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The Spider in the Fiddle
Tutl (www.tutl.com)

I am very excited about this second record from Himmerland. They start with Danish folk music and in their words turn it into “new music across styles, cultures and frontiers.” Those words won't come as a surprise to anyone who has seen photos of the band, a quintet with member of different ages, genders, and races, which is refreshing in every way. Three members come from Denmark, one comes from Ghana, and another was born in Poland. They bring to Himmerland their various musical ideas, styles, and instruments.

"The Spider in the Fiddle"

I've written a few times about guitarist Morten Alfred Høirup. If there are better rhythm guitar players out there, I haven't heard them. I've raved about his work with the American Café Orchestra and with Jensen & Bugge. If memory serves, this is the first time I've heard him play electric guitar, which is also very well done. Høirup also contributes songwriting and arranging, vocals, and a touch of washboard to the mix.

"Sweet Nights Polska"

I've also written about violinist Ditte Fromseier and her work with Fiolministeriet. She turns in great fiddling on both violin and viola and adds strong lead vocals. Fromseier also wrote the title track which is my favorite song on this collection, a song that sounds like it comes from traditional Danish roots, but definitely comes off as made for this ensemble.

"Når Solen sænker sine Stråler"

Newer to me are Andrzej Krejniuk, the nimble electric bassist, and percussionist Ayi Solomon. Krejniuk wrote the multi-layered “Kaszubstep” which mixes Roma rhythms, classical Romanticism, and a bit of free-form jazz. Solomon's playing is enjoyable throughout this record, always adding color, never intruding.


Not long ago I wrote in these pages about my love for saxophones in traditional Scandinavian musical styles. Eskil Romme works beautifully in these arrangements, often playing along with the violin, sometimes taking the lead by himself. I love the way the saxophone blends with the strings. If I didn't know otherwise, after listening to this recording some wag could convince me that Adolphe Sax came from Jutland rather than Belgium. The saxophone fits these Danish melodies just right.

"Lykkelige Rejsedage"

There is a lot to love on The Spider in the Fiddle. It gets my highest recommendation. - by Greg Harness

Other RootsWorld reviews you might want to read:
American Café Orchestra
Jensen & Bugge


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cd cover

Listen: Live in Tønder


The Spider in the Fiddle is our
Music of the Month selection for December, 2014.


The CD is also available via cdRoots


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