Boot
Virvla
Northside (www.noside.com)

Boot is a musical experience that allows three Swedish musicians and three dancers to feed off of each other's energy. The Boot musicians feature two members of Hedningarna, percussionist Bjorn Tollin and multi-instrumentalist Hallbus Totte Mattson, joined by fiddle player Ola Backstrom of Den Fule and Swp. The density of the trio's sound amazes. At times, they sound like ten people! Boot's program rings of verve and inventiveness. The polskas are decidedly Swedish, but "Alvdals Polska" has an Arabic flavor and "A Little Beauty" smacks of flamenco.

Yet while Backstrom, Mattson, and Tollin's work easily holds its own, the full Boot picture includes the dancers. Thankfully, the CD is enhanced by two videos that display the meaning of Virvla: whirling. The spinning dancers easily bring to mind Sufi whirling dervishes, and there is a trance-like abandon to this folk performance. The second video, for "Peppe," is badly edited and hampered by numerous quick cuts which do not allow the viewer to piece together the choreography into a cohesive whole. Don't dismiss Boot as the 'Swedish Riverdance'. Theirs is a subtle, lustful mix of sweeping strings and skirts. - Lee Blackstone

Buy it at cdroots.com

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