Olov Johansson comes to us from Swedish contemporary folk ensemble Vasen. A couple of his bandmates appear on this recording, which also features guests on bouzouki (Balkan lute), piano, and organ, to name a few. Mostly, the arrangements exhibit the rich string display of Johansson's three-row chromatic nyckelharpa and its low-end mate, the contrabass harpa. The nyckelharpa is a Swedish, multi-stringed, bowed hurdy-gurdy. As such, it mates just as nicely to the 12-string guitar and the violin. Original "polska" (waltz-time Swedish folk dance of Polish origin) "Bjernulfs Bröllopspolska" accentuates the instrument's airy, festive sounds when matched with the 12-string. The sustained chromatic runs along the long, bowed passages of the violin in another polska ("Ockelbogubbarnas Favoritpolska") give sound rich and distance covering; the stringed equivalent of bagpipes.
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AllMusic Review by Tom Schulte