Hot Griselda (Appel Rekords, 2009)
Although most people associate Celtic music with Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany (France), Galicia (Spain) and Asturias (Spain), Celtic music is popular throughout Europe and it is is not uncommon to find bands in many other nations. Hot Griselda features musicians from the Netherlands and Belgium. From their sound and instrumentation it is clear that they are passionate about Irish traditional music.
The Irish uilleann pipes play a crucial role in the band’s music. Hot Griselda includes not one but two uilleann pipers, Stijn Van Beek and Toon Van Mierlo. The debut album, Hot Griselda, features all original material by the band members. Influences range from lively Irish traditional music to evocative Flemish and Breton folk.
The band was started in the fall of 2007 when Dutch folk musician Stijn van Beek went to folk dance in Nijmegen (Netherlands). Before he entered the dance floor, the familiar haunting sounds of the Irish pipes surrounded him, played by Belgian multi-instrumentalist Toon van Mierlo. The two pipers met after the concert and "a steaming session took off."
Later that year, at another folk dance event in Enschede (Netherlands), Toon met another Belgian musician, guitarist and keyboardist Jeroen Geerinck. Jeroen and Toon planned to play a concert together at the next Boombalfestival. But they needed a full band. Stijn offered to perform with his new Belgian and he brought along his colleague Kaspar Laval on bouzouki. The two roving Dutchmen travelled south to East Flanders meet their Belgian friends. "Among the sheep, Flemish coffee flies and Geuze Boon beer a brand new repertoire was forged." Hot Griselda was born.
Hot Griselda is a notable album by a promising Celtic band from the Low Countries.