Sunday, May 2, 2010
Vëllezrit Gashi - Lavdi Dëshmorëve të Kombit
Gashi Brothers - Glory to the Martyrs of the Nation
Vëllezrit Gashi are one of the few purveyors of Albanian Epic Poetry still being performed in the Drenica region of Kosova. This particular style of music is locally regarded as Këngë Burrash - men's songs.
The choice of musical instruments on this recording are a mixture of west and east - the piano accordion and violin, with the more typical Sharki (5 stringed lute), Qifteli (2 stringed lute) and Def (skinned tambourine). Line-ups of this sort are most common in the Drenica and Dukagjini regions, though many don't use the accordion as a melodic instrument for one reason or another.
The nature of Albanian epic poetry is a songster tradition that's brought down from generations through a telling of stories regarding the heroism against oppressive regimes from the Ottoman Empire though to the more recent Serbian antagonism in post-war Yugoslavia.
In previous posts, I have regarded this style of Kosovar music as Gangsta-Folk out of its sheer aggressive tone, and a subject matter which relates to war and survival in a threatening rural landscape. This 2007 CD is another example of Gangsta-Folk at its finest, though without the gunfire that's common in their live bootlegs of which are readily available in street markets throughout Kosova.
25 songs in under 80mins. Was making an attempt to not go for the obvious acts, or of the AK79 variety etc. The sad omissions will appear on Volume 2. 95% of these acts are from Christchurch, Dunedin or both. Oldest track here is the Vacuum from 1979 and most recent is Minus 2 from 2009. If you're hoping to find further works from any of these artists, then prepare to look hard and carry a healthy wallet, as many of the songs found here are from out of print albums or singles.
Quick liner notes:
THE VACUUM - early Bill Direen with Peter Stapleton and Stephen Cogle who make up part of THE VICTOR DIMISICH BAND and THE TERMINALS. Peter also played in SCORCHED EARTH POLICY and THE PIN GROUP with ROY MONTGOMERY, who in turn played in THE SHALLOWS with Mick Elborado who played in THE TERMINALS , MINUS 2 and SCORCHED EARTH POLICY who feature Brian Crook of THE TERMINALS and THE MAX BLOCK, as well as Mary Heney played in THE SHALLOWS, 25 CENTS, THE TERMINALS and THE VICTOR DIMISICH BAND. THE CLEAN features Robert Scott who once played in THE MAGICK HEADS and David Kilgour who formed a band called THE GREAT UNWASHED in the mid 80s, and STEPHEN in the later part of the decade. THE DEAD C features Bruce Russell who formed A HANDFUL OF DUST with ALASTAIR GALBRAITH of THE RIP and PLAGAL GRIND respectively. Robbie Muir played in both bands and PETER JEFFERIES from THIS KIND OF PUNISHMENT played in PLAGAL GRIND. THE ALPACA BROTHERS features a guest appearance by PETER GUTTERIDGE from SNAPPER and the GREAT UNWASHED.
Posted by Donat at 5:35 AM
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Although it does contain a Bascom Lamar Lunsford tune recorded for Smithsonian Folkways in 1953 (thus not making this prewar in the strictest of sense), here's 27 handpicked tracks dating all the way back to 1898 with Cousins & DeMoss doing a reading of Who Broke the Lock?
The bulk of these recordings are from the mid 1920s to the early 30s - the golden era of recorded American folk music. And there's not just blues on this mix of course. I'm just throwing up a blanket term, really.