Fiolministeriet, or The Fiddle Ministry, is a string trio comprising Kirstine Sand (violin, vocals), Kirstine Elise Pedersen (cello, vocals), and Ditte Fromseier Mortensen (fiddle, viola, vocals). They draw much of their material from 18th century song collections and their home islands of Fuen and Bornholm. They have a powerful and rhythmic sound with the cello adding a solid underpinning not usually found in performances of traditional material. At times the arrangements sound quite classical in nature, like on “Gottlob Minuet”; at other times, they sound traditional with the two violins playing in harmony.
This three-CD set documents some historic country-blues performances by the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, Bukka White, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Mance Lipscomb. The urban side of things is well represented by Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters with Otis Spann, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and The Chambers Brothers turning in a riveting rendition of “See See Rider.” Included here are 11 previously unreleased tracks. A must for acoustic-blues fans.
The instruments are guitar, violin, computer, occasional voice; the music, some settings and arrangements of well-known folk songs as well as several original folk-like pieces. Folk music lovers will undoubtedly say it's not really folk music (they're right); computer music aficionados and cyberspace cadets may not think of it as computer music (maybe they're right too); and guitar freaks will say our guitar is not nearly as good as Leo Kottke's (oh boy are they right). Though it's not a bad thing to defy description, the best way to understand the music is probably found in the title, Folk Images.
In 2001 the U.K.-based Westside reissue label began releasing CD two-fers featuring '50s and '60s folk crooner Jimmie F. Rodgers. His albums for Roulette Records had been out of print for well over three decades. Rather than reissuing the discs chronologically, however, Westside chose a thematic approach. For some artists, such could easily be considered historic hara-kiri. However, this is not the case with Rodgers – as this initial installment amply demonstrates.
Released in 2015, Grapefruit’s 3-CD multi-artist British underground folk compilation Dust On The Nettles was widely praised, with a five-star review in The Times hailing it as “a delight from beginning to end”. A long-overdue follow up to that set, Sumer Is Icumen In tightens the mesh by focusing on the point when traditional folksong and the burgeoning late Sixties counterculture collided, largely courtesy of seminal acts like the Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention and Pentangle.