Talabarte: Galician folk trio
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Fol Musica (www.folmusica.com)

The thing that struck me first about this trio from Galicia in northwest Spain is how big they sound. The CD cover shows three musicians, and I kept looking in the credits to see who else joined them. But there is no one else. Accordion, fiddle, and double bass are all they need to put forth a full sound.

Most of these songs are traditional, but there are a handful of originals in the mix as well. Maybe someone steeped in Galician traditional music could tell these apart, but to my ears the styles of the traditional and original tunes match perfectly. And I definitely sense a Talabartan quality in the way the trio arranges melodies, counter-melodies, harmony lines, and accompaniment, splitting these over the three instrumental voices, making the variations interesting in song after song.

A highlight of the record is "Sara" which sounds at different time like a classical string quartet piece, a march, and a dance tune. The band places the melody in a variety of settings, all of which work on their own and blend surprisingly well. Other songs on this record jump around in similar ways, drawing from a Celtic influence here, a Roma influence there, yet always coming together coherently in an enjoyable, often jubilant way.

This is Talabarteís first record, and I am looking forward to many more. Iíve found this record to be a highly enjoyable view into a region of the world whose music is relatively new to me, and I definitely want to explore more of it thanks to this wonderful music from Talabarte. - Greg Harness

CD available from cdRoots

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CD available from cdRoots

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