Andana: Tren Directe
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Tren Directe
Galileo Nufolk (

cd cover I approach records that try to update tradition using the vocabulary of rock with an initial hesitation. "Once burned, twice shy," as the saying goes. Andana, with this delightful locomotive of a record, have taken many steps in restoring my faith in the collaboration of those two, rationally distinct entities.

Tren Directe begins its journey in Catalunya and in the following 50 minutes it travels across that country's traditional music ("Na Cećlia'"), bluegrass ("EMB"), Celtic music ("Tren Directe"), Central European influences ("Fins Aviat") and rock. And it is done with so much style and such adherence to musical sense that not once do you feel that something is wrong. Although there are moments when the loud guitars grab your attention or when an obviously contemporary compositional part makes itself audible, those instances never feel gratuitous, never seem an ill-considered attempt at finding a bigger, more commercially attractive audience. No, this is Andana's honest way of saying, "these are our influences and this is us. Come and join us in appreciating the 21st century through our age-old traditions."

The musicians are very good, especially the violinist and heart of the group, Simone Lambregts, and diatonic accordionist Marc del Pino. Josep Traver (guitar), Manel Vega (bass) and Quim Soler (keyboards) are responsible for the electric part of the band. Although the liner notes are only in Catalan, I was able to decipher a good part of them, which I think anyone who knows Italian, French or Castellano should also be able to do.

The bluegrass styled "EMB" is one of the highlights of the record and one of the most traditional sounding of the tracks. "Ball de Vito C." is another, with strong Balkan and Klezmer influences. But what is bound to become the signature tune of the band is the wonderful "Andana 1" that uses its many influences, as the band says, to "pay tribute to our affection for all things railroad-connected." - Nondas Kitsos

More audio samples and CD available at cdRoots

Audio: "EMB" (p)(c)2003 Galileo, Spain, used with their kind permission

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