Blato Zlato – In The Wake (Blato Zlato, 2019)
In The Wake is the second album from New Orleans-based Balkan music band, Blato Zlato. Although the ensemble is based in a city known for its brass bands and jazz, the remarkable sound of Blato Zlato takes you to Eastern Europe and the traditions of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Megrelia (Georgia).
Blato Zlato’s sound is characterized by superb Bulgarian-style polyphonic female vocals delivered by three of the ensemble’s members, along with beautifully-constructed instrumentation. The musical pieces included in the album In The Wake are a mix of traditional eastern European songs and original material.
Although the music has deep Bulgarian influences, the musicians live in New Orleans, a city affected by climate change, surrounded by water. The song “Vodata Teche” (The Water Flows) reflects Blato Zlato’s rising concern about climate change and its effects on their home state of Louisiana.
The physical CD includes fascinating artwork and lyrics in the original languages along with English-language translations.
Lineup: Lou Carrig on accordion and vocals; Ian Cook on violin; Ruby Corbyn-Ross on vocals and riqq; Janie Cowan on upright bass and riqq; Annalisa Kelly on vocals; and Boyanna Trayanova on tapan and caxixi.