Hoven Droven — Jumping at the Cedar
(NorthSide NSD6090, 2006, 2CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01In the whole Nordic Revival of the last decade (or is it just one record label?), there’s traditionalists like Väsen and JPP, and there’s dabblers in electronics like Hedningarna and Sorten Muld, and there’s Hoven Droven, the real rock band of the bunch. They’re the Swedish counterpart of Scotland’s Wolfstone or (going back a bit) Ireland’s Horslips or (going back a bit further) England’s Fairport Convention. But you have to throw in a bit of the Pogues’ punk attitude to get the picture, and even then you’re only approaching the territory. The band features a triple front line of guitar, fiddle, and saxes along with an aggressive rhythm section of thunderous drum and vicious bass. There are some quieter moments where it calms down for a bit, but electric energy is what these guys are all about, and this live set captures them at their best. It’s nice to hear something from Sweden that could be described as heavy but doesn’t involve any mangled throats or Satanic prayers. Maybe this music shouldn’t work, and it’s a testament to these five guys’ talents that it does; you probably wouldn’t think of it on your own, but once you hear it, it all makes sense. Some of these melodies have survived for centuries on the merits of their ability to stick in your brain, so it should come as no surprise that they can make the transition to electric rock with ease. You know how nearly every rock concert at some point features someone yelling from the stage, “Are you ready to ROCK?!?” Hoven Droven gets the same effect with, “Are you ready to WALTZ?!?” After which they proceed to play perhaps the loudest waltz in the history of recorded music, complete with an absolutely screaming electric wah-wah violin. Simply stunning, and more fun than a barrel of meatballs.
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