• Music

    Kara Jackson – Why Does The Earth Give Us People To Love?

    Kara Jackson certainly knows how to leave a strong impression!  If you can imagine Nick Drake’s guitar being willed to Nina Simone with a touch of the spirit of David Bowie (see the track brain for reference), then you have this incredibly powerful album.  I had no idea what to expect when I saw the cover art, but this is one of those albums I’m very happy to have taken a chance on, as the listening was rewarding.

  • Music

    George Macreyannes (Nesereos) – Blue Series | Mar 21

    George Macreyannes (Γιώργος Μακρυγιάννης) was a violinist active during the early part of the 20th century.  Some of these archival recordings are nearing 100 years old, so it is quite nice to get a glimpse of music that has such a remarkable history.  Respect to 1tracktape for a job well done in remastering and declicking these recordings.

  • Music

    Egari, Paata Chakaberia – In Qvevri Veritas. Original Soundtrack

    Egari and Paata Chakaberia provide a stunningly good instrumental music from the Republic of Georgia serving originally as a soundtrack to a film about Georgian winemaking.  From the release’s Bandcamp site: “This music was composed as the soundtrack for Leonid Parfyonov’s documentary In Qvevri Veritas. The film is dedicated to the traditional Georgian winemaking, surely, we couldn’t do without Georgian music. We recorded 13 tracks, including folk tunes from various regions and corners of Georgia, as well as my own compositions.”

  • Music

    Willos’ – From Now On

    Willos’ are an Italian/Irish/Canadian folk band currently based in lovely Siena, Italy.  The name of the band is a play on Will o’ the Wisp, the band’s original name.  According to their bio, a French journalist that named the band “les willos”, it the name stuck. The music is bright, fresh, and it would have been brilliant to play this four days ago on St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s perfect music to brighten up our rather dour weather here locally.  For those of you who enjoy bands like The Chieftains, Craobh Rua and Planxty, you’re going to enjoy the hell out…

  • Music

    Marc Almond – Heart On Snow

    20 years ago, Marc Almond collaborated with musicians in St. Petersburg and recorded a magnificent album of Russian chanson.  It’s as good as you would expect.  The gems of the album include the title track and Gosudaryunia, penned by Russian rock legend Boris Grebenshchikov. A fine reissue, and I thank my friend Charles for being so kind as to point it out to me.

  • Music

    Various Artists – Fly, Fly, You Hardened Arrow: Round Dance Songs of “Polish” Old Believers from Altai

    The now-legendary Antonovka Records have done astounding work documenting music from Russia’s myriad of ethnic communities.  This one is from the so-called “Polish” Old Believers in the Altai region.  From the label’s Bandcamp site: “The ancestors of the Altai “Polish” Old Believers were peasants of the Vetka-Starodub territory of the priestly Old Believers, who fled from the persecution of the authorities to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and to the bordering area of the Starodub regiment as part of the Russia. Upon her accession to the throne, Catherine II invited the Old Believers to return to Russia with a manifesto. However, they…

  • Music - Qobuz

    Skáld – Huldufólk

    Your browser does not support iframes.    The French collective Skáld come as a revelation to me.  These are Frenchmen who expertly perform Nordic music and imbue it with everything from folk music to metal. From the band’s press release: “As the heirs of the ancient poets known as skalds, the SKÁLD group, with one song after another, tames this folk tradition. We can lose ourselves in the hills of Danish elves, and meet Swedish nymphs, as we listen to the ballad of Herr Mannelig, the tale of a female troll who hopes to become human (by attempting to wed…

  • Music

    Richard Dawson – The Ruby Cord

    Richard Dawson’s latest album is a fascinating listen.  It mixes vocals that could fit in well with English folk, psychedelic rock, prog and AOR music, while being musically underpinned by something that could almost pass for freak folk at times, while falling back now and again on progressive rock structures.  The album shapes and shifts on each track, and I was constantly surprised by what Dawson would come up with next.  I don’t do Top Tens, but if I did, this would easily make such a list.

  • Music

    Ayanga Ensemble – Erkhuu Khoto: Songs of Buryats from Irkutsk

    Antonovka Records produced one of my favorite records of 2022, covering music from the region of Buryatia in Russia.  From the label’s Bandcamp page: “”Erkhuu Khoto” is the Buryat name of the Irkutsk city, where “Khoto” means “City”. Buryats are the indigenous people of this area. The ensemble “Ayanga” (“Melody” in Buryat) was founded in 1998, the leader is Tsybigmit Damdinzhapova. The band performs mainly songs of the Irkutsk Buryats, some of which were directly inherited from their ancestors. For example, Evgenia Baldynova learned song 4 from her grandfather. And song 5 was passed on to Petr Saganov from his…

  • Music

    Various Artists – Wearing of the Green

    The Sound Of Shellac is a record label out of Norway which refurbishes old 78rpm discs, brightens their sound and releases these tracks into well-curated compilations.  What’s more, they’re offered as pay-as-you-like releases, so purchasing these comps helps show support for such a fine label. This particular disc features artists John McCormack, Paul Robeson and Jelly Roll Morton, but the real charm of this release comes from relatively unknown or forgotten artists like Mrs. Texas Gladden and Tito Schipa.