Review Archive

‘Farm Sessions’ from Old Horned Sheep - exploration and experimentation

(March 13, 2014)

One of the best aspects of this task is coming across ‘new’ and ‘different’. The former is easier, the latter can be difficult. The latest ‘different’ to come our way is ‘Farm Sessions’ from traditional music FARM sessions old horned sheepband, Old Horned Sheep. Hailing from St Petersburg, Russia, they perform Russian folk tunes mixed with the traditions of the British Isles (mostly Ireland and Scotland), the musical heritage of Europe (France, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden and the Baltic countries) and pretty much anywhere else that takes their fancy. Working firmly within tradition, the band is unafraid to explore and experimenting with various styles and genres.

There’s a brilliance and immediacy about this album, inventiveness holds hands with creativity, coupled with a ‘borderless’ freedom to do whatever they want with their music. You can hear this through the boundless enthusiasm that flows through everything they play and the absence of needless rules and restrictions. Their eclectic mix of instruments weaves an intriguing web that catches originality, turning different into unexpected and making the result a pleasure to hear. To experience their brand of folk you only have to listen to examples like ‘Finnish Polkas’, ‘Over The Waterfall/ Duck of the Pond’, ‘The Star of the County Down’ ‘Cajun Fiddle’ and‘Two Breton Dances’

Old Horned Sheep are Alexanders Dmitrievs (guitar, banjo) Elena Belkina (flute, saxophone) Anastasia Karaseva (Irish harp, tin whistle) Konstantin Filatov (double bass) Natalia Kolbasova (piano accordion) Alexander Gorbunov (electric violin) Mikhail Rombievsky (drums, percussion) and on selected tracks Alexi Ivanov (double bass) Alexander Pshedromirsky (bayan) Sergey Kouvin (bouzouki) Pyotr Troschenkov (drums).

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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