Annbjorg Lien,
Waltz With Me
(Heilo, 2008)

This album by Annbjorg Lien will probably not jump off the shelves at you.

Most people who are not well up on the top fiddle players and musicians of the circuit will look at the cover and the lyrics in Norwegian and may decide to pass on. Theirs will be the loss because this is a strong and intense album born of collaboration from some of the strongest talents of the contemporary folk scene.

The tracks will be unfamiliar and sometimes the openings may sound a bit experimental, but they will reward any listener giving them a friendly ear.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a collection of master players playing even less than familiar tunes, think of how more well-known groups like The Chieftains make the familiar sound even more resonant. That is what happens on many of the tracks on offer here.

You may not know the tune but the expertise, the depth and the pure bravado of the performances will enthrall and seduce you.

If you want a quick flavour of the album give a listen to the title track. It's hard to go wrong with a waltz. 'The Old Car" is another interesting track that gives a good idea of the rest of the album.

Waltz With Me is a bit experimental, but then how else can we experience new music?

music review by
Nicky Rossiter

19 March 2011

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