New Album Out:Simple Pleasures by Poitín

New Album Out:Simple Pleasures by Poitín

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Poitín are:

Jaroslav Macháček – fiddle and founder member

Jeremy King – bodhrán, vocals, Brighton-born

Jakub Siegl – guitar, vocals

Jan Brabec – bouzouki, banjo, whistles

Sasha Marešová – whistles, flutes

Tomáš Pergler – concertina, whistles

It is the start of Autumn and we got an auspicious release from Czech-based Celtic band Poitín. Simple Pleasure is the new album and it marks the continuation of their exploration into Celtic styles while retaining their distinctive sound.This is also their sixth studio album, spanning sixteen years of recording history.

Simple Pleasures has thirteen tracks (my lucky number) and you can hear instrumental as well as vocal tracks driven by their punchy and elegant delivery. The Jolly Beggarman, the opening track tells us what to expect in the album in terms of the overall atmosphere. Introduced by Jakub Siegl’s acoustic guitar strumming, the song was recorded by Planxty in 1973(other bands also recorded the song). And although I forgot the Planxty style, I love this version and arrangement. There’s the banjo extravaganza (featuring Jan Brabec) of Brendan’s Reels, the John Martyn pinned Spencer the Rover and many more.

Every band member has a moment. Last Beautiful Loneliness highlights the playing of Sasha Marešová and Jaroslav Macháček. O’puss No. 7 ( is one of my favorite tracks) features amazing variations and Tomáš Pergler’s concertina. Pleasant Month of May is perhaps Jeremy King’s most beautiful vocal performance. I wish it were longer though. Twenty Candles on Poitín’s Cake  is the right tune to wrap up the album because it goes out with a bang.

Everything you can expect with the group is in this album: attention to detail, excellent playing and great post-production technique. Sonically it is their slickest album to date. I also love the album liner notes featuring the photography of Vladislav Škach.

It is always an occasion for The Celtic Music Fan when a new Poitín album is out. It is a pleasure to watch their every release and that they continue to be a musical force as a band.

Band bio:

Poitín formed twenty years ago in Pilsen in the Czech Republic and have toured in Poland, France, Italy and Germany. All the members are Czech apart from the singer and bodhrán player who is originally from Brighton in the south of England. Their latest album Simple Pleasures (out September 2016) is Poitín’s sixth studio album. The 13 tracks are a mix of traditional Irish, English and Scottish songs, jigs and reels, but many of the sets also feature original tunes by the band. Poitín play concertina, bouzouki, banjo, guitar, fiddle, whistles, flutes and bodhrán, and former band member and sax player Helena Marková returns as a special guest to add another interesting twist to this new album.

 

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Cheers! Wrong & Right

Cheers! Wrong & Right

Cheers!

Band: Cheers!

Album: Wrong & Right

Genre: Folk-Rock/Punk

Location: Czech Republic

01 – Frying Pan 3:01
02 – Cliffs of Galway 3:24
03 – Molly’s Eyes 3:36
04 – Mary Hogan’s 4:05
05 – Collier 3:46
06 – Parnik 3:49
07 – Jim 5:03
08 – Poor Man’s Hat 2:24
09 – Tearberries 2:36
10 – I’ll Never Be the Same Man Again 3:47
11 – Rugged Day 4:11
12 – Wrong & Right 2:59
13 – In the Maze 5:07

Release date: 9 May 2013
Running time: 47:46

One of the most energetic releases in the Celtic punk genre is Wrong & Right by Czech band Cheers. I featured an interview with the lead man Pavel(Pafka)Steidl last year and it was fun. You get to feel the punk attitude sandwiched between melodic  tunes. Wrong & Write is fun to listen to.This is an all out party album not for the faint of hearts. But the sweet melodies will keep the balance between spicy strong sounds and crunchy beats. Yes take a bite. Feel it sizzle. Get drunk to the music!

The confidence is present. Take note: this band has performed in many live shows prior to recording this album. All the tracks were recorded live at the Saloon Roudna. The sound quality is also excellent. You really get to savor the crunch of the drums and the sharp edge of the guitars. The Celtic instruments aren’t drowned by the louder sounds as they are given room to breath in Rugged Days, Wrong & Write as well as other tracks. Katka Hofmanova also sang the female parts in the tracks when not playing the flute. This creates a balance with Pafka’s testosterone induced voice.Cheers!

Freddy Kruger who played the accordion maintained that melodic envelope all throughout. The fiddle of Filip Matyas has that Irish feel which I really like.  The punk power of Wrong & Right is brought  to you by the guitar of Mates Sistek who also provided the backing vocals. His rocking contribution is really important. Paja Vesela made the groove and the fullness of the recording with her bass.I just love it!  And last but not the least, Prema Broz kept the tunes in one place with his drums. As you know drummers are awesome.

The lyrics are in English but they are translated to Czech in the liner notes. I think the cover rocks. It shows a tattooed hand holding a lollipop . This clearly showcases the band’s sense of humor. My favorite song is the ballad in track 5. This is one of the tender moments when the band show their intricate and expressive side. I think this is a track that should be a single because it is easy to sing along. The other one is track 13 called In The Maze. But I tell you Wrong & Right is an album intended for energetic gatherings where you invite your friends for a pint of Guinness and great live tunes. All the tracks in Wrong & Right are recommended for big speakers.

Wrong & Right is one of the releases you should not fail to check out as it provides a satisfying listening experience. Especially if you want your tunes to rock big time.

***
Huzzah!
Music keeps me alive. I am sure it is doing the same to you. Whatever problems we may face in life I have learned to rely on the wisdom of the Sound and how it has the power to pull us from the darkness into light. I know that our  brothers and sisters are having problems over there in Europe as flooding continues. My prayers go to the people of the Czech Republic, Germany and the neighboring countries. These are hard times. I had hard times last month but I know that as long as we live our lives in music then nothing will ever destroy us.
Now on the lighter side, check this youtube playlist from another Celtic band from the Czech Republic called Poitin which I am sure you have read about them in my past posts. I love posting their music because I have their albums and yes I am a certified Poitin fan. Do check this out:

Info: It’s taken from a show they had recently in Prague-  with a live webcam and the sound quality is quite good.

Poitín live at the Vagon Club, Prague March 2013
Poitín http://www.reverbnation.com/poitin

Cheers! in Rock Café Prague Plus Our Poitín SlideShow

 

My friend Pafka Steidl and his band Cheers jamming in Rock Café Prague. He will appear in our interview soon. It will be amazing! Pafka is witty, friendly and he takes his career in Celtic music seriously! Please watch out for that interview because there will be two great tracks  that will be available for download.

The band’s fb page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cheers/104821386271093

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Poitín and Friends! Session 28 June 2012

With Lucie Šmahelová, Alexandra Šantorová, Ladislav Veselý, Obludný Neználek, Tomáš Pergler, Jan Brabec, Jaroslav Macháček and Veronika Perglerová at Bar Klub U Svatého Rocha.

www.reverbnation.com/poitin

www.poitin.cz www.myspace.com/poitinkapela
www.soundclick.com/poitin

The Man Behind Bran: Vojtěch Jindra

Vojtěch Jindra Playing with Bran

Vojtěch Jindra Playing with Bran

The original music of the ancient Celts, which, paradoxically, with the “Celtic” music related only marginally, however, we know almost nothing … Vojtěch Jindra

The whole of Czech Republic is alive with folk music. Emerging from this place are the three folk bands, Taliesyn(more into folk and not really Celtic), Irish Dew( in which he left in 2006 due to musical differences)and Bran. They all have or had at one time one person in common- Vojtěch Jindra(pronounced as Woy-tesh Yin-dra) His current project Bran (also means raven in Breton) have been earning followers and positive reviews from all over festival as well as websites. My introduction to them was through a youtube post by a friend several months ago. From then on I keep hearing them through posts by Celtic music enthusiasts-mostly my network friends. This network ‘cloud’ of like-minded people also determines the kind of musical current that exists these days. It is good to have them around because they are responsible in tweeting, posting as well as blogging about the trend in the musical culture that I subscribe to. I know I am part of that cloud and it is good to be in this age where sharing is easy. I did a bit of researched and was finally able to find  Vojtěch and made a schedule to include this interview between his tours.

A graduate from the Faculty of Arts at the Charles University (Czech Language), he joined Bran in 2006 and is also the composer of several songs for  all the bands he is working with. He has a website www.keltskahudba.cz, where he links all of his musical connections. He also started his own label to promote independent folk music. He is with us today to talk about his work with the band Bran.

http://www.myspace.com/brancz

http://www.myspace.com/vojtechjindra

Bran brings Breton and Czech musicians together. If Bran means in Breton, the raven, which in Celtic legends is the messenger bird, then he has brought the music of Brittany to Central Europe and a little wind from the East to Brittany The musical instruments used and the diverse influences and origins of each musician create, give, put, bring together the particular colorfulness which makes Bran original. Oriented towards dance and songs of the sea Bran offers a rich and varied repertoire made up both of the compositions its members and traditional Breton tunes.

Current lineup

Robert Fischmann-vocals, flute;

 Vojtěch Jindra-ak. guitar, 

Tomáš Görtler-accordion, vocals;

Michal Wróblewski-saxophones, clarinet;

Petr Tichý-double bass;

Jan Chalupa-drums, percussion 

Your album discography is available through your website and fans can listen to the tracks off the album In Concert(2010). I have to admit I find your band’s version of Tri Martolod quite refreshing. I hear elements of Jazz and also that distinctive Breton sound. I am confused…your band is based in Prague but in your concerts you speak in French. Are you aiming more in the French/Breton crowd rather than your native Czech?

Both I think. Our ex-leader Dewi Pajot came from Brittany, so he spoke in French. But yes – we are Czechs and we are based in Prague, Czech Republic.

You are the band guitarist and percussionist. You also manage the overall direction of the music. Do you find it at times exhausting to do a lot of creative and well as corporate stuff?

It can be a challenging as well as exhausting thing… there are so many things to do in terms of the overall direction of the music, how things are looking up or sounding like  during tours, the business aspect … But I love it, it’s my life.

Five albums in a span of 12 years! What memorable things happened to the members in this span of time and also to you?

Many good and  bad things in our personal as well as working life… One of the highlights of our career I think was when  we played as supporting band for Alan Stivell during his concert. And we had to survive departure of our founder and friend Dewi Pajot. There were so many memorable moments, the jams and the beautiful melodies we created together…



Describe the Bran ‘sound’.

I have a problem describing it even in my native Czech. I don’t know – maybe natural acoustic sound with a kick. Simply – combination of voice, acoustic guitar, accordion, saxophone, flute, double bass and drum set. It’s eclectic but at the same town distinctive since it  reflects the musical background we have.

You wrote an interesting piece about the Celts and Celtic music in your own site. I found that everyone has his or her own opinion as to what the ‘Celtic’ sound is…has it been easier to market your music in your country rather than say in Ireland and the rest of the Celtic nations?

It’s easier I think. A lot of people in the Czech Republic are open to this kind of music. But I am not enthusiastic about  this label – Celtic music. Who knows really what ancient Celts played?

I noticed you have an eclectic taste and that includes listening to Depeche Mode and other music. I noticed that most musicians in this genre are more open minded and well exposed to different types of music compared to mainstream listener..Thoughts on this?

It’s true. For example, our bassist Petr Tichý began playing  as a  fan of metal, but now he’s a leading jazz musician in his generation in Prague. We are open- minded about music. An yes…eclectic.

Your schedule is picking up speed as this month is more about live performance. What are the things that remain constant when you and your band go on tour?

I am not really sure . When we’re on tour, exhaustion can happen but it is the music that drives us. When we play, we are not aware of how tired we are, we just know that we love what we are doing and also love the fact that the listeners respond to what we play. When we are home after touring, we don’t really indulge in vices.

To know about the band’s latest schedule check out http://www.branband.cz/ The website is in Czech but google can translate that for you but if you don’t have google, you can always use http://www.microsofttranslator.com/

Bran: Epic moments on stage

Bran: Epic moments on stage