Hoven Droven — Hippa
(NorthSide NSD6062, 2001, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-12-01Well, I'm not sure I wanted a "kinder, gentler" Hoven Droven, but that's what we've all got on their 2001 release. It's not entirely acoustic, though the electric guitar is rather subdued, appearing only here and there, and fiddles and sax take the lead roles. Drums, while often present, never approach what you'd call rock. It's a pleasant enough album, with catchy hummable tunes and that peculiar Nordic way of being both lilting and melancholy simultaneously, but it does significantly lack most of the things which make Hoven Droven special to me. As long as this turns out to be a diversion rather than a new direction, and the band either returns to their previously aggressive mode or moves on to something new which is equally exciting, Hippa will seem like a quiet diversion. If it signals a new direction, however, they run the risk of disappearing into the bulk of the Nordic revival, another good but not outstanding proponent of Swedish traditional music slightly reinterpreted. Even the heaviest rock musicians sometimes take an afternoon off from the noise, so I can't begrudge these guys this set, and I won't hesitate to recommend it to fans. If you haven't heard Hoven Droven yet, I'd recommend starting with one of their first two albums – unless you're coming at the band from the folk side rather than the rock side, in which case you can start here.
Related artist(s): Hoven Droven
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more