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.
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more