FolkWorld #51 07/2013

CD & DVD Reviews

Valeriya Shishkova & Di Vanderer "Mir gejen zisamen"
Own label, 2012

Andrea Pancur & Ilya Shneyveys "Alpenklezmer"
Globalistas Records, 2012

Joscho Stephan & Helmut Eisel Quartet "Gypsy meets klezmer"
MGL, 2012

Di Galitzyaner Klezmorim "Ponad Horyzont"
Tylkomuzyka, 2012

Mrozek Klezmer Orchestra "Jewish Klezz Jazz"
Own label, 2011

A bunch of Yiddish/Klezmer related albums, starting with singer Valeriya Shishkova & Di Vanderer. This Russian singer, backed by piano, accordion and clarinet, sings fifteen known and lesser known Yiddish songs. In a traditional/jazzy way she sings with a trained voice and brings the beautiful songs in a accessible, bit light-footed way. Interesting for those who like a bit jazzy/acoustic-mainstream approach. At moments I find Shishkova her music a bit too sweet. But that’s only my personal taste and I’m sure many will love this well arranged and played album.
German CD Review Let's go to the Alps with Andrea Pancur and Ilya Sheyveys. On their album Alpenklezmer they bring a unusual mix of two styles, Klezmer with the sounds of traditional Alp music. Pancur known as a member of the German Massel-tov group, now bundles her quality with accordionist and drummer Ilya Sheyveys. Together with a fine bunch of guest musicians this duo creates a sparkling album full of Bavarian songs, Klezmer beats and Yodel happiness. I’m not sure if a diehard klezmer fan will like this, but this uplifting, uncomplicated music doe make the sun appear and with humour they know how to entertain. Jazzy, cabaret, chanson it’s all there. With fun and pleasure Pancur and Sheyveys build a Yiddish party in the Alps.
Joscho Stephan & Helmut Eisel quartet also recorded an album on which two styles are mixed. This time Klezmer and gypsy. The gypsy-swing guitar of Stephan and the Klezmer clarinet of Eisel create a laid back, Klezmer-swing sound. Helped by the rhythm guitar of Gunter Stephan and Max Schaaf his double bass, this is jazzy music played by two master musicians. I enjoyed the works of Eisel many times before but Stephan was an unknown musician to me. There is chemistry between the musicians and their styles. This is music for the lounge moments, the late evenings to dream away on. Well played, strong musical arrangements and most suitable for those who wants to relax after the more outspoken dance-klezmer of all those brass-klezmer bands that exist worldwide. A pure album, close your eyes and enjoy.
And after waking up again put on the fine album of Di Galitzyaner Klezmorim and their album called Ponad horyzont. It’s the trio’s third album. On clarinet, accordion and double bass only they create an exciting sound with a bit dark edge. They know how to put soul into their music, with basic elements of the tradition, they create a full, rich sound. In perfect balance, well-arranged songs. A great addition to the list of great Polish klezmer relating albums, a list that gets more and more impressive.
We stay in Poland with the Mrozek Klezmer Orchestra. Their album Jewish Klezz Jazz mixes exactly what the title suggests. Fourteen known and lesser known tracks played in a mainstream, bit orchestral way. It’s accessible music for those who like a mainstream folk album occasionally. Well played, but with predictable, polished, musical arrangements. Great for those who fall for the more cliché sound of the genre.
© Eelco Schilder

Woody Pines "Rabbits Motel"
Own label, 2013

Alice Wylde "Songs of Old Appalachia"
Wild goose records, 2013

German CD Review

A bunch of Americana and Country albums starting with a ragtime country rock album by Woody Pines. Ten songs on this Rabbits Motel mainly original and composed by Pines himself. Nice to hear how Pines and his fellow musicians create a rich, honest sound with sometime vocals, acoustic and electric guitar only. Nice psych organ touches go hand in hand with pure tradition and light roots rock. A friendly album with a bit edgy sound.
Alice Wylde sings songs from the Appalachian tradition on her new album Songs of old Appalachia. Backed by Dan Stewart on banjo, dulcimer, guitar and fiddle. Wylde sings and plays on her banjo eleven songs that she have been singing her whole live and learned from her mother or neighbours. Eleven pure songs giving a fine picture of the rich Appalachian tradition. Wylde sings from her heart and soul, the play is uncomplicated and with this authentic sound she touches the soul of the Appalachian music very well.
© Eelco Schilder

Estampie "Secrets of the North"
Screaming banshee records, 2013

Almost thirty years ago Estampie was established and now in 2013 maybe more alive than ever before. Starting as an early music ensemble, the band slowly changes into a legendary neo-folk band. With this new album they show the beauty of the middle ages ballades of the Scandinavian countries. In a hypnotising, professional and attractive way the band captured the atmosphere of the ballads in a beautiful way. The album shows why they have a bit legendary status in the world of neo-folk, they keep the mystical atmosphere of the music, but sound modern at the same time. Known ballads, often played before by legendary bands from Sweden and Norway, are mixed with lesser known melodies and I’m a bit ashamed to say, but Estampie shows that the best modern Nordic folk(rock) comes from outside Scandinavia at the moment. Time to change that?
© Eelco Schilder

Various Artists "Kvensfinsk Tradisjon I Norge"
Etnisk musikklubb, 2010

This beautiful 2 cd set in a nice long-box and with booklet concentrates on the traditional songs from the North Norwegian Kvenland region. A Finnish speaking tradition, close to the border with Finland at the rooftop of Europe. Not like in many other (Nordic) traditions, the songs are for celebrations, sung in school or at other social events. It are so called Home songs, sung around the house. To sing away the loneliness, to gain strength to overcome the hard life in that area and to express the personal human emotions like love, illness and death. You can find sailor songs, songs about dangerous journeys and lullabies. 60 songs brought together, pure music brought by people who are deeply rooted into this tradition and sing the songs in a raw, direct and sometimes fragile way. Impressive to feel the atmosphere in the way these people sing. A beautiful document for the more ethno-music orientated listener. Booklet has an English part.
© Eelco Schilder

Mavrika "Mavrika"
Psolista records, 2012

Mavrika is a duo from London with Katina Kangaris on lead vocals and Hammond organ and Chris Morphitis on electric guitars, bouzouki, baglamas and electric bass. Together with a drummer, violin and oud player and backing vocalist Kangaris and Morphitis recorded this fine debut album. The recordings date from 2010, but the songs they sing and play are from the first part of the 20th century and all from the famous Greek Rembetika style. Songs about love, woman, men, gambling, wine and tears to name just a few. They tried to capture the bluesy, bit dark atmosphere of the songs in a modern kind of alt-folk rock. In an effective, uncomplicated way this duo captures the soul of the songs and brings them into the 21st century. Strong vocals and strings, a great underground sound. Sure this album will be loved by the alternative folk and rock fans, it has soul and a nice raw touch, must be a real treat to see them live in some dark nightclub as well I guess. Strong debut album, looking forward to hear more recent work.
© Eelco Schilder

Anna María "Saknađ fornaldar"
Own label, 2012

Anna Maria is an Icelandic singer-songwriter. She studied in Copenhagen and during her study she got more and more interested in her own Icelandic roots. She started to read old Icelandic poems and on this first solo album she recorded eight of them. She put them to music herself and together with six musicians the old poems were recorded. Anna Maria has a powerful voice with which she easily gives different emotions to the eight songs. Where the one song is a dreamy and tender composition with cello, piano and soft percussion, another song is raw backed with electric guitars, Hammond organ and drums. It all fits perfectly, her slightly prog-folk approach with jazzy elements make this a strong debut album by a great singer, composer and musician.
© Eelco Schilder

Helium Vola "Wohin?"
Chrom records, 2013

The German band Helium Vola was founded in 2001 by ex Qntal member Ernst Horn. Together with early music singer Sabine Lutzenberger he recorded nineteen new tracks on a double album. The mixture of the classical trained voice of Lutzenberger with the post-modern traditional arrangements of Horn impress for a long time. Starting with some hypnotising, almost sacral songs. I’m immediately interested in what this duo creates. Slowly the music changes and it’s like they time travel Lutzenberger from the days of early music to the modern electronic possibilities of today. Where her sound stays close to the original styles, it’s Horn’s music that changes the atmosphere with electronic beats and sounds. I like the way this album slowly changes and shows how early music can easily be mixed with modern possibilities. More than interesting album, although for me one album would have been enough and I’m not sure if all the extra songs really add something to their quality and story. But I might be completely wrong about that and seen the fact that you get 2 for the price of 1 I would suggest you buy this album anyway.
© Eelco Schilder

Äl Jawala "Blast your ghetto"
Jawa records, 2013

Successful band playing Balkan and beyond folk beats. Seventeen of their songs are remixed and ready for a real world-dance party. As always with remix albums, the quality changes a bit. But somehow Äl jawala managed to create a unity in their sound throughout the album and this results in a really nice dance album with some great Balkan-beat and other world grooves tracks.
© Eelco Schilder

Stefan Straubinger "Hans bleib da!"
Own label, 2011

From Bavaria comes solo musician Stefan Straubinger. On bandoneon and hurdy gurdy, two instruments that are far from traditional Bayern, he plays sixteen solo pieces live on stage. With a mixture of traditional and original compositions Straubinger recorded a really nice album. Intriguing how he shows the many sides of the hurdy gurdy, from a folk instrument in Zwiefacher vom kunz to a blues sound in Drehleier blues as if this instrument was invented by the first blues musicians. Straubinger easily jumps from tradition to funk, from pop to jazz and all of that with his voice and one of the two instruments only. Nice one!
© Eelco Schilder

Jaurena Ruf Project "Angel Bailarin"
Gp arts, 2012

Vibratanghissimo "Ciudades... Berlin"
big-tone-records / NRW-Vertrieb, 2011

A few tango related albums starting with the German duo Jaurena Ruf Project. This project connects bandoneon player Raul Jaurena and Clarinettist Bern Ruf. On this new album they tell the story of a dancing angel. An intimate musical project with great intensity. The Wonderful lightness of their music impresses me, it’s tango inspired music played from a different angle. The more tender and poetic side of the music, not the wild passion, but the intense and almost a bit shy side of the music. Well played by two top musicians, an album to love.
Vibratanghissimo shows the more jazzy side of the tango music. The four musicians on piano, violin, bass and vibraphone mix original compositions with Piazzolla songs in a natural way. They explore the possibilities of the music in jazz style and succeed very well. In a free style they create the atmosphere of a jazz club in the hearth of the Tango area. The tango is always recognisable, but the music will surprise you now because of the well played jazz vibes which gives an extra dimension to the music.
© Eelco Schilder

Fjärin "Mixtur"
Go Danish Folk Music, 2013

Svøbsk Kvartet "Bjergtaget"
Go Danish Folk Music, 2013

Rannok "Dejodejo"
Go Danish Folk Music, 2013

Line Kruse "Dancing on Air"
Stunt records, 2012

And as always a few new albums from Denmark starting with the second album by Fjärin which is called Mixtur. On this new album the original trio is backed by pianist Oscar Johansson, vocalist Mia Marlen Berg and whistle and accordion player Rune Cygan Barslund. Three top musicians added, a fantastic album this must be and it is. With eleven original compositions Søren Stensby Hansen, Johannes Vaht and Kasper Ejlerskov Leonhardt and their guests show their quality as composers and musicians. Starting with two beautiful, well played and sparkling sounding instrumental parts that are rooted in tradition, singer Mia Marlen Berg impresses in the song Et øjeblikk av savn. A song that feels like an old, sad ballad sung with chrystal clear voice and softly backed by the band. Absolutely wonderful, the same as Stranda and Mixtur on which she sings. With this new album Fjärin shows their quality as acoustic ensemble and by inviting the guests they really added something extra to their music.
Svøbsk kvartet somehow has this typical Danish folk music sound. On violin, accordion, piano and percussion they play in the long tradition of Danish folk bands from the early seventies until today. Adding a bit of jazz, this is folk music as I know it from the Danish lp’s from the seventies but than in a 2013 version. Uplifting, well played music very suitable for dancing. Both traditional and original compositions are played with the same traditional vibe. A must for lovers of the more recognisable type of Danish folk, really well played.
The duo Rannok released their second album called Dejodejo three years after their nice debut CD. Twelve, mainly traditional, pieces played on the piano and violin amongst other instruments. With elements of jazz, folk and with a bit bluesy edge Rannok recorded a great summer album full of Danish acoustic and instrumental music. Suitable for enjoying and dancing, well played with craftsmanship and a smile.
The last album is by Line Kruse a Danish violinist who lives in Paris. Dancing on air is her third album and, besides a Satie composition, all compositions are original. Together with twelve musicians Kruse created a very nice crossover album. She brings together not only folk, jazz, rock and modern programming. But also music from the Nordic countries, Arabic sounds, Latin vibes and so much more. Kruse shows many sides of her instrument and she connects all styles in a natural way. Each of the ten songs has its own atmosphere, its own sound, but they all have the same soul and form an impressive whole. Intriguing modern world-jazz by a great violinist backed by a wonderful band.
© Eelco Schilder

Nynke "Alter"
Crammed Discs, 2013

German CD Review

It’s almost ten years ago that Frisian singer Nynke Laverman released her beautiful debut album. On this album she sung Fado music in the Frisian language and with this she had great success. Her last album Nomade was released four years ago, an energetic, personal album that still impresses me. Now a new album is released, only Nynke as artist name mentioned this time. With Alter she focusses on an international audience and seen the quality of this new work she might succeed in that. Alter has a less outspoken extravert style than Nomade, is more subtle, perfectly balanced in sound and repertoire. Each time I listen to it again the album reveals new layers in the beautiful music. Nynke her voice sounds better than ever and the musicians play in a sparkling way and support the vocals in an excellent way. The main focus in the eleven compositions is on elements from the Spanish/Flamenco folk tradition, mixed with light contemporary rock elements, often with an acoustic vibe. It’s an album that amazes, that gets better and better each time you will listen to it and it proofs the international quality of Nynke.
© Eelco Schilder

Jarek Adamów "Fall in Mountains"
Folken music, 2013

I’m a fan of Adamóv his work since I got his solo album Songs of the medieval Polish bards almost ten years ago.[27] The past few years I have reviewed several albums by groups he was part of, but I’m more than happy to review his latest solo album called Fall in mountains. Helped in the first two songs by Marek Durda on Hurdy gurdy, Adamów impresses me again with probably one of his best work until today. With his mixture of traditional and original material Adamów captures the soul of each song perfectly. With his sober style he shows the nakedness of each song and by doing this he shows the essence of each composition without any unnecessary additional sounds. It’s that pureness of the music that makes him unique, Adamów is not afraid to play from his heart and soul and that can be heard in his music. Sometimes vocals, hurdy-gurdy drone and a drum only and a haunting tale is revealed like in the over eleven minutes long masterpiece Powrót z niewoli tureckiej. Which is followed by a three and a half minutes shepherd flute solo, something totally different but it fits perfectly. Ending the album with a clarinet solo, Adamów shows me exactly why he is one of my favourite (Polish) musicians of this time. Not many musicians are capable of bringing music back to the essence of a song, Adamów does that all the time.
© Eelco Schilder

Felmay, 2013

Spituk monastery is a Buddhist monastery and on this album you can hear the spiritual chants and music from this place. Starting with four instrumental tracks on the wood instrument called Gyaling and the trumpet dungchen which is a very long horn. You might have to get used to the heavy appealing sound of the instruments. Together with drum and harmony vocals the album is completed and you can experience the trance of this Buddhist tradition.
© Eelco Schilder

Various Artists "Poetry and Music of Ashiqs"
Felmay, 2013

Ramiz Guliyev "Dialogues with the Tar"
Felmay, 2013

Various Artists "Caravan of Mugham Melodies"
Felmay, 2013

Three new releases with music from Azerbaijan on the Italian Felmay label. Starting with Poetry and music of Ashiqs on which several musicians represent the musical heritage called Ashiqs. Together with the better known Mugham tradition, it’s included on the UNESCO list of intangible Cultural heritage of humanity in 2009. This tradition can be found not only in Azerbaijan, but also in Armenia, Georgia and Iran The Ashiq is a composer, a poet, a singer, musician or/and a performer that originally plays on wedding but also on music festivals. It’s an oral tradition mainly backed by the Saz. But also percussion and the balaban and naghara can be heard. On this release fourteen compositions from the past 400 years, played by several musicians from Georgia, Armenia an Azerbaijan. Some great Saz parts and intriguing vocals make this a nice ethnographic document. I find the music more accessible than the Mugham albums I have, so this album might be interested for those who want a first acquaintance with the Azerbaijan musical heritage.
The second album is by Ramiz Guliyev. On Dialogues with the Tar Guliyev shows the beauty of the Tar, a traditional string instrument, backed by the Orchestra of the national instruments of the Azerbaijan state TV and radio broadcasting company. Guliyev is a legend on this instrument, a many times awarded musician who creates stunning melodies on the strings, gently backed by the orchestra which gives all the space to the sparkling sound of the Tar and never overrules the fragile sound of the instrument which is worth a compliment. A wonderful instrumental album, deeply rooted into tradition and played by probably one of the best players still alive. A must for lovers of the genre.
The last album is called Caravan of Mugham melodies on which several artists show the art of the best known Azerbaijan tradition, the Mugham. I think one of the most intense and beautiful music traditions of the world. On this album both young and more experienced musicians are recorded which gives the ancient composition a constant different atmosphere. For me it’s impossible not to get impressed by this tradition. It’s such a richness of melodies, rhythms and emotions and this album shows exactly why the UNESCO protects the tradition. It’s not the easiest form of music, especially because somehow it always appeals directly to feelings deep within and that’s not something most listeners would like on daily base. But actually this tradition does what music is about. It brings out emotion, it can be felt in many parts of the body and soul.
© Eelco Schilder

Lenka Lichtenberg "Songs for the Breathing Walls"
Sunflower records, 2012

German CD Review

Canadian singer Lenka Lichtenberg has recorded many nice albums on which she focusses on the Jewish traditions worldwide. This 2012 album contains a selection of recordings made in twelve different synagogues in 2010 and 2011. With songs mainly rooted in the Czech and Moravian Jewish communities, Lichtenberg recorded her best album yet. With a rarely heard intensity she sings the poems, prayes, psalms and ancient songs and like never before she puts her heart and soul into the music. Beautifully accompanied by a fine selection of musicians including oud player YairDalal. Songs for the breathing walls is a fabulous album that touches the listener and shows the beauty of the Jewish tradition in all its glory.
© Eelco Schilder

Lenka Lichtenberg with Fray "Embrace"
Sunflower Records, 2013

Singer/songwriter Lenka Lichtenberg was born in Prague and moved to Toronto where she started a career as an award winning composer working on different projects. Her latest release is a collection of Yiddish songs and World Music recorded with Fray, a five piece ensemble featuring Chris Gartner (bass), John Gzowski (guitar, oud, bouzouki, ukulele), Alan Hetherington (drums, pandeiro, percussion), Ravi Naimpally (tablas, darbuka, dholak) and Ernie Tollar (saxophone, ney, bansouri, flutes, penny whistle).
Lenka’s musical journey starts with “Raise a cup of joy”, the tablas, Hugh Marsh on violin, Dhrub Ghosh on sarangi and Anwar Khurshid on sitar give the sacral hymn an oriental touch. “Vayn fun lebn” is a citation from the excerpt of Simcha Simchovitch’s, a Polish Yiddish poet, poets; Lenka adds some additional lyrics and the music. Christian Dawid on bass clarinet, Lenka’s crystal clear voice and the fantastic Yiddish sound make it one of my favourites. Lenka set’s Khayke Beruriah Wiegand’s lyrics on “Pigeons in Paris” to beautiful piece of Yiddish chanson music with Julian Labro on accordion. From time to time the band brings in experimental and jazzy elements like on the traditional Yiddish sacral song “Shrinele Perele”, Dawid on bass clarinet and Eric Stein on mandolin join the session and Lenka sings the Yiddish vocals with a bluesy touch. Tollar arranged the Yiddish popular ballad “Tumbalalaika” as a bluesy Jazz song with tablas, great bass lines, fine drum rhythm and virtuoso flute playing. Lenka’s breath-taking vocal artistic, saxophone, accordion and Kevin Turcotte on trumpet create an incredible rich sound on “2010”, Lenka’s Goodbye to the most intense and mad year she ever experienced. A little Yiddish folk song is added as a hidden track.
The music of Lenka Lichtenberg with Fray is a brilliant fusion of Yiddish songs, world music, Jazz and modern Indie elements, her singing is inspired and she has a wonderful voice. Immerge in Lenka’s musical world at!
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup

Elaine Mahon "Rise"
Gatorbone Records, 2013

18 years after her debut album Florida based singer/songwriter Elaine Mahon (vocals, acoustic guitar) produced together with Lon (bass) and Elisabeth Williamson (banjo, guitar, vocals) a terrific collection of 14 self-crafted songs.
Bass, two differently tuned guitars and mesmerizing harmony vocals accompany Elaine's joyful anthem "Rise up singing". "Dust tracks in the road" is a mid-tempo folk song with Gabe Valla on guitar and mandolin, Elisabeth on banjo and Lon on bass and "One by one", co-written with Lon and Elisabeth, is driven by a moderate bossa nova rhythm produced by Elaine, Lon and Dave Kelsey on percussion. My favourites are "This garden place", a jazzy song driven by Jason Thomas' brilliant fiddling and showcasing Elaine's soulful singing, and "56 Blue Chevy", an intoxicating Blues with Tuck Tucker on Dobro, Gabe and Elaine on guitar and Lon on bass. Elaine is a great singer with a powerful and warm voice, no matter if she sings with a bluesy timbre or just celebrates the joy of singing, she mesmerizes the listener with her lovely songs. "Six pelicans" is a soft a capella ballad about a personal experience and "The selkie bride" a hauntingly beautiful epic song about an Irish/Scottish myth, featuring Hannah Elkire on cello and Gabe on additional guitar.
I listened to some samples of her first CD and if it takes 18 years to bring singing and song writing to perfection than it was worth waiting. Less is more, Elaine says and enchants her wonderful singing with simple but brilliant arrangements.
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup

Matt Woosey Band "On the Waggon"
Own label, 2013

Matt Woosey started his musical career at the age of 15 as drummer in a Thin Lizzy cover band, 10 years later he is one of the hottest British Blues acts known for his virtuoso slap and pick guitar technique, his brilliant Blues and his powerful voice. Together with Jim “E” Williams on drums and Adji Shuib on bass he recorded his sixth album with twelve self-crafted songs and is right now touring with it all over Europe.
Matt starts off with “Black smoke rising”, up-beat Blues Rock driven by an incredible guitar groove and fine drumming. “Elsie May” is a perfect showcase for Matt’s virtuoso finger picking and beautiful singing and the band creates on “Find a way” an intoxicating pace. Three brilliant musicians play the Blues, authentic but British, you can hear beautiful lap slide playing, great finger picking and brilliant slap groove by Matt, who also is a first class singer, fine drum rhythms by Jim and excellent bass lines by Adji. “She just called” is a hauntingly beautiful Blues ballad in accelerating pace and on “That’s my baby” the guys rock the studio, intoxicating up-beat Blues-Rock’n’roll a bit Canned Heat style, awesome sound. They finish up after nearly one hour of Matt Woosey Band Blues with “Dopey Mick”, shuffling Blues rhythm, soulful singing, whining e-guitar, pulsating bass and a breath-taking drum solo by Jim.
Matt Woosey presents one of the best Blues albums I’ve listened to, visit him on his homepage and check out his tour dates, plenty of gigs in Germany, England, Netherlands etc.
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup

Dom DufF "Babel Pow Wow"
Paganab, 2013

"I stuck myself early 2012 in studio at home and started compose new tunes. I wrote lyrics after on those music, all songs are about GLOBAL DIVERSITY : Babel Pow Wow is a title which links to me all cultures of this world and rituals in each also", says Breton singer/songwriter Dom DufF (voice, guitars, mandolin, samples, bodhràn, harmonica) about his latest release. Together with Nicola Hayes on fiddle, Vincent Guerin on bass, Mourad Ait Abdelmalek on drums and Yan Soulabail on electric guitar he recorded 12 self-penned tracks.
Most of the songs are written in Breton language, saving languages is the topic of "Buan yann buan", a rhythmic lyrical track. "Bitter lands of Llydaw" is a dramatic song with fine fiddling, powerful guitar groove and intoxicating rhythm and the up-beat title song deals about ritual feasts and is driven by bass, drums and fiddle. "Buzhug'o'matic" talks about alternative energies and the exit from petrol exploitation, an energetic song. "Koroll gouez" starts with lyrical singing and acoustic guitar, then the guys join in and accelerate the pace, fiddle and acoustic guitar dancing together, and the hypnotic instrumental track "Treizh" is a perfect showcase for the guys to present their musical virtuosity.
Dom DufF's fifth album is a fascinating musical journey to the Celtic lands of Brittany, whose primary rocks include certainly the founder of Pagan band Diwall, Dom DufF. You may listen to samples @!
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup

Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby "Real World"
Cabritunes Records, 2013

Nashville based singer/songwriter Cathryn Craig and British guitar player Brian Willoughby have recorded six albums together. The new recording features re-recordings of formerly released songs as well as new tracks and has been recorded live in the studio by award winning engineer Ron Angus.
Cathryn has a beautiful and powerful voice brilliantly accompanied by fine guitar playing, she remembers the “Malahide Moon”, a hauntingly beautiful ballad and “Cumberland” is a soulful Americana love ballad to the river in her homelands. “Two hearts one love” is a great re-recording from her debut solo album “Porch Songs”, originally recorded on Cathryn’s porch in Nashville and “I will” has previously been released on the same titled album, the first album as a duo. Two guitars play an up-beat melody; Cathryn’s powerful singing and the virtuoso guitar groove produce goose bumps in your neck. From their last CD they re-recorded “Accanoe”, a breath-taking song about Native Americans, brought forward in authentic style with intoxicating guitar and percussion groove, my favourite song. Another highlight is “Walk on”; fantastic guitar playing accompanies Cathryn’s passionate singing, keep on walking.
Craig and Willoughby are fantastic songwriters and musicians, no overdubs, no studio cheating, pure and authentic music and Craig is one of the best singers of the genre, enjoy!
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup

Chris While & Julie Matthews "Infinite Sky"
Fat Cat Records, 2013

Chris While (vocals, guitar) and Julie Matthews (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards) are working together since they met in 1993 as members of The Albion Band, 4 years later they left the band and started a successful career as singer/songwriter duo. Together with Howard Lees (guitar), Neil Fairclough (bass), Bryan Hargreaves (drums, percussion), her daughter Kellie While (harmony vocals) and a few guests they recorded 11 original songs.
Julie wrote the up-beat hymn “This beautiful life”, the beautiful voices of Julie and Chris are driven by an intoxicating pace created by the band. “Half a world away” is a melancholic Americana waltz written by Chris in Melbourne and Julie’s “Inconvenient hero” a dramatic Rock ballad about 9-11, featuring a great guitar solo by Lees and powerful and passionate singing together of the two singers. Julie’s touching piano ballad “Nie wieder” is dedicated to Gretel Bergmann, a Jewish Olympic athlete during the Nazi regime, and hosts Nancy Kerr on viola and Andy Cutting on melodeon, a hauntingly beautiful song. Then Martin Simpson plays the slide guitar on the rocking “Shaky town”, written by both in Christchurch, New Zealand, virtuoso singing is accompanied by an incredible Americana groove. Another highlight is “Broken crash barrier”, a perfect showcase for their breath-taking singing and their intoxicating guitar pace.
Chris While and Julie Matthews have produced a brilliant album, masterly songwriting, wonderful singers and inspired musicians. Check out their agenda, they’re touring Great Britain, Australia and one gig in Germany.
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup

The Warp/The Weft "The Warp/The Weft"
Own Label, 2013

German CD Review

Back in 2011, we introduced the American artist from the city of Poughkeepsie (New York) Shane Murphy.[45] Now in 2013, he is presenting the new record of his band The Warp/The Weft, a quartet playing: bass (Dave Andersen), drums (Christian John Laura), electric guitar (Chris Pellnat), and acoustic guitar + vocals (Shane Murphy). Their haunting music flows down calmly from the heart of the Hudson River valley. Then you find waterfalls of harmonic string sounds, shining voices, and melodious lyrics depicting intimate landscapes and reflections. Tunes robustly built on poetical frames, euphonic verbal structures, like Edward Hopper studiously sketching lines on a canvas later painted with solid green-blue-red filmic scenes. Or from another perspective, those lines might be the shadows on the textile background, the shades of the canvas’s warp & weft. Maybe not the sort of traditional-folk sonorities mostly intertwined in the texts of this magazine. The popular roots inspiring their music are probably from the outskirts of those huge urban and industrial communities, sometimes emerging from leafy forests, more typical in North America than in Europe. Here on the ‘Old Continent’ once in a while, we find the joy of cultivating arcane roots growing between the stones in small medieval towns, and our folk songs play instruments like the mandolin or the hurdy-gurdy. The Warp/The Weft play those as well (David Andersen & Robert Caldwell), and they fuse them wisely, well measured, in the right moments.
In their own words: ‘Our music falls generally in the alt-folk category, but progressive, jazz and Celtic elements set our band apart’. An accurate statement, as interesting as many of their lyrics: ‘...I have stared for days on end at squirrels nosing through skidder-tracks, where needles stormed from the felled front-yard spruce...’, or ‘...The soft ripple of a dorsal fin in this cove; the cove the cupped hands of a god at his shaving mirror; the sky bent well in an Archaic smile...’. Clearly this is not the usual mainstream USA rock, blues or indie folk music, which frequently succeeds in Europe. But let’s hope that we can enjoy their presence here soon.
© Pío Fernández

The Warp/The Weft "The Warp/The Weft"
Own Label, 2013

German CD Review

This is quietly striking five-song EP that could easily have you wondering what decade this was made in. The vocals instantly command attention with their quivering intensity somewhere in between Pavlov’s Dog and Fuchsia. Musically, this carefully moves between light psychedelic rock and folk with a sense of adventure more gentile than that of the Incredible String Band. There are intricate tasty combinations of seemingly incongruous elements, not the least of which is the serious sound of a song entitled “Marry in Haste, Repent at Leisure”. This is one of the more magical modern day psychedelic folk offerings since Espers or Faun Fables. I hope the future allows me to hear a lot more than five songs from this Poughkeepsie, New York collective.
© David Hintz

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