This is a 26-song compilation of polka from the upper American Midwest, recorded in the 1980s and 1990s. Seven outfits -- Karl and the Country Dutchmen, the Norskedalen Trio, Norm Dombrowski's Happy Notes, Vatra, the Steve Meisner Band, the Oulu Hotshots, and the Clete Bellin Orchestra -- all get three or four cuts. They're all from Wisconsin, but each represents a regional tradition, be it Norwegian, Polish, "Dutchman," Slovenian, Finnish, Czech, or Tamburitza. This has an advantage over many other polka records you could acquaint yourself with in that it's well-recorded, and that there is some variety. The Norskedalen Trio, for instance, has a more rural, folky sound than the norm, incorporating a fiddle; Vatra has Croatian vocals; and the Clete Bellin Orchestra has a deeper, more bottom-heavy oom-pah feel. The liner notes are very thorough, with explanations and descriptions of the performers and the styles. If your interest in polka is mild, though, the disc is likely to really wear on you over the course of an hour.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger