Scandinavia is a land of excellent fiddlers. In the past months, a new batch of recordings featuring top folk violinists from the Nordic countries ha appeared in record stores.
Frigg’s latest offering is Oasis. The Finnish band specializes in the folk songs of Finland and Norway, with a bit of bluegrass added for spice. Even though the fiddles play the leading role, Frigg also uses wind instruments, bagpipes and other elements. The song selection ranges from lively dance pieces to delightful melodic compositions.
Swedish band Swåp presents a captivating combination of Celtic music with Swedish folk on Du Da. The Swedish and British musicians that form the band explore these sounds with the help of accordion, fiddles and guitars.
One of the stars of contemporary Nordic folk music is Swedish group Väsen. The
virtuoso instrumentalists perform their new brand of Swedish folk music throughout Europe, North America and Japan. It is in Japan where the brilliant trio recorded its most recent offering, a live album.
Live in Japan portrays three excellent musicians playing smoking live versions of Swedish polskas, bluegrass-influenced tunes and other folk styles using fiddle, nyckelharpa
(Swedish hurdy-gurdy) and fiddle. The double set includes a DVD with a documentary about the group.
From Norway comes Rusk II, featuring the vocals of Unni Lovlid, the accordion of Frode Haltli and the hardanger fiddle of Vegar Vardal.
The song selection includes folk songs from Sweden and Norway, ranging from pols dances and hymns to drinking songs and even a tribute to Johnny Cash. Nevertheless, the ambiance is not merry, but rather evocative and melancholic, with a chamber music ensemble feel.