On this album, the Zydepunks play big, barnstorming dance songs—massive, stomping, thumping, sweaty things with a piratical accordion played by a woman in a miniskirt and black stockings who is known in the publicity as Eve: no surname. If the musicians were performing this music live, then the floorboards would be shaking under the feet of the dancers, every ant in the room would be shooting out of its crevice or crack and running for safer ground. Beverages would fly.

Finisterre hits a good balance between keeping the music boisterous and genuine-sounding, and leaving it clear enough to be intelligible. In that room with its shaking floorboards, the pure amount of sound pouring down on you, around you, up from the floor, might dissolve everything in a slamming roar, but with Finisterre you can focus your mind on each instrument and hear a precision there that submerges itself in the whole. Listen to the fiddle in “When My Ship Sails Away”. It picks out each note with the exactness of an embroidery needle stabbing through canvas. At the end of “One More Chance”, it corkscrews itself neatly into a squeak.

The group formed in New Orleans in 2003 and has been based there ever since. Finisterre is its fourth album after 2004’s 9th Ward Ramblers, 2005’s ...And the Streets Will Flow with Whiskey, and last year’s Exile Waltz. Hurricane Katrina disrupted the lineup slightly, but the music doesn’t seem to have suffered. The musicians draw on several different folk traditions for their sound: klezmer here, Cajun there, Irish or English somewhere else. There’s zydeco too, obviously. The easiest thing to compare them to would be the Pogues, but Pogues with a strong New Orleans flavour and a singer who sounds raspy but not drunk. They have that same folk-for-the-hell-of-it vibe. Pub folk. They even sing about whiskey.

01. Papirossen in Gan Eden
02. Angel Whiskey
03. Blood Song
04. Por la Orilla del mar
05. Dear Molly
06. When My Ship Sails Away
07. One More Chance
08. Cuando crecerán los flores
09. Song For Mike
10. Long Story Short
11. La vie est courte et cruelle


pass: bluesmen-worldmusic.blogspot.com


Darkman said...


Bluesmen said...


Stereobread said...

Thank you, I discovered this band through your blog and I absolutely love it.

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