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06.11.2002 – Doinas and Dragons
This is enticing stuff. Driven, relentless rhythms underneath towering melodies and improvisations. Boy, can this band play. Garrick is brilliant on violin. His flawless technique and superb tone combined with his limitless – clearly spontaneous – musical innovations left me feeling elated.
However, it’s band leader Dave Kelbie’s mandolin and guitar work which underlines the band’s every turn. When he solo’s – much too rarely in my opinion – he does so superbly, as with the mandolin on the Statman classic – ‘Flatbush Waltz’. Kelbie’s tone is light and airy and a joy to hear. It’s worth mentioning that Kelbie is not a mandolin player and he doesn’t sound like one. His unorthodox technique and approach is prominent on two tracks here. The a fore mentioned, and a dance from Serbia – ‘Estradno ora’ where, listening carefully in the curious mix, you will catch clips of a mandolin part worthy of a player who’s guitar has long since been discarded.
The whole band is worth a mention. Multi-instrumentalist Dylan Fowler provides excellent rhythm and solo work on Guitar, Mandocello, and oboe. Other new boy Eddie Hession on accordion puts not a foot wrong and spars with Kelbie and Garrick on ‘Estradno ora’. Bosnian singers Tea & Mirella Hodzic are the icing on the cake for this heady mix of Eastern European drama.
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