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Groupa — 15 Years
(NorthSide NSD 6015, 1998, CD)

by Jim Chokey, Published 1999-01-01

15 Years Cover art

An important part of the NorthSide offering is Groupa, a group largely credited with leading the Swedish folk revival. Born in 1980, Groupa came out of the Varmland region, led by fiddler and accordion player Mats Edén. While a number of different musicians have come and gone from Groupa, Mats has always been the mainstay. It's no surprise, then, that Groupa's sound is largely derived from fiddling-based traditional Swedish folk music. 15 Years presents 16 tunes drawn from the band's five albums (as of 1995) and provides a satisfying overview of what they do best: bouyant and lively folk solidly grounded in traditional roots. Polskas, waltzes, schottishes, marches, and hallings all are represented here. In fact, one senses that what the reel is to Irish folk music, the polska is to the Swedes. And, though Groupa is primarily an instrumental outfit, the ballad "Vallevan" featuring Lena Willemark's sweet vocal is a standout here. Groupa will also appeal to those who want their folk pure and free of the new age and world music influences often found today. This disc is a fine introduction to an important Swedish ensemble.

Filed under: Archives, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Groupa


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