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fRoots 66 : your free album

Our pick of the very best new stuff. Load it onto your phone or computer or burn it to CD. Get your kicks on fRoots 66!


ere’s the latest in our long series of carefully crafted and sought-after compilations that are designed to let you hear the best music – mostly on

small independent labels – that our writers get enthusiastic about in the pages of fRoots. Listen, then buy the original CDs!

Croatia’s Kries, fronted by shaman-like singer Mojmir Novakovi´c, are a mesmerising live band who, inexplicably, have rarely been seen in the UK. Their new album ought to change that – in its own way it’s as exciting as London Calling (but with bag- pipes – the blow-into-a-dead-goat sort).

Welsh writer, poet and musician Gwyneth Glyn first came to prominence in our pages through her Ghazalaw Welsh/ Indian project. She continues the collabora- tive thrust on her latest album where she teams up with Seckou Keita, Rowan Rhein- gans and others, to splendid effect.

Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton were among the co-founders of the slightly legendary Be Good Tanyas in Canada way back at the end of the last century, and have got back together again lately to perform and record as a duo. Sounds like all those Tanya roots are still present and correct.

London-based Tim Jones & The Dark

Lanterns are well grounded in English tra- ditional song and music, which strongly informs their original compositions and arrangements too. Their second album, of which this is the title track, is a Great Leap Forward into ‘band to watch’ territory.

Mercifully, the nineties and noughties trend for forced ‘world music fusion’ bands has mostly passed, to be replaced by won- drous outfits like French-based trio

Meïkhâneh who have the skills, sensibility and creativity to naturally mix up elements from all over in an unforced, organic way.

Few things come out more natural and empathic sounding than what happens when Mali’s virtuosic Trio Da Kali meet the USA’s globetrotting Kronos Quartet. You mean balafon, bass ngoni and heart-stopping gri- otte vocals aren’t usually accompanied by a string quartet?

Fans of previous fRoots cover stars Laïs (Belgium) and Faltriqueira (Spain) will find a lot to like in Occitan trio Cocanha from Toulouse (the region runs from Spain to the top of Italy). Maud Herrera, Caroline Dufau and Lila Fraysse’s thrilling harmonies and percussion make vocal music to dance to.

First coming to attention as a member

of Young Folk Awards winning trio Moore, Moss, Rutter in 2011, singer/guitarist Jack Rutter has blossomed into one of the bet- ter young blokes interpreting English tradi- tional songs in an era when young women have been making all the running.

Formerly known as Phillip Henry & Han-

nah Martin, Edgelarks is their new name to go with the title of their latest, most sophis- ticated and accomplished album. Yarl’s Wood, no doubt a strong candidate for that ‘new song’ Folk Awards category, is all about the infamous detention centre.

It’s been a long time since we heard Albanian traditional music in the UK, but this is about to be more than remedied by the tour and album by the remarkable Saz’iso, a now-rare new production by that man Joe Boyd. You can read lots more about the music from page 33 this issue.

Meanwhile, you read about Swedish/ Finnish trio Folk’Avant last month (what’s

this with central apostrophes this time round?!). Anna Wikenius’ voice, Maija Kauhanen’s kantele and voice and Anna Rubinsztein’s fiddle and voice blend and wind together beguilingly.

We flagged up The Emily Askew

Band in our epic on English instrumental music in the June issue. Emily, John Dipper, Jamie Roberts, Louise Duggan and Simon Whittaker all multi-instrumentalise away on a fascinating mix of early music, original and traditional songs and (here) tunes.

Another graduate of the Young Folk

Awards (in 2014 nominees Granny’s Attic) is Cohen Braithwaite–Kilcoyne. His debut album and gigs show him to be an accom- plished squeezeboxer and strong, idiosyn- cratic singer with brio that brings to mind past giants like Peter Bellamy.

Both he and Haïtian-American, English

resident Germa Adan were hits at this year’s Sidmouth, and can be read about in this issue’s Root Salad pages. Fiddler/singer/ songwriter Adan brings a fresh perspective to British traditional songs, for which she was awarded EFDSS seed funding.

Many treasure their memories of the extraordinary Tanzanian musician, singer and folklorist Hukwe Zawose from Bag- amoyo, and now his son Msafiri Zawose continues his father’s journey of musical exploration, collaborating with English pro- ducer Sam Jones of SoundThread.

It’s a pleasure to have another track from Anglo-French dance tune gang Topette! on a fRoots compilation. Andy Cutting, James Delarre, Julien Cartonnet, Tania Buisse and Barnaby Stradling finish this one in grand style with an infectious Andy Cutting composition.

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