Habbadám - Still Young

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Still Young
Go! Danish Folk Music

The 30-something musicians of Habbadám insist they are still young, and while their enthusiasm still speaks of youthfulness, their depth and skill show a trio of musicians who are maturing quite nicely. Ditte Fromseier Mortensen (fiddle, vocals/Denmark), Hanna Wiskari (saxophones, vocals/Sweden) and Sigurd Hockings (guitar, harmonica/Denmark) have all graced these pages in the past, in various solo or ensemble projects, and together they have forged a sleek, elegant sound that reaches back to tradition but holds its own in the contemporary world of newly conceived folk.

Most of the tunes are traditional and come from the Danish island of Bornholm, where Fromseier Mortensen grew up. These range from jaunty dance pieces to a beautiful "Molvals" where Wiskari's saxophone sets a pensive scene for a mid-tempo waltz that is both sad and hopeful. In the lively "Jeg tæntke at gift mig" the trio offers advice for those contemplating the married life, delivered in a witty, conversational vocal trio, punctuated by Jew's harp, fiddle and a driving acoustic guitar.

Each of the three contributes original tunes and lyrics. Hockings' finger-picked "Til Maren-Jette" is a wistful memorial to a friend now gone. Fromseier Mortensen wrote a new melody to a traditional ditty about love in the air, singing birds and "a roll in the hay," given a bit more whimsy by way of Hockings harmonica part. "Sigurds schottis" is Wiskari's original contribution, what she describes as a "super swingy" tune dedicated to her swinging band mate. It is perhaps the exemplar piece on the recording, its youthful energy and clever turns of phase defining what the trio is going for throughout the 13 fine pieces on this recording. - Cliff Furnald

CD available from cdRoots

Morten Alfred Høirup conducted an interview with fiddler Ditte Fromseier Mortensen, with a few songs from the CD included. You can listen here

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cd cover

"Sigurds schottis"


CD available from cdRoots

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