Väsen is one of my favorite instrumental folk groups. If you don’t know Väsen, this performance DVD is a superb introduction to these highly skilled and very personable Swedish musicians.
Väsen is Mikael Marin on viola, Olov Johansson on nykelharpa, and Roger Tallroth on guitar. As of 2014 they had been together for 25 years, . . . → Read More: Väsen, Live på Gamla Bion (CD and DVD)
The first word that comes to mind when listening to this is rich. It is a rich record in every aspect. 18 tracks, 12 instrumental sets and six songs clocking in on just under 80 minutes, the Battlefield Band and 12 prominent guest musicians, and a booklet with extensive presentations of every musician and track . . . → Read More: Battlefield Band and Special Guests, Beg & Borrow
Millions of people in the English-speaking world pick up a guitar, sit down at the piano or take up some other instrument to sing and play songs of their own devising. Thousands of them are good enough to get people to pay them for it, and some subset of those get put on record and . . . → Read More: Van Morrison, The Essential Van Morrison
Bill Evans recorded something like 50 albums as a leader between the 1950s and his untimely death at age 51 in 1980. He’s best known for his late-1950s and early-1960s recordings, particularly the albums taken from his legendary live sets at The Village Vanguard in 1961, and How My Heart Sings in 1962, all on . . . → Read More: Bill Evans, The Complete Fantasy Recordings
Terakaft is a Tuareg “desert blues” band on the order of the better-known Tinariwen. That’s no coincidence, because rhythm guitarist Diara (Liya Ag Ablil) was one of Tinariwen’s founders. He’s now playing in Terakaft with another Tinariwen alumnus, his nephew, lead guitarist and singer Sanou Ag Ahmed. Their fifth album Alone is the second produced . . . → Read More: Terakaft, Alone
Founded twenty years ago, Zedashe is one of the first performing groups attempting to preserve and share the traditional music and dance of the Republic of Georgia. Our Earth and Water is their seventh album. It contains over an hour’s worth of music, comprising 26 tracks, many of them less than two minutes long. Most . . . → Read More: Zedashe, Our Earth and Water
I first heard the music of both Tim Eriksen and Eliza Carthy at about the same time, in the late 1990s – Eriksen as the driving force behind the U.S. electric folk group Cordelia’s Dad, and Carthy as a contributor to her mother Norma Waterson’s first eponymous 1996 album. Spine by Cordelia’s Dad and that . . . → Read More: Eliza Carthy and Tim Eriksen, Bottle
Slow-core and alt-country had a brief marriage in the mid- to late ’90s, with releases by artists like the Scud Mountain Boys and the Oldham brothers’ various Palace-themed projects. The best known were Cowboy Junkies. I’m sure there were a bunch of others that I don’t know about. It was never a huge interest of . . . → Read More: Vacilando, While They Were Dancing
John Kay surely has one of the most recognizable voices in all of classic rock. The vision-impaired German native’s band Steppenwolf rode a wave of rootsy hard rock to stardom in the late 1960s with some of the most iconic singles of the era. “Born To Be Wild,” “Rock Me” “Sookie Sookie,” and “Magic Carpet . . . → Read More: Steppenwolf, The ABC/Dunhill Singles Collection
This is, astonishingly, the first time The Green Man Review has reviewed an Archie Fisher album. It won’t be the last time.
For those of you who don’t know who Archie Fisher is, he was producing albums, playing guitar, and performing with people like Bert Jansch and Tommy Makem and producing for groups like Silly . . . → Read More: Archie Fisher, A Silent Song