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1 Torleiv Bolstad Tølleiv (Norsk Folke - musikk samling NFS-4). Recordings from 1960- 77 of multiple competition-winning hardan- ger-fiddler (1915-79) from the southern Nor- wegian region Valdres, playing mostly hallings and springars, plus some listening tunes traditionally played before dancing started, in exuberant double-stopped shift- ing-drone-and-wiggle Valdres style.

2 Alos Quartet Garden (NO-CD CDNO 038). Very fine Basque violins, nyckelharpa and cello string quartet, plus guest male and female vocal soloists, percussion etc, in mostly instrumental compositions moving with poise and elegance between surging lyrical slow melodies, emotional songs, trad dance music, and Glass/Nymanish webs including a collab- oration with Oreka TX’s stone txalaparta.

@ Slow Moving Clouds Slow Moving Clouds (Own label SMC001). Having just lis- tened to a very good violins/nyckelharpa/ cello string quartet, the lumbering, out-of- tune churning of this nyckelharpa/fiddle/ cello/vox trio – a Finn called Aki (no surname) and two Irish – comes as a scrapey, ponderous contrast, and does no favours to largely Finnish material.

1 Vilma Timonen Quartet Drops (Bafe’s Factory MBA 008). Finn Timonen’s clear, light voice and kantele in tradition-influenced songs, mostly her own, some with traditional lyrics, accompanied by big, glossy, studio- elaborate band arrangements of guitars, mandolin, bass, percussion, trumpet and backing vocals.

@ Orchestra Popolare Delle Dolomiti Concier Di Testa (Own label OPOD 001). A 25-piece orchestra plays the traditional songs and music of the Italian Dolomites. The album is accompanied by a magnificent 100- page hardback book with the CD in the back. What a pity, therefore, that the arrangements are so dull and the performances so pedestri- an.

1 Plantec Kontact (Own label no cat no). The eighth Plantec album has Breton dance tunes played on bombard and guitar set to electronic machines and samples. The result is rather stark and the four-square nature of the machine accompaniments would seem to rob the music of its subtle danceable quality.

1 De Fuego Davide (De Fuego Music no cat no). This flamenco guitar duo comprises Marc Rodriguez Alvarez (lead) and Edina Balczó (rhythm), in a Kickstarter tribute to founding member Davide Lufrano Chaves (1983–2013). While technically adept, the fast and furious performances are ultimately mechanistic and lacking in nuance.

2 Paul Meehan The Lower Road (Own label no cat no). Both invigorating and, at times, relaxing album of assorted tunes by for- mer North Cregg banjo-guitar player, featur- ing expert picking and plucking, accompanied by his brother Martin (bass, harmonium, per- cussion) and Sheila Smith (accordeon). Hugely enjoyable.

1 Paul Smyth Traditional Flute Music (Own label no cat no). Mellifluous flute-play- ing from the Mayo man on a disparate range of tunes, accompanied by Ged Foley and Dave Flynn (guitars), Tommy Hayes (percus- sion) and Mary Corry (piano). However, it’s his solos which prove most gratifying.

1 The Casey Sisters Sibling Revelry (Old Bridge Music OBMCD22). Dreadfully-titled, but well-played album from the three Cork siblings, which, sadly, sometimes drifts into soporiferous territory. Sure, there’s some grand fiddle and harp here, but the songs are not enthralling. Ideal for lifts/ department store muzak.

@ Zemog El Gallo Bueno The Yo You Me Tú Trilogy Vols 1–2 (Afinque Records no cat no). From the New York-based visual and per- formance artist and musician Abraham Gomez-Delgado, footloose and provocative sonic sketches that, albeit with moments of self-tormented promise, fly apart just as they seem poised to come together. But that, and defying category, appears to be the essence.

1 Luis Bacalov, Roberta Allioso, and Walter Ríos Xena Tango: Le Strade Del Tango Da Genova A Buenos Aires (Com- pagnia Nuove Indye CNDL 27930). Recorded in Rome and Buenos Aires, Xena Tango traces the bittersweet emigrant tango trajectory between Italy and Argentina. Notes and accompanying book (collected essays, letters and interviews) in Italian; lyrics transcribed in Italian, Spanish, and English.

1 The Odd Folk Haul Away (Own label no cat no). Catchy and cutesie folk-pop, this is a mint-green split screen with all the gingham trimmings. Impressive production, recorded by the inimitable Andy Bell, with compelling riffs on mandolin, slide and kora. Somewhere between Kings Of Convenience and Rusted Root. Fun, but lightweight.

1 WÖR Back To The 1790s (Appel Rekords APR1361). Belgian band revives tunes from an 18th Century manuscript by De Gruijtters from Antwerp. Some very fine tunes are given a modern setting. How successful they are in doing this will depend on whether you think they can stand a Brit/folk/rock treat- ment. Certainly no musical cliché is left unvis- ited on the tracks where this approach to arrangement is adopted.

@ Dougal Adams, Ado Barker, Ben Stephenson The Freewheeler (Tradsville TVLCD 1506). A flat CD in more ways than one (they’ve tuned down), three Australians take on Irish music and lose; fine playing, but stilt- ed arrangements and an atrocious mix cannot save the day.

Joe Strummer

ing Out On The Line, which enables him to impart the feel as well as the technique for this material.

With all the usual Guitar Workshop split-screen camera work, PDF tabs and bonus audio tracks of the originals, this DVD should supply any solo guitarist with the necessary chops to set the house a-quakin’ and your ass a-shakin’. Steve Hunt

I Need A Dodge! Joe Strummer On The Run Tin Dog CADIZDVD132

In 1985, the man whose songs, style and atti- tude inspired a generation of kids like me needed to escape. With guitarist, singer and songwriter Mick Jones recently sacked, the Clash released Cut The Crap – an album which was (This Is England aside) an absolute stinker. Depressed, scared and disillusioned, Joe Strummer responded by legging-it to Spain.

Mississippi Hill Country Blues Guitar

Tom Feldman Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop GW 857

Often described as a more ‘primitive’ form of blues music than its Delta cousin, Hill Country Blues is vocal-driven dance music built on hypnotic grooves and steady, repeated guitar licks. This 117-minute DVD provides a great introduction to both the regional style and to the techniques required to play authentic versions of songs by Jessie Mae Hemphill, Ranie Burnette, Fred McDowell, RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Rosa Lee Hill.

Focusing solely on non-slide songs, Feld-

man’s guitar (equipped with a 20-gauge plain steel unwound third string for authenticity, guitar geeks!) unlocks the workings of open G, open D and cross-note (open minor key) tunings, as well as some unusual stuff in stan- dard. He is, of course, a superlative guitar player, but Feldman’s also a convincing singer on material like RL Burnside’s Jumper Hang-

Nick Hall’s film takes its title from a phrase Joe frequently uttered in exaspera- tion. The band Radio Futura, taking it at face-value, duly bought Joe a Spanish-built 1973 Dodge 3700GT (variously remembered by his Spanish friends as metallic green, dark blues, burgundy, brown and by Joe himself as all-pearl, with a black vinyl roof). Shortly thereafter Joe rushed to London to be present at the birth of his second daugh- ter and left the car in a Madrid garage, under an apartment block. Despite subse- quent radio appeals to locate it, he never saw it again.

I Need a Dodge! is a beautifully shot quest movie, in which Hall goes in search of both the missing vehicle and the missing-in- action musician. Real-time footage is inter- cut with some wonderful archive material of Joe in his days with the 101ers and The Clash and a wealth of first-hand anecdotal materi- al. Interviews with estranged partner Gaby, abandoned Clash bandmates Pete Howard and Nick Sheppard and Spanish band 091 (whose debut album he abortively attempt- ed to produce) are the most moving and candid, revealing Joe Strummer to be a man loved in spite of his frailties and failings rather than condemned because of them. Steve Hunt

Photo: Jak Kilby

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