Teagrass

Vecírek

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    8
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For anyone interested in traditional East European music for more than its partying qualities, Vecírek is a fantastic album. The Czech group Teagrass uses typical acoustic instrumentation (violin, mandolin, double bass, clarinet) and select their repertoire in the Moravian, Romanian, Slovakian, and Hungarian traditions -- mostly. Because Teagrass is there to move you instead of give you a lecture, the musicians occasionally dip their toes in English folk (the Fairport Convention tune "Crazy Man Michael") and present original compositions blending klezmer and bluegrass ("B-Complex") or swinging a boogie vamp ("Boogie Time") -- all for the best, too! In instrumental numbers, the violin of Stanislav Paluch and the clarinet of Michal Vavro trade solos. Vocal numbers see Jitka and Tat'ána Málková trading duties. Guest singer Katerina García delivers a stunning performance in "Crazy Man Michael," fragile and desperate (her voice evokes Sinéad O'Connor). The guitar work of Jirí Plocek (mandolin) and Michal Vayro (guitar) is complemented by Lubos Malina's banjo to add that klezmer/Dixie flavor when necessary. Teagrass respects the particularities of each region they borrow from, yet manages to give the music a new identity. Irresistible voices, spirited playing, Vecírek screams of talent. Pure delight.

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