“Beating Beyond Folk Ashes” by Brutus Daughters.

“Beating Beyond Folk Ashes” by Brutus Daughters.

"Brutus’ Daughters


Xipla – Asturian pipes
Alex – Vocals
Rak – Bass
Pablo -Guitar
Rebe – Drums
Lorena – Fiddle

Music- A blend of Asturian music and Continental Celtic with punk energy.

I am enjoying the “Beating Beyond Folk Ashes” album by a band based in the south of Madrid called Brutus Daughters. A part of me that loves punk really love the raw energy and attitude they put in the tunes. Hey who would have thought that Asturian pipes can compete with electric guitars?

It’s like the female version od The Clash and The Sex Pistols only that in this case Siouxsie Sioux is in the Galician/Asturian countryside with lots of Mohawk sporting fairies doing the step dance.  This is an album that is filled with raw energy and melodic abundance. The songs are catchy and they stay with you due to the crafty arrangement of verses and instrumental hooks. The tunes are in Castilian, Asturian and English. To quote from their press release:

Concerning the subjects, some of the lyrics reflect the value of friendship involved in the ‘shebeen’ culture, while others contain a socio-political message, denouncing the mistreat underpriviledged people has to suffer because of the abuse of authority. Literature from ethnical minorities, autobiographies and traces from mythology deeply rooted in Celt tradition have served as a source for many of them.

I think they have created a mix of musical flavour that although you would categorize as Celtic rock, there is something unique about their sound that makes every song their own. Six Beers is humorous and emphasizes on the oi! backing vocals which enhances the chorus.

The pogo dance -inducing rhythm is consistent throughout the album. With exception of the Asturian-meets-Irish sounding Nuechi del Nubero which is also my favorite track. I like this when I am doing a lot of cores and I have not taken my cup of coffee yet. Nothing beats the help of an energetic tune when you want to be productive!

Beating Beyond Folk Ashes” is a punk meets folk album with showcasing the beautiful sound of the Asturian pipes. I also love the line up. In most bands you usually get one female lead and the rest are males. Here we have four women and they also tackle feminist themes. They are really amazing and worth the support so they can create more fantastic tunes and future recordings.

"Brutus’ Daughters


Spanish Subscribers: Manuel Luna and Other Concerts

Here is another pin request from my Spanish correspondent Alicia Baltasar. There is a huge explosion of folk music in Spain right now. Folks if you are panning to go, there are venues you might want to check out -including the artists!


Próximos conciertos:

         Café Irlandés           

Miércoles 25 de julio, a las 22h.

“Noche Celta” de Oria (Almerķa)


                       Jose A. Aarnoutse Duo          

Sįbado 28 de julio, a las 22h.

“A la luna de Barranda” en Museo de la musica étnica de  Barranda Caravaca (Murcia)



Sįbado 28 de julio, a las 23,30h.

                                    “Fiestas de la Ribera de Molina” en Molina de Segura (Murcia



Kepa Junkera

Kepa Junkera : Definitive music of the Basque country.

I love the music of Kepa Junkera and how it drives your senses into a wild abandon. The music has a primal but beautiful appeal. I can’t describe the feeling I have when I first heard the song Bok Espok. But I think the closest thing I can come up with is that feeling upon seeing a cornucopia exploding  with deep colored fruits, juices oozing in irresistible sweetness .  From 1988 to the present, he already recorded 10 albums.

More here : http://www.kepajunkera.com/

and: http://www.myspace.com/udalekumusak/music

Azarbe-Taking the Spanish Folk Scene by Storm!

I am blogging using other people’s computer. Don’t ask me how this happened but I am on the run right now. However I could not pass an opportunity to present this interesting band.

Azarbe are a  folk group from Spain that are going to take the cultural music of Spain by storm. The music is nostalgic and caped with pure energy. The musical style borrows heavily from flamenco with traces of Galician flavour. The group was formed in 1999 composed of  the following members :

Emilio J. Mateos

Spanish guitars, lute, mandolin, and vocals guitarro.

Oscar Esteban

Cajon square tambourine, djembe, tambourines, dabúll and choirs.

Peter J. Lopez

Spanish guitar, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar and vocals.
Teresa Fernandez
Voice and chorus.

Alvaro Martinez

Constantino Lopez

Paco Botia
Shakers, bongo, sabar, cajon, congas, triangle, square tambourine, tambourines, claps, a gogo bells, bells, mortar and effects. Botia Paco plays with instruments Percussion Chambo .



Aulaga Folk, A Menos Cuarto(Album review)


 I received the album inside a parcel. I was surprised to find that it is a box containing 3 discs. One is the album, the second a collection of rarities and the third, a DVD.The motiff is black and white with a clock . Inserted  is a liner note of the band’s music including lyrics and pictures. I must say that it is one of the most beautiful CD packaging I put my hands on in years!

The Music.

The album opens with Los Motiladores. The distinctive vocals of Juan Carlos can be heard which reminds me of those ancient Greek  songs in mixolydian mode. Ambient sounds like crickets, percussions and an explosion of festive instrumental playing somewhere close to the middle of the track, the all like butterflies in the stomach.

My personal favorites are: the first track of course, and then  Quitate with that amazing female vocals and belly dancing rhythm. La Cautiva is very energetic , a combination of Jazz, and Latin melodies. Los Carnavales is very haunting as it reminds you haunted carnivals however the songs picks up tempo in the middle. Extramairlandura is an instrumental piece that moves in different styles. Here the driving sound of fiddle, bodhran and other instruments make themselves proud. La Uva is a showcase of guitar, percussion and vocals. Reeguedoble calls for a beautiful movie with its visual melody and stunning comic singing. The title track A Menus Cuarto closes this album with the sound of winding clock and infectious latin beats which combine all the beautiful elements of Folk, Jazz and World Music.

One can play this CD anytime again and again. I is a kind of music that is at home anywhere in the world. Juan Carlos and the rest of Aulaga Folk made a wonderful album that not only sounds good but looks good as well!

Getting To Know Aulaga Folk from Spain(Interview)

Juan Carlos  from Extremadura Spain talks about his band and a beautiful wildflower where the name of the band was taken from.

Band website(in Spanish) http://www.aulagafolk.es/

Music is an emotional persuasion. Anyone who deals with it whither directly as a composer or passively as a listener will know what it takes to really appreciate it. It is a feeling that sweeps over you that sometimes, you are helpless under its spell.  Funny that that very thing that inspires us to do things can be both a blessing and a burden. Lucky are the few who made it by finding an outlet. Such is the music of Aulaga Folk.

Juan Carlos

Juan Carlos

Passion is evident in any Spanish melody. That is why we always see Latin singers as emotional and sizzling. It is that sensuality that drives the artists to bring out the best in what they do and also draw something from the listeners. But to find its very appeal and distinctive style then  fuse those with other styles can be a transforming experience.

There are different elements that colour the sound of Aulaga Folk. From the haunting Gregorian inspired vocalize that finds its way into some of the tracks, to the lively poly-rhythms of Jazz and World music, the band have something for everyone. Borrowing heavily from the Celtic sound of Galicia, Asturias, and the folk music of Spain itself, this unique band  are led by Juan Carlos. The the new album promises to enchant as well as to inspire listeners with its grace and sophistication. Here, he explains his thoughts about the band, the music and also how it is like carving a name for themselves in a world where styles can be an elusive thing.

    Why the name Aulaga folk?

Aulaga is a plant that grows abundant in  our land in the mountainous region. Once, the farmers hated it because it is a beautiful plant with yellow flowers but has  very sharp spikes which does injury to livestock and had to be avoided. I decided to take the name of this plant for the band.

How do you describe your style of music?

We try to make music without borders. We can call them a combination of ethnic rhythms and progressive folk. Anything that smacks of tradition seems very interesting. It is the music of the people and for the people . We keep the original root of the songs but we try to adapt to the times. Everything in life evolves and folk music as Celtic music that we know must also adapt to new times. It allows us  a fresh approach to the sound.

 Can you give us a description as to what the new album is all about?

Aulaga Folk have 3 albums already , the first “From Ambroz Our Way” is a compilation album of popular music of our valley. It is very traditional and also our first attempt in releasing a recorded album. The second album Not Bad Wood” incorporates new rhythms and melodies. It also showcases how we evolved as musicians.  This third album is released in 2011, “A quarter” and it shows, or so we think, a greater variety of ethnic rhythms mixed with progressive folk. We have found our way into the work of collecting and disseminating traditional culture, not only in Extremadura, but in many parts of the world.

      Your music is lively and infectious. Was this intentional?

The folk music gives us plenty of feeling –be it joy, sorrow, work songs- in short, everything that is related to the life of our elderly. The treatment of the songs  is to try to make them as realistic as  possible with the environment where they originated from but at  the same time, trying to give them our own touch as a group and that leads many of them to be festive and contemporary. We always try to respect the richness of  the original melody, but by nature the music conveys feelings, sometimes joyful and festive and other times melancholic and profound.

   What’s fun about recording the new album A Quarter?

The most fun is doing what we like to do best: in this case translate the work and dedication to the collection and dissemination of popular music in all its possibilities. In the current album we have been fortunate to have great collaborations of national folk masters: Eliseo Parra, Joaquin Diaz, Manuel Luna, Javier Ruibal, and other artists who  participated in this work, which has filled us with satisfaction and pride. It has been a luxury to work with these great masters of music and the collection ofroots music. We had fun and learned a lot from the wisdom of established musicians.

 Aulaga:a beautiful plant with yellow flowers but has  very sharp spikes which does injury to livestock...

Aulaga:a beautiful plant with yellow flowers but has very sharp spikes which does injury to livestock...

 What were the challenges doing the new album?

Trying to get the traditional music and make it sound  current was quite a challenge. We are trying to reach out to   young people today to let them  become aware of their past which is for the sake of understanding the present so that we will walk steadily forward. Also, to discover what their grandparents were doing not so long ago, the roots and origins of the things that we are living right now, and finally to have a sense of history and a past that we are trying to retell. I think these were the challenges that we had creating A Quarter.

What keeps you guys together and what drives you to keep steady during tours and festivals at this time?

In these difficult times where the economy is so affected, most of the budget cuts are made in the areas of culture. Many of the festivals organizers do not know whether they will continue due to the budget cuts. The  future is uncertain this 2012. So we  reflected in our past, our roots, and we hope to continue tour with our work. We want to meet new people which is the most beautiful of the tours, and discover new places, enjoy the landscapes and its people-these are  really the most important and beautiful part of being in this business.

The Celtic Music of Asturias

Hello Celtic people. After a few days of rest, I am back to spin the latest news of what’s happening around in terms of music , concert as well as social networking sites these artists have. We can’t deny the influence of networking sites like MySpace and facebook in terms of music marketing. Gone are the days when artists had to tour just to get the music out there. Now, through YouTube, music video channels and even twitter , they can reach millions and court listeners. But there is a downside to this.

Though the internet is a good medium in spreading music, there is a huge competition that artists have to go through in order to be heard. Even amateurs with horrible stuff can make it out there. I am not really an expert or authority here but what I do is, I highlight bands and individual artists who are already generating the buzz. When this happens (the buzz), it means that these artists have already built a following and a credible sense of musicianship that set them apart from the rest. And yes we already have established and successful acts like Carlos Nunez, the Chieftains, Clannad, Altan, Ashley McIsaac, Capercaillie and Solas (among others) that make the headlines These headlines are important in keeping our community visible and alive. But it is also through these new acts that make all this writing about music all worthwhile, don’t you think?

Moving to Spain…..

You can now listen to the official Carlos Nunez MySpace page. You can check out pictures, latest news(however I warn you this is in Spanish) and also listen to the artists he is associated with. www.myspace.com/carlosnunezoficial is now playing tracks from  his latest album Alborada do Brasil (Sony Music). Fans in Morocco   can catch him this 26th of June at the Festival Tarab de Tanger . Here are the details(in Spanish) of his concerts taken from his official website www.carlos-nunez.com (the bottoms is the latest up to August at the top):


Metz – France

Parc de Seille 21:30



Neuchâtel -La Tène Festival – Switzerland

La Tène Festival
Grande scène 21:30
Neuchâtel – Suisse
+ info: www.latenefestival.ch



Gijón – Spain

Semana Grande de Gijón
Playa de Poniente 23:00



Pleuhiden sur Rance – Brittany

La Chapelle de Mordreuc 20:30
Pleuhiden sur Rance (22)



Íllora, Granada – Parapanda Folk – Spain

Parapanda Folk
Íllora – Granada



Festival de Cornouaille – Brittany

Festival de Cornouaille
Espace Gradlon 21:00
+ info: www.festival-cornouaille.com



La Seu d’Urgell – Spain

Claustro de la Catedral de Santa Maria 22:30
La Seu d’Urgell

venta de entradas:
Precio de las entradas: 20 € a taquilla // 17 € en venta anticipada.
Sitios de venta anticipada:
Turisme Seu (Avda. Valls d’Andorra s/n) 973 351 511
Turisme del Consell Comarcal de l’Alt Urgell (Passeig Joan Brudieu, 15) 973 353 112

Y, si no se agotan las entradas, el mismo día en taquilla desde las 21 horas en la entrada del Claustre de la Catedral de Santa Maria d’Urgell (C/ Santa Maria s/n)



Pollença – Spain

Festival de Pollença
Claustre de Sant Domingo 22:00
+ info: www.festivalpollenca.com



Santiago de Compostela (Special guest with Jordi Savall) – Spain

San Domingos de Bonaval 20:30
Santiago de Compostela

+ info: Lamentos e folías célticas, das fisterras atlánticas ao novo mundo
Festival Via Stellae www.viastellae.es

JORDI SAVALL viola soprano & lyra-viol
ANDREW LAWRENCE-KING arpa céltica & salterio

invitado especial :

CARLOS NÚÑEZ gaita e frautas

ENTRADA LIBRE previa recollida de invitación dous días antes do concerto no Punto de venda de entradas do Festival Via Stellae (Teatro Principal, rúa Nova, nº 21, Santiago de Compostela). 981565027.
Os posuidores do abono completo do Via Stellae terán prioridade para retirar a súa invitación a partir do martes 29 de xuño.



Tanger – Morocco

Festival Tarab de Tanger
Borj l-Hajoui 21:15

For a blend of Spanish folk meets world and Celtic is Aulaga Folk www.myspace.com/aulagafolk.

From Casas del Monte – Extremadura, Cáceres Spain, The band combines passionate acoustic guitars mixed with flamenco flavor and irresistible beat that borrows from all sources. Beautiful, melodic and distinctive, the music takes you on different landscapes and cultures yet distinctly Spanish. Band members are(In Spanish because I got this from the band site http://www.aulagafolk.com) :

Carlos:Percusión tradicional, flautas, cajon flamenco, pandero cuadrado

Javier:Guitarra flamenca, española, acustica, electrica, laud

Lourdes:Voz, percusión tradicional

Juan Carlos:Voz, flautas, percusión tradicional.

Enrique:Laud, bandurria.


Liber:Bateria, Kongas, djembe, percusión tradicional.

Tómas:Bajo electrico.

Jose:Violin, acordeón.

The music of Asturias….

According to this article The music of the region of Asturias in northern Spain has more in common with Brittany, Wales and Ireland than Spanish music from Castille or Andalusia. Traditional Asturian instruments include bagpipes, called the Gaita, the harp loom and Asturian drums.

Brenga Astur is Celtic music fused with Spanish influences.Laced with beautiful melodies , hypnotic rhytms and evocative voice of the female vocalist, here is your chance to experience the landscape, the people, the thoughts and feelings  that shaped the music. Brenga Astur is composed of 10 band members with two Asturian pipers, bouzouki, bodhran, flute, electric and acoustic guitar, accordion, mandolin, drums, keyboard, vocals and more. Cekc out http://www.brengaastur.com/ for details and updates. Information and pics courtesy of http://www.ndoylefineart.com/index.html

Llan de Cubel is a popular name in Asturian Celtic music . The band has released seven albums, the last UN TIEMPU MEYOR was released way back 1999. According to official website: During the last years the band has been making a big database with Asturian traditional tunes. The members of the band have been investigating old songbooks, field recordings by ethnographic groups, old recordings from the begining of 20th century and even recordings by Asturian exilées after the Spanish Civil War. The band has also been writing new tunes in the traditional style that together with the music compiled in the database will be the alma mater of the new studio work that Llan de Cubel intends to record and release in 2010. Please refer to http://www.llandecubel.com/ and for updates about the band http://www.llandecubel.com/concieng.html . No I can’t find their MySpace page but if you have the address, please give it to me and I will post it here.

CMF pays tribute the spirits of  Carlos Redondo and Igor Medio, members of the Asturian Celtic band Felpeyu, who passed away on 2006 from a car crash.

This is an article from World Music Central released in 2006:

Spain – Carlos Redondo and Igor Medio, members of Asturian Celtic band Felpeyu, died today in Zuya (northern Spain) in a vehicle accident. The group was traveling from a gig in Corvera (Asturias) to another venue in Barcelona. Felpeyu’s van exited the road and overturned. Two members died and four are severely injured. Firemen were called to rescue the injured passengers from the wreckage.

The untimely death of the two well-known musicians from the Asturias region of Spain has shocked the Spanish folk music community, specially the Celtic music scene.
Carlos Redondo joined Felpeyu in 1994. He played guitar, bass and lead vocals. He was the member of the band with more professional musical experience. He worked intensively as a rock musician, teacher, producer and sound engineer. He was mainly known in Asturias as singer and bass player of the legendary Asturian pop-rock band Los Locos. He got into folk music in the early 90’s by producing some Asturian bands; Felpeyu was one of them, and he joined the band right after producing its first recording, Felpeyu, in 1994. Carlos was born in Gijón (Asturias, Spain).

Ígor Medio had a heterogeneous background. He grew up into an atmosphere of choral and Asturian singing -which both his parents and family developed- and was also into classical music studies and blues/rock experiences before being introduced to folk music. As a folk musician, he developed a personal and eclectic way of arranging and performing Asturian traditional music. He played guitar and mandolin in the band, choosing the bouzouki as his main instrument afterwards. He played bouzouki, guitar -only on studio-, bass pedals, and sang lead and harmony vocals. Ígor was born in Gijón (Asturias, Spain).

Felpeyu recreates Asturian traditional music by combining both the Asturian orchestration and the more general and current Atlantic European types without losing its distinctiveness.

The band was formed by a group of students with similar musical tastes in 1991. Felpeyu initially performed at folk pubs and small venues. Later, it played at large stages and festivals in Asturias. In recent years, the group has performed at numerous international Celtic and world music festivals in Europe, Australia and North America.

Felpeyu has recorded four CDs: Felpeyu (Fonoastur, 1994), Tierra (Fonoastur, 1997), Live Overseas (Urchin, 2000/Tierra Discos, 2003) and Yá! (Tierra Discos 2003).

[Photos: 1 – Carlos Redondo, 2 – Ígor Medio, courtesy of Felpeyu].

From Asturias we go to Wales…

Mabon has started their UK with a blast. They have four appearances this month and 10 for August! Mabon is originally formed by Jamie Smith’s father Derek . The band has released two albums Ridiculous Thinkers (2004) and OK Pewter (2007). The beauty of Mabon is that the band infuses the influences from all the Celtic nations and yet making the sound distinct with Jamie shaping the musical path and doing the research. If you haven’t heard of them yet, well you can isten to the samples at  www.myspace.com/mabonband.  Here’s the list for their major appearances this month and beyond(See all here):

Sat 19th Jun 2010

Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival

Middlewich town centre

web: http://www.myspace.com/middlewichfolkandboat

Sun 20th Jun 2010

Village Hall concert

Village Hall
N. Wales

Details tba.

Sat 26th Jun 2010

Private Function

Sat 10th Jul 2010

Priddy Folk Festival


Headlining the Dance Tent.

web: http://www.priddyfolk.org

Berrogüetto from Galicia

Last year’s Festival Interceltique introduced Berrogüetto to the world. I know you Galician music lovers will delight in this band which has been around since 1995. You can check their other videos in Youtube.

The music combines tight musicianship teetering from the wall of sound to intimate acoustic stuff like this one titled: “Maneo de Arnados, Líridas de abril” Christi , I know you will love this…as well as  cmalagrino .

I am using a cafe to blog tonight. My laptop crashed and I had to reinstall the OS. I share Lana’s despair.

Spanish Celtic Music

There is power in letting go, the power in forgiveness… and in accepting that all beautiful things come to an end. There are times when I trust my pain more than my happiness. I think the first time I read the poems of  St John of the Cross I was shaking. The intensity of his writings shocked me.  I think nothing comes close to the beauty of  The Dark Night of the Soul:

Once in the dark of night
When love ignited me, I yearned and rose
(O stroke of sheer delight!)
And went though no one knows,
Leaving behind a house in cold repose.

In darkness all went right.
By secret ladders, in clandestine clothes,
(O stroke of sheer delight!)
In darkness I arose
Leaving behind a house in cold repose.

And in the luck of night
In secret places where no other spied
I went without my sight
Without a light to guide
Except the heart that lit me from inside.

It guided me and shone
Surer than sunlight in the noonday blue
And lead me to the one,
The one I truly knew
Who waited with nobody else in view.

O guiding dark of night!
O dark of night more darling than the dawn!
O night that can unite
A lover and loved one,
A lover and loved one moved in unison.

And on my flowering breast
Which I had kept for him and him alone
He slept as I caressed
And loved him for my own,
Breathing an air from redolent cedars blown.

And from the castle wall
The wind came down to winnow through his hair
Bidding his fingers fall,
Searing my throat with air
And all my senses were suspended there.

I stayed there to forget.
There on my lover, face to face, I lay.
All ended, and I let
My cares all fall away
Forgotten in the lilies on that day.


As our thoughts turn to Spain, nothing comes close to the beauty of the music of Carlos Nunez. I came across this very interesting interview article  about this legendary Spanish musician.