Geitungen - Bra kast
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Heilo (

cd cover Hailing from Rogaland in the southwest of Norway, this young trio has its feet firmly planted in the traditional music of that area. This is their second album if you don't count the little demo that preceded their debut, Vaniljesaus. Using the basic ingredients of fiddle, guitar, and accordion, they conjure up a sweet, unaffected sound. None of the three is a flashy player, but as a unit, they have the driving skills to keep toes tapping. Håvard Ims' work on accordion is sure-footed and rhythmic. He nimbly tackles off-kilter meters on "Halling" and keeps it sweet and simple on the waltzes. Viðar Stefán Berntsson Skrede (got names?) anchors things with his able fiddle and hardanger playing. His work on "Springar" and "Brautaslåtten" has an atavistic feel, drony and modal.

Olav Christer Rossebø is light-fingered and squeaky clean on mandolin, mandola, and guitar. He has a lovely mandola solo on "Bruraslag," giving the piece the feel of a Renaissance pavane. The overall sound strikes a fine balance between delicacy and drive. The dancier pieces have a nice swing to them, and the slower numbers are tender without being overwrought. They don't stray into the avant-garde arrangements, atonality, and extended chords so favored by many Scandinavian bands out there. Keeping it close to tradition and close to the vest works for this group right now. As all three are in their mid-twenties, it will be interesting to see how they develop as they mature. - Peggy Latkovich

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