Alan Garner – the Swing 51 interview

[by Ken Hunt, London] 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Alan Garner’s novel, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and HarperCollins has duly published a 50th anniversary edition. Hence the excuse to re-publish part of the first part of this interview. Any changes are so that the text conforms to our style guide and to contextualise and clarify matters. There has been no attempt to impose updates on this interview.

18. 10. 2010 |

Ralph McTell – On songs, recording, Nanna’s Song and Streets of London

[by Ken Hunt, London] Ralph McTell is one of Britain’s foremost commentators on the national condition using demotic idioms – folk, blues, ragtime. Rather like Wolf Biermann, Franz-Josef Degenhardt and Christof Stählin in Germany (and then add your own regional or national candidates), he has depicted his homeland through music, through songs, that meanings of which seem immediately apparent but which may well prove to be more eely or oblique.

2. 4. 2010 |

Peggy Seeger – On creativity

[by Ken Hunt, London] Peggy Seeger was one of people like Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Big Bill Broonzy and Cisco Houston whose records introduced Britain to an authentic lexicon of Americana. That word didn’t exist in the 1950s but if it had those musicians would have pretty much defined it.

1. 2. 2010 |

Rez Abbasi and Kiran Ahluwalia

[by Petr Dorůžka, Prague] The Karachi born, New York City based jazz guitarist Rez Abbasi comes to Europe for a ten day tour which includes two gigs in Czech Republic – 23 April he plays in the Prague Reduta club, and on 27 April at Jazzfest in Brno. He is joined by his Indian wife Kiran Ahluwalia, who is a well known singer on her own right.

21. 4. 2009 |

A talk with Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin

[by Petr Dorůžka, Prague] New York is a cosmopolitan city with very rich musical landscape. Do you think there is something special the Russian, East European, or Slavic musicians living in New York can offer that musicians from elsewhere lack?

Absolutely. In the folk scene, New York arguably has amongst its citizens the best Slavic/Balkan/Russian musicians that I’ve ever met. Not only are they strong as performers, they are incredibly open as musicians, adapting the Western musical styles in much more genuine and honest ways than happens in the East.

31. 12. 2008 |

Swing 51, Robin Williamson and the Incredible String Band – A Casket of Wonders

[by Ken Hunt, London] At the time of doing this interview – 13 August 1979 – the Scots musician Robin Williamson was based in California and working with the Merry Band. Their latest album at that point was A Glint At The Kindling (1979). This interview is an excerpt of a far longer interview. It concentrates on Williamson’s time with the Incredible String Band and before the band’s formation. The Incredible String Band had overturned people’s appreciation of what contemporary folk bands could do. No lesser mortal than Dylan had name-checked the Incredibles’ October Song in his interview with John Cohen and Happy Traum in the October/November 1968 issue of Sing Out! and that was big medicine.

12. 11. 2007 |

Mariza interview

Fado’s history is kind of mysterious. Some theories says that the Portuguese sailors and the African slaves are in its base; According to some musicologists, Fado’s roots are also in the Lundun and Modinha; two kind of music styles coming from Brazil.
Fado started to appear in Lisbon in the beginning of the 19th century as an urban music and it was singed. Fado appears in a different form among the underprivileged and due to that it’s regarded as popular music. Fado was the people’s “newspaper”, it was through this song form that some news where known.

9. 7. 2007 |

The Unpublished Joe Boyd Interview

[by Kate Hickson, UK] Joe Boyd, the author of White Bicycles (subtitled “Making music in the 1960s”) did a great deal when it came to acting a midwife to the soundtrack to many people’s lives during the 1960s. He produced era-defining music by the likes of Eric Clapton & The Powerhouse, Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, The Purple Gang, Fairport Convention, the Incredible String Band, Nick Drake and Brotherhood of Breath. Then he went on to do it again, overseeing recordings by the likes of Richard & Linda Thompson, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Maria Muldaur, Dagmar Krause and 10,000 Maniacs. With his Hannibal hat on, he brought Hungary’s Márta Sebestyén and Muzsikás and Bulgaria’s Bulgarka Vocal Trio to our attention.

9. 6. 2007 |

Aija Puurtinen singing with Värttinä in Ostrava

I’m specialised in different kind of vocal sounds and techniques and that is the reason Värttinä asked me to produce the Miero album. And after that they thought that i might be good choice to take Mari’s place for awhile. If music is the thing and not one musicstyle, if you are openminded then you can join any production and still have your own artistical style..

22. 7. 2006 |

Chango Spasiuk, The Transcendental Accordionist

His playing is everchanging and full twists like an imaginary landscape. No wonder, the chamamé accordion style is a “mestizo music”, rooted both in European polkas and Guaraní Indians culture. When Spasiuk played at Womex in 2001, many people wondered: “This music makes me dance, but also opens the gates of imagination. I never thought you can do this with an accordion!” This hard to define spirit is fully captured on Spasiuk’s last CD, Tarefero de mis pagos, produced by Ben Mandelson. I talked to Chango at the BBC World Music Awards Ceremony in Gateshead in January 2005, where he performed as a winner in the Newcomers category.

25. 1. 2005 |

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