[by Ken Hunt, London] One of the most life-changing discoveries of my life was being handed a linguistic skeleton key in the spring of 1971. Turning 20 working in the print on the German-Danish border, every day it was Hochdeutsch to management and Plattdütsch or Low German to nearly everybody else. Plattdütsch is a working-class language that straddles the Schleswig-Holstein boundary between Germany and Denmark. It enables its speakers to hold a form of bilingual conversation as far west as Flanders and into Scots-speaking Scotland. It represents a whole world of cultural intergrades rarely spoken of. Koen, Hartwin and Ward Dhoore, collectively the brothers Trio Dhoore (sometimes with Elene Leibbrand calling at festivals), epitomise that in their music-making, too.
Belgium’s Trio Dhoore has a sound palette picked from the colours from the bigger Low Countries, so to speak. They draw on tradition-based musical strands from Brabant (by which I understand Flemish Brabant or Vlaams-Brabant), Flanders and Central France. Their rise has been heartening. By 2015 their outreach had extended to the Rudolstadt Festival (where I first wrote about them) and festivals in Canada and on to Sidmouth Folk Week and English Folk Expo in 2016.
Their instrumentation is hurdy-gurdy (Koen D.), diatonic accordion (Hartwin D.) and guitar and mandolin (Ward D.) and instrumental dance music is their strong suit. This album contains three Flemish-language songs. Notably Wat Voorafging (What went before) – a kind of travellers’ tale – and Eb & Vloed (Ebb and flood) – about the abandoned, now-archaeological fishing community of Walraversijde in West Flanders, close to Ostend. Good additions to their canon, they function as more than time-out interludes during dance sets. At the risk of typecasting them, Trio Dhoore is a simply marvellous Western European folk dance band.
Trio Dhoore Momentum Appel Records tv2