Irena Budweiserova

Nobody's Fault...

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Based in Brno, Czech Republic, Indies Records has been documenting the Czech music scene since 1990 -- and along the way, the label has put out a wide variety of modern Czech sounds. But as stylistically far-reaching as it has been, Nobody's Fault still comes as a surprise; this 2006 release is, for various reasons, atypical of Indies. First, most of the lyrics are in English (although some are in Czech). And second, Nobody's Fault has a spiritual/gospel orientation lyrically; the vast majority of Indies releases have been secular. This 2006 recording finds Czech singer Irena Budweiserova paying a lot of attention to African-American spirituals and gospel songs; not all of the songs fit that description, but most of them do. However, no one will accuse Nobody's Fault of sounding like it was recorded in the United States in the 1910s or '20s -- not by any means. Guitarist Miroslav Linka, the album's arranger, helps Budweiserova provide what are probably best described as jazz-influenced, bluesy folk-rock makeovers of familiar songs. "Roll, Jordan, Roll" and "Wade in the Water" are spirituals that have been recorded countless times, but Budweiserova and Linka manage to put a fresh, intriguing spin on them. And Budweiserova's Czech accent proves to be a definite plus. Her accent isn't too heavy -- her performances in English are quite understandable -- but there is still enough of an accent to give the performances a great deal of character. Those who have enjoyed Budweiserova's previous releases will find Nobody's Fault to be an interesting and rewarding departure for the Czech vocalist.

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