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> De la Basse Bretagne, Listener Album Review
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Jermy 
Posted: 18-Apr-2012, 04:59 AM
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Poitín say: 'We bid farewell to Neige in 2001 when she returned to Bordeaux, but before she left we went into the studio one spring weekend and recorded the basics of her Breton and French songs. Neige was ill at the time with a bad back which had an affect on her vocals and gave them a powerful edginess. We left the material in its rough state and returned to it about a year and a half later. We tried to give the CD a different sound from the first one, mainly to give it a more unified mood. We originally wanted to have lots of guest artistes, but in the end we made do with only one, the excellent bassist Dan Eberle. In one afternoon he managed to lay down the bass tracks which give the album a depth which some of us thought was missing from the first CD. Evička recorded her flute parts in an expectant condition and perhaps this influenced her beautiful solo on La Blanche Biche. Next we recorded the two instrumentals, Gavotte des Montagnes and An Dro which we played at concerts long before De la Basse-Bretagne was dreamed up. We re-arranged it for two guitars and tin whistle. The sound, mood and arrangement is slightly different from the other pieces and perhaps because of this we chose it as the title piece. Tyna finished her flute parts with the solo at the end of the recording and also sang with Kuba the Czech folk song, Lída, Lidunka. We added it at the end as a bonus track because we like it, we sometimes play it at concerts…and just simply because it seemed like a good way to finish the CD. Jack-of-all-trades, Antonin Vyshata, added clarinet and suddenly it was completely different from the live version. Apart from the harp and clarinet, Antonin also had a go at the bombard ( a traditional Breton reeded wind instrument) and the ancient Philicordia keyboard which added the darker atmosphere to the bleak Marv Pontkalleg and Kan Bale an A.R.B.
Despite having a few faster songs, the general feel of the album is slower, calmer tempoed, there are no classic ‘sets’ and it doesn’t even sound particularly traditional. It has a slightly more modern sound whilst staying firmly in the realm of the acoustic. The CD booklet was painted by the bodhran player, Tonda Mužík. It turned out really well. His dark blues perfectly suit the mood of the album and, if you look very carefully, you can see a tiny little figure on the landing stage of the departing Neige…(at least that’s what Tonda says, and he should know…)

Neige Pruvost - vocals
Jaroslav Macháček - fiddle,guitar, djembe, viola
Jiří Vyšata - harp, bombard, clarinet, philicorda
Jakub Siegl - guitar,vocals
Jan Brabec - bouzouki, tin whistle, djembe, vocals
Kristýna Franková - flute, vocals
Antonín Mužík - bodhrán
Eva Šustrová - flute and recorder
Dan Eberle – double bass
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Jermy 
Posted: 22-May-2012, 02:10 AM
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The Celtic Music Fan writes:
De La Basse Bretagne is an album by Poitin, a Celtic band based in the Czech Republic. Since the release of their first album in 2000, the band have gained a steady cult following around Europe and the UK. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, people don’t have to wait for music to get into their music store. They can just search the web and discover the kind of music they want.

De La Basse Bretagne is a fine example of a musicianship that has grown ripe with challenges, time and passion. The opening track J’ai Une Bonne Amie a Quimperle defines the kind of consistency you can find in the album. The strong and at times silky delivery of the female vocals and also the tight execution of instruments make you hope that there is a follow-up to this Breton flavored album.

They have other releases dealing with other styles around the seven Celtic nations. But what makes this one great for me personally is the dedication to the kind of music that are associated around the geographical the area. And not only do they give justice to tracks like De La Basse and Marv Pontkalleg with mouth-watering instrumental execution but also because of the sensitivity that Jeremy King and the rest of the band put to this recording. I have to say when you reach track 11 of this album called Son Ar Sistr, you would be rolling your eyes and tapping your feet to the exquisite beat of the bodhran!

I learned that Poitin make their recordings in a live way and have to do it all over again when there is even a slight mistake. Now that is hard to see in current bands with all the comforts of studio layering and sound engineering. And this makes them the best live band ever.

Review originally published in The Celtic Music Fan May 20 2012 http://celticmusicfan.wordpress.com/2012/0...retagne-poitin/
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