Frigg — Oasis (Keidas)
(NorthSide NSD6086, 2005, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01This seven-piece group takes Scandinavian folk music in a slightly different direction than some of their label-mates, adding a hefty dose of American traditional music, notably bluegrass. But they do it with a very modern attitude, and such things as Estonian bagpipes and ancient-sounding modal melodies have a way of lifting you out of Flatt & Scruggs territory. Five of the seven musicians play violin at some point or other; other instruments include acoustic guitar, dobro, mandolin, nyckelharpa, double bass, and a bit of keyboards. It is a truly inspiring listening experience to hear three or four fiddles playing with such precision at such fast tempos, attacking the notes with an almost punkish intensity. While maintaining a tangible connection to traditional styles, the guitar also gives hints of more modern phrasing and techniques. Of course, they do throw in some slow tunes for contrast, including the lovely closer “Peltoniemen Hintriiken Surumarssi” with a lush, elegiac feel; organ and chamber orchestra back the sorrowful bagpipes. Frigg succeed admirably at bringing traditional music into a new century without losing respect for the past.
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more