Harv

Must

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When American musicians visit Stockholm, Göteborg, and other Swedish cities, they feel right at home because there is no shortage of musical styles that originated in the U.S. From jazz to heavy metal to dance-pop, Swedish artists have long since mastered all things North American. But if those musicians want to explore the U.S.' European heritage while abroad, they should also check out some traditional Swedish fiddle music. For centuries, fiddle playing has been a part their culture and it continues to excite young Scandinavian musicians. Two of the young Swedish players who emerged in the 1990s were Magnus Stinnerbom and Daniel Sandén-Warg. Collectively, they are the duo Harv, which takes a very traditional approach on 1999's entirely instrumental Must. The two (who are joined by guitarist Roger Tallroth and percussionist Björn Tollin) look like they could be members of a Swedish punk band, but this album contains the type of polskas and waltzes that generation after generation has embraced in Sweden. And you don't have to be from Sweden to feel that this music is part of your heritage. When Scandinavian Vikings invaded the British Isles centuries ago, they brought their music with them -- that's why there is some similarity between Swedish and Norwegian fiddle music and the Celtic fiddle traditions of Ireland and Scotland. And because American bluegrass has Celtic roots, it therefore also has Scandinavian roots. In Swedish, the adjective "must" means "rich," as in rich food or rich coffee. And the traditions that Harv embraces on this pleasing, if imperfect, CD are exactly that.

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