Exposé Online banner

Carreg Lafar — Profiad
(Sain SCD2309, 2004, CD)

by Jim Chokey, Published 2006-05-01

Profiad Cover art

The traditional music of Wales doesn’t get as much attention as that from other parts of the British Isles. That’s a shame because the country’s musical tradition is rich, diverse, and beautiful, as is demonstrated by Profiad, the third CD by Welsh folk quintet Carreg Lafar. The disk’s eleven tracks, which include both traditional folktunes and original compositions in a folk style, are a stirring example of how emotional, powerful, and relevant the music of this often-forgotten nation can be. Instrumentally, the CD is all acoustic. Expressive vocals (both male and female), fiddle, flute/whistle, and acoustic guitar are used consistently by the band, with other instruments — pipes, mandola, and percussion (as well as piano, cello, and harp) being used occasionally to add different timbres and textures. Also keeping things lively is the fact that the tunes themselves are as diverse as the arrangements. The album’s title track and “Seren Y Bore” are up-tempo tunes with a dancelike energy and groove. By contrast, “Llanllechid,” with its haunting fiddle-and-piano melody, and disk closer “Iechyd o Gylch” are slow airs filled with tenderness and longing. (I’m reminded a bit of Loreena McKennitt’s earlier work, but without all the misty ethereality.) Other tunes, like “Dic Penderyn,” a tender ballad about nineteenth century labor leader who was wrongly hanged, fall somewhere in between. For readers interested in checking out what contemporary Welsh folk music has to offer, I cannot think of an album I would recommend more highly.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Carreg Lafar

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Haystacks Balboa - Detoxified – This one came out around 1970, a one-off by a New York based band whose members weren't even listed on the LP jacket, and were never heard from again, so far as this writer knows. For some unknown...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues