can be. Ambrozijn is a very innovative band - they have found there very own and very special sound. [cm]
Icon Library FW#7, FW#8, FW#15, FW#26, FW#32.
Icon Sound Nooit Meer Niets Meer, Partons, Valse du Cyprès.

Dan Ar Braz Dan Ar Braz (France)   
He played alongside Alan Stivell, Malicorne and Fairport Convention. However, since L'Héritage de Celtes Dan A Braz is Britanny's most successful artist and ambassador. [wt]
Icon Sound @

Jaune Toujours Jaune Toujours (Belgium)   
Are you interested in new innovative European folk sounds that are breaking borders? It is not easy to put Jaune Toujours into a musical box - but why should I do that; they are great, that is more than enough! [cm]
Icon Library FW#15, FW#19, FW#22, FW#29.
Icon Sound Pas la, Piu lontano, Réfugiés sans Frontières.

Kadril Kadril (Belgium)   
Kadril is an old established Flemish folk rock band. They interpret both traditional Flemish and self written material in a fresh and original manner. Quite a big band with quite a big sound. [cm]
Icon Library FW#15, FW#27, FW#21, FW#27.
Icon Sound La Femme Sans Tête , Het Kerelslied, Nachtvrijage.

Lais Laïs (Belgium)   
Laïs' interpretation of the Flemish tradition became that popular to be released on a major record label. Both for the die-hard folkie and the pop audience alike. [wt]
Icon Library FW#8, FW#14, FW#18, FW#31.
Icon Sound Barbagal, Isabel, De Wijn.

Olla Vogala Olla Vogala (Belgium)   
Olla Vogala have found an attractive way to blend traditional music with orchestra/big band and world music. Far away both from the sometimes inappropriate combinations of different cultures and from hardcore orchestral music. [mm]
Icon Library FW#9, FW#13, FW#20.
Icon Sound @ Amazon.

Törf Törf (Netherlands)   
Törf has not only made their best cd until now, I think 'Olipodrigo' is one of the best cd's from the Dutch lowlands I have heard in many many years. [es]
Icon Library FW#26, FW#32.

Urban Trad Urban Trad (Belgium)   
This is such that some people will call too commercial, I say this is such that will be enjoyed by many people and bring some folk on places where it otherwise never would have come. [es]
Icon Library FW#19, FW#26, FW#27, FW#27, FW#34.
Icon Sound @ MySpace.

Gabriel Yacoub Gabriel Yacoub (France)   
Once upon a time, Gabriel Yacoub headed the most important roots band that possibly ever came out of France - Malicorne. 30 years later Gabriel is still playing. Somewhere between French and Celtic folk, French chanson, classical music, pop. [mm]
Icon Library FW#12, FW#14, FW#14, FW#14, FW#21, FW#30.
Icon Sound Ami : Ame : Amen, L'Eau, Le Sel et le Sucre .

Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Kerstin Blodig - Cara - Deitsch - Doppelbock - Hiss - Wolfgang
- Wolfgang Rieck - ulman - Hubert von Goisern - Wenzel

Kerstin Blodig Kerstin Blodig (Germany)   
Multi-instrumentalist and singer Kerstin Blodig has a fancy career: Norland Wind, Touchwood, Talking Water, Kelpie, Bierfiedler. Rhythmic ballads from both sides of the North Sea. [wt]
Icon Library FW#2, FW#2, FW#15, FW#21, FW#24, FW#29, FW#31, FW#34.
Icon Sound Jutulen og stolt oli, Kraka, On My Way.

Cara Cara (Germany)   
Cara is the recent German sensation in Irish music. Two expressive voices, first-rate arranged traditional songs, a couple of fiery self-penned tunes. Cara is charming and fun to listen to. [wt]
Icon Library FW#20, FW#29, FW#32, FW#33, FW#34, FW#34.
Icon Sound The King and the Fair Maid, Poisoned Peas, Reels for Hecki.

Deitsch Deitsch (Germany)   
Gudrun Walther and Jürgen Treyz are members of German-Irish band Cara, and Deitsch has the same vigour. Instead of roving, scuffling and boozing, eventually there is a traditional German group of high standards again. [wt]
Icon Library FW#20, FW#31, FW#32.
Icon Sound Es waren zwei Königskinder, Vetter Michel/Musikantenschottisch, Wacker Mädchen.

Doppelbock Doppelbock (Switzerland)   
Doppelbock did a terrific and highly appreciated undertaking, preserving tradition but making it accessible to present-day people. Even better, the music stays in the ear as a source of pleasure. [wt]
Icon Library FW#27, FW#33, FW#34.
Icon Sound Halbtraum, Ländlerli, Mädchen.

Hiss Hiss (Germany)   
Polka for the World: the expression world music has probably been coined for this musical mix. Terrificly gorgeous volksmusik for an audience that needs a certain maturity to recognise the irony. [kr]
Icon Library FW#18, FW#20, FW#25, FW#28, FW#29, FW#31, FW#32, FW#32, FW#33, FW#34.
Icon Sound @

Malbrook Wolfgang Meyering's Malbrook (Germany)   
Wolfgang Meyering's new band Malbrook is simply great! He combines northern German traditions with the Scandinavian world. A bit of medieval feeling and lots of energy. [cm]
Icon Library FW#26, FW#28, FW#29, FW#30.
Icon Sound Aulkendanz, Mauder kum dal, Dat Mest.

Wolfgang Rieck Wolfgang Rieck (Germany)   
Songs and stories in the German language, sung by stunning singer and great songwriter Wolfgang Rieck. The emotion can be felt even if you cannot understand the language. [cmm]
Icon Library FW#12, FW#17, FW#17, FW#30, FW#31, FW#32.
Icon Sound Es ist schön, Unter deine Decke, Was solln wir noch beginnen.

ulman ulman (Germany)   
Folk-grooves, world-beat and ethno-jazz from Eastern Germany. Such thing is rarely heard over here in Germany, but no exclusive right to Nordic bands anymore. [wt]
Icon Library FW#33, FW#33, FW#34.
Icon Sound @ MySpace.

Hubert von Goisern Hubert von Goisern (Austria)   
Hubert von Goisern kicked off a musical avalanche and created a genre from Alpine folk and 70's rock music that had been baptised neue volxmusik ever since. [wt]
Icon Library FW#19, FW#23, FW#24, FW#26, FW#27.
Icon Sound @ Amazon.

Wenzel Wenzel (Germany)   
Apart from being a genius songwriter, he is a great composer and he has gathered a very good band. Wenzel's music is not to easy to pigeon-hole: folk music, rock, pop, classical, chanson, jazz - all in all it is Wenzel. [cm]
Icon Library FW#15, FW#22, FW#26, FW#31.
Icon Sound Deine Augen, Zeit der Irren und Idioten, Zwischen Jena und Greiz.

Eastern Europe

Iva Bittova - Fanfare Ciocarlia - Farlanders - Ilgi - Kroke - Psarantonis
- Raduza - Marta Sebestyen - Transsylvanians - Warsaw Village Band

Iva Bittova Iva Bittová (Czech Republic)   
Iva Bittová is quite special and most original. A musician that knows no boundaries, taking her private folk music from world music to jazz and avant-garde. [wt]
Icon Library FW#30, FW#32, FW#33.
Icon Sound Kocka, Stane se, ze, Zapískej.

Fanfare Ciocarlia Fanfare Ciocarlia (Romania)   
Nearly all of the music invites the listener to dance and to listen at the same time because there is so much shear energy and so many ideas in the music. [ah]
Icon Library FW#32, FW#33.
Icon Sound Kan Marau La, Pana Can, Sandala.

Farlanders Farlanders (Russia)   
The Farlanders with their exciting approach of avantgarde folk rock are a proof that there is some cool folk music stuff from Russia. [mm]
Icon Library FW#11, FW#12, FW#14, FW#19.
Icon Sound Fog, Twilight, Up to the Sky.

Ilgi Ilgi (Latvia)   
Unbelievable that Ilgi is so unknown outside the Baltic states. It’s the top of modern folk music. [es]
Icon Library FW#34.
Icon Sound Osi, klavi, ozolini, Skaista mana ligavina, Viena saule, viena zeme.

Kroke Kroke (Poland)   
The Kroke quartet has a great reputation in music. Their mix of different styles of music from the east and the west with jazz and even some classical music is legendary. [es]
Icon Library FW#25, FW#31, FW#34, FW#34.
Icon Sound Earth, Sun, Tsigoyner Tants.

Psarantonis" Psarantonis (Greece)   
The island of Crete means untamed lyra and laouto music, and Psarantonis is the most peculiar performer of them all. [wt]
Icon Sound H Proti Agapi den Xehnietai, Mporo na Zo Otan Griko.

Raduza Raduza (Czech Republic)   
Singer and accordionist Raduza has been hailed as a rough diamond from Prague, geographically and musically at home between Poland and the Balkans. [wt]
Icon Library FW#29, FW#30, FW#32.
Icon Sound Cestou do Jenkovic, Na konicka vyskocim, Nebe peklo raj.

Muzsikas Márta Sebestyén (Hungary)   
Márta Sebestyén is an international star, but fortunatly no diva at all. Her vocal delivery is fascinating, she embellishes the ancient melodies with incredible self-assurance. [cr]
Icon Library FW#9, FW#13, FW#13, FW#23.
Icon Sound Cry Only On Sundays, Moldavian Tryptich, Three Orphans.

Transsylvanians Transsylvanians (Hungary/Germany)   
This is Hungarian music? This is Bartok? I couldn't sit still and the Transsylvanians' music made me smile and dance through the room. [es]
Icon Library FW#11, FW#15, FW#17, FW#30, FW#33.
Icon Sound A mult nyaron, Fustbe ment turv, Igen.

Warsaw Village Band Warsaw Village Band (Poland)   
Polish traditional tunes and songs but brought in a magical way, full of strong rhythms and ancient melodies. The Warsaw Village Band is sometimes sweet and friendly, often heavy and threatening, but never dangerous. [es]
Icon Library FW#15, FW#17, FW#17, FW#21, FW#26.
Icon Sound In the Forrest, The Owl, Woman in Hell.

The Mediterranean

Berroguetto - Bonifica Emiliana Veneta - Cristina Branco - Cesaria Evora - Kepa
- La Lionetta - Carlos Nunez - Mercedes Peon - Rosapaeda - Riccardo Tesi

Berrogüetto Berrogüetto (Spain)   
Their music is fresh and full of passion, they are finding a good way between traditional (sounding) music and modern influences. With groups like Berrogüetto, the traditions of Galicia and northern Spain are safe to survive the next millennium. [cm]
Icon Library FW#2, FW#7, FW#10, FW#12, FW#14, FW#21, FW#22.
Icon Sound Baixando de Ti, Unha volta e un poema, Vamosindo.

Bonifica Emiliana Veneta Bonifica Emiliana Veneta (Italy)   
B.E.V. are a real treat of highest quality Italian folk music. If you are into Italian music, then this one is a must buy. If you have never heard before Italian music, it is a perfect introduction. [mm]
Icon Library FW#11, FW#12, FW#14, FW#20, FW#21, FW#33.
Icon Sound Al quartiere d'Ungheria, Furlana di Pregnorato, Piva 'd Paganein dal Serc.

Cristina Branco Cristina Branco (Portugal)   
Suffering and pain - Cristina Branco sings typical Portuguese fado music, at the same time she does not. Rather she preserves the best of it and revives an entire genre. [wt]
Icon Sound @

Cesaria Evora Cesaria Evora (Cape Verde)   
Cesaria Evora is the most popular singer of Cape Verde and the Queen of Morna, the slow and melancholic songs of longing and craving, nostalgia and homesickness. [wt]
Icon Library FW#25, FW#32.
Icon Sound @

Kepa Junkera Kepa Junkera (Spain)   
Bilbao can be proud to be the home of this extraordinary musician and to have such a talented ambassador. Anybody interested in Basque, European, World or Celtic music - get it! [mm]
Icon Library FW#7, FW#8, FW#21.
Icon Sound Busturiko Vikingoak, Hiri, Peliqueiroak Terranovan.

La Lionetta La Lionetta (Italy)   
Wonderful happy innovative and open minded new folk music, as fresh as it can come only from Italy. [mm]
Icon Library FW#19, FW#27, FW#29.
Icon Sound Il Mondo alla Rovescia, Sarazin, Il Serpente.

Carlos Nunez Carlos Núñez (Spain)   
When Carlos Núñez did his first album, no one in Spain would have believed in Celtic music. Then Carlos' album became Platinum, and suddenly every company wanted to have its own piper. [cmm]
Icon Library FW#3, FW#3, FW#4, FW#5, FW#11, FW#11, FW#11, FW#15, FW#16, FW#26, FW#31, FW#31, FW#31, FW#32.
Icon Sound @ Amazon.

Mercedes Peon Mercedes Peón (Spain)   
It is amazing to see and hear a competition between Mercedes Peón's voice and the loud voice of a Galician bagpipe (gaita) - and Mercedes' voice can win against the bagpipe. [cm]
Icon Library FW#17, FW#18, FW#28, FW#30.
Icon Sound Adorro, Cantar de Bois, Marabilla.

Rosapaeda Rosapaeda (Italy)   
A fascinating Italian voice: Powerful with lot of nuances, Rosapaeda's singing is passionate and she has a very strong talent to adopt different styles of songs. [cm]
Icon Library FW#20, FW#21, FW#34.
Icon Sound Angelo benedetto, Cannettella, O re re.

Riccardo Tesi Riccardo Tesi (Italy)   
Riccardo Tesi and Banditaliana are one of the most inspiring bands currently found on the European music scene. This is virtuosic music, rich of musical ideas and full of fun and enjoyment. [mm]
Icon Library FW#17, FW#20, FW#22, FW#26, FW#31.
Icon Sound Capelli Neri, Justin, La Stella e la Luna.

FolkWorld's Best Loved Artists 1997-2007 have been chosen by: Adolf Goriup, Olaf Henze, Tom Kamphans,
Tom Keller, Dorthe Lübbert, Christian Moll, Michael Moll, Karsten Rube, Eelco Schilder & Dai Woosnam.

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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 11/2007

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