UKRANIAN & LEMKO STRINGS BANDS IN AMERICA (4CD)
Chris King has compiled and edited a marvellous collection of the authentic mountain music of the Ukraine and of the Lemkos-Rusyns who farmed along the Carpathian mountain range that straddled Poland and Slovakia.
This Ukrainian music, recorded in New York between 1925 and 1933, comes from fiddle maestro Paul Humeniuk and various string bands using a mix of clarinets, fiddles, cymbalo, string basses, guitars, mandolins, drums and tubas. Lemko musicians such as Samuil Pilips and The Bratio Holutiaky-Kuziany Orchestra play songs from the mountain villages that are similar in style to the Ukrainian tunes.
It's marvellous stuff, full of semi-risqué lyrics, wild dance tunes, stately clarinet pieces, raucous vocals, weddings songs, folk tunes, sad songs of home, semi-risque items and even two part comedy skits like the old-timey bands did!
If you've explored and enjoyed JSP other pre-war ethnic recordings you'll find plenty to please in this unconventional but beautiful style of music.
Review Date: October 2011