Tag: folk

aaa to be reviewed

Afenginn “Bastard-Punk-Ethno” – New Album “Bastard Etno”

Today I found a press release about the latest album Bastard Etno of the Danish-Finish band Afenginn which is released today. This made me curious and I listened to the tracks available on Afenginns myspace page.

Finnish mandolinist Kim Nyberg composes almost all of their music.

Afenginn is the winner of the Danish Folk Price in 2009.

Let’s start with some quotes form Afenginns homepage and myspace site:

Afenginn means intoxication and strength in Old Norse! Their homebrewed and unique style is categorized as Bastard-Punk-Ethno, with a sigh of Nordic melancholy and a twist of cheerful madness.

Bastard Etno – the fourth album from the unconventional Danish orchestra – is getting great reviews in national media!

The Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten (perhaps mostly known for being the one with the Muhammed pictures) gives 5 stars out of 6 to the new Afenginn album. They write:
There is nothing normal with this album, nothing what so ever.

I recommend to start with the music on myspace first – this is a bit more refined and not so wild as the music in the following life videos from youtube. You can find several tracks from the previous albums, I hope that some tracks of the new album will be added soon.

Video from a Festival in Germany, Bad Wildungen, with one of the slow tunes:

There are several videos of Afenginn available at youtube. I have compiled some of the videos in the following playlist – enjoy the power and energy of the performances of Afenginn.

Playlist Afenginn


Afenginn at myspace: Afenginn bei MySpace Music

Homepage: Afenginn

CD recommendation (amazon partnerlink)

Retrograd – Afenginn

aaa to be reviewed

Lake of Stew – Bluegrass / Oldtime from Canada

This morning I listened to the newest Canda Live podcast with Lake of Stew, a six-piece acoustic string band from Montreal, Quebec.

On the band homepage you can find the following text about the band and it’s music, a definition that fits very well to what I have heard from the podcast and the videos:

They sing all original, new songs, featuring great big vocal harmonies. Lots of people call their sound old-timey, but it ain’t, it’s new-timey, though it does recall a lot of old traditions all blended together. If you need a name to put to their sound, you wouldn’t go wrong with “good-timey”. Their live shows are energetic and fun, inspiring audiences of all ages to sing and clap and wiggle along.

I have found many youtube videos of this creative and interesting band. Here is a short video which was made when Lake of Stew presented their first album:

AIN’T TIRED OF LOVIN’” (CD) – first album, released May 2008 by us. Recorded live off the floor at home.


Lake of Stew – Playlist

Lake of Stew can also be heard in three songs of another CBC concert with singer/songwriter Annabelle Chvostek, including the following beautiful song:

Annabelle Chvostek with The Lake Of Stew – The Sioux

Lake of Stew (Sweet Little Sara)

If you like this fresh, old-timey, folky sound you can find more examples in the podcast, the CBC concert on demand, in my playlist and many more youtube videos.


Band Homepage: Lake of Stew

CBC – concerts on demand: Lake of Stew and Annabelle Chvostek

CBC – Canda Live podcast

My youtube playlist: Bluegrass – Lake of Stew

Recommended for tuning your guitar or mandolin (Amazon partnerlink)

Korg PITCHCLIP Low-Profile Clip-On Tuner


Gone Picking: Kathy Fink and Marcy Marxer

I discovered Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer some time ago when I found a concert titled A Banjo Extravaganza in the concerts on demand section of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The concert featured different artists, all playing a special style on the banjo.

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer are two very versatile and creative players and singers. Cathy and Marcy are regularly playing programs for children and families, and have composed many special songs for this purpose.

Their last CD Banjo to Beatbox was produced together with Christylez Bacon, a famous Hip Hop musician.

Cathy and Marcy have won two Grammys for their music.

I was impressed by the different instruments played by Kathy and Marcy – banjos, acoustic and electric guitars, ukuleles, and much more.

Marcy has developed a special four string cello banjo with the Gold Tone company. This cello banjo has been modeled after an old Gibson banjo from the beginning of the 20th century, when banjo orchestras were very popular in the USA and around the world. Those orchestras used different banjos, including the cello banjo.

In the youtube channel of Kathy and Marcy you can find many videos with different instruments, including some lessons for the banjo and the ukulele.
Here is a podcast in which different banjos are shown, including some selfmade banjos and of course the cello banjo:


Cathy and Marcy were asked to write the music for a text written by Woody Guthry – Howdy Little Newly Come – a poem that Woody Guthry wrote for his newborn baby. This is a great tune, and the arrangement with the cello banjo is fantastic. I listened to this tune many times, and I want to play it with our bluegrass band too.

Here is a video of this tune from a concert:

Howdy Little Newly Come

by Cathy Fink & Woody Guthrie, all rights reserved
Live performance by Cathy & MArcy at Woods Camp, Rosseau, Canada, August 2008 in intimate concert setting.

You can find more detailed information about Cathy and Marcy, more videos and other examples on the homepage of Cathy and Marcy and in their youtube channel:

Cathy Fink und Marcy Marxer Homepage

youtube channel of Cathy Fink und Marcy Marxer

Dancin’ In The Kitchen: Songs For All Families (amazon partnerlink)

mandolin ensemble

Ensemble La Volta – Plucked Instruments of the World

The La Volta ensemble has been around for more than 25 years. A concert for the 25st anniversary was given in 2009, and the videos of this concerts are now available on youtube.

On the homepage of the ensemble you can find the following text:

LA VOLTA, ein Ensemble der Musikschule Reinach/Basel-Land (CH), besteht aus 8 bis 9 Jugendlichen im Alter von ca. 10 bis18 Jahren.

Zusammen mit ihrem Leiter, Jürgen Hübscher, beherrschen sie ein vielfältiges Repertoire, das von Musik des 16. bis 18. Jahrhunderts über Internationale Folklore bis zur «POPulären Musik» unserer Zeit reicht.

Das Instrumentarium besteht aus Gitarren verschiedener Grössen, historischen Instrumenten wie Laute, Barockgitarre, Barockmandoline, Pandora etc., folkloristischen Zupfinstrumenten aus ganz Europa, Nordamerika und Lateinamerika, Violine, Panflöten und über dreissig Percussionsinstrumenten.

translated to English:

LA VOLTA, a group of the music school in Reinach/Basel (Switzerland) is composed of studens ot he music school aged between 10 and 18 years.

Together with the director Jürgen Hübscher they play a repertoire which contains music from the 16th to the 18th century as well as international folk music and pop songs of today.

The enseble uses different sized guitars, historical instruments like the luth, barock guitar, barock mandolin, pandora etc.,  folk instruments from all over Europe, North America and South America, violins, pan flutes and more than 30 percussion instruments.

For now 25 years Jürgen Hübscher has again and again found young students for his ensemble and prepared  interesting programs. Many times this ensemble has also been invited to other countries and made successful tours.

The instruments are used in a very creative way. In the following video folk instruments like the charango or the Puertorican cuatro are used for the barock music replacing the barock guitar, the Mexican Guitarron is used as the bass instrument.

Villan di Spagna (printed 1657)

Ensemble La Volta (Switzerland) Italian 17th Century music by Giuseppe Giamberti. Performed with “baroque Charango” (tuned like baroque guitar), Jarana Huasteca from Mexico, Pandora, Cuatro Puertorriqueño & Mexican Guitarron.

The program does also contain a Ciacona by Leopold Sylvius Weiss for soprano luth and bass luth, and a suite by Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello.

Then follows an Italian tarantella, folk dances from Greece and Bulgaria and finally dances and choros from South America.

Two well known pieces from Brazil are played in the following video:

Manha de carnaval / Brasileirinho

The ensemble La Volta has produced several CDs, they have also published some South American dances for a mixed ensemble. On the homepage of the ensemble you can find more information about CDs, sheet music and also seminars held by Jürgen Hübscher for working with mixed ensembles. You can also order a newsletter.

This is another video with Irish and American melodies, played with a lot of joy and creativity – that’s fun for the players and for the audience too.

Irish Reel – Hornpipe – Breakdown

Website La Volta: http://www.la-volta.com/

Playlist with all videos of the anniversary concert of Ensemble La Volta

Playlist from a concert given in 2011

Play by Jason Vieaux

(Amazon partnerlink)