Eastern Winds

Eastern Winds

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Eastern Winds brings together some excellent Detroit musicians to perform folk music from the Middle East, Greece, Macedonia, Armenia, and Bulgaria. Ara Topouzian (kanun) has long been a major force in the Middle Eastern/Armenian music community in Detroit, both as a performer as well as heading the label American Recording Productions. The other members of the band, Ben Temkow (violin, guitar), Mark Sawasky (percussion), and Doug Shimmin (multi-instrumentalist), are all longtime members of the Immigrant Suns, a Detroit rock band that has been performing on a multitude of ethnic instruments for well over a decade. Here, they join forces for an excellent program of traditional music. The tunes are mostly instrumental, with vocals on only two tracks, and range from the somber "Two Strings" (with some nice clarinet) to the upbeat closer, "Elenas Melody." The playing is excellent, and all the musicians get ample opportunity to demonstrate their talents. Very well done.

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