Friday, April 7, 2017

Free Friday (“FL&R”) – April 7

     Free and Legal Downloads? Yes, at least temporarily. Bands often temporarily permit free downloads of their releases.  The end of an offer may be based on the expiration of a set period of time or on a limited number of downloads.  But at least for now, here is a song that qualifies as a Free, Legal and Recommended (FL&R) download.
     Finding songs that can be legally downloaded is easy. The difficult task is to find legally downloadable music that we recommend. Our plan is to post at least one FL&R song each Friday.
     “Apparition” is the first taste of an upcoming album from Calan. On May 12, the 12-track album “Solomon” will arrive via Sain Records. Among the reasons Calan is different from any other band featured on Indie Obsessive:
  1. The band’s photo shows a harp, pipes, an accordion and a fiddle,
  2. Members were held in a detainment cell at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and
  3. The band will use clogs to provide percussion.

      The members of Calan are Angharad Sian (fiddle), Bethan Williams-Jones (accordion, vocals, clog dancing), Patrick Rimes (fiddle, whistle, pipes), Sam Humphreys (guitar), and Alice French (harp). 

     We cannot rival the story telling skills from the press material. So, the material is pasted below the Soundcloud stream and the video for “Apparition.”

     The interesting story of Calan:
  The untraditionally traditional Cymru, Wales-based group Calan is the only Gwerin (translation: Folk) band to be held in a detainment cell at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport alongside a death metal band from Estonia. Calan is also the only band of any genre to follow-up that experience by performing alongside Sting at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 50th birthday celebration of famed opera singer, Sir Bryn Terfel Jones.

  These facts, even without listening to a note (or a foot stomp) from Calan, make them rock stars, albeit rock stars on a mission to prove that traditional music, based on folklore and taught and performed through the generations, actually does rock. With 2017 performances in Australia and China following several months touring the US and UK supporting the new album Solomon (Sain Records, May 12th), Calan is on its way to accomplishing that.

  Despite the ancient roots of Calan’s music, this brash, young group is comprised of a new generation of ambassadors, striving to take their sound to new audiences, raising some eyebrows with their deliberate presentation, while also raising the international profile of traditional Welsh music. Get used to this: Accordion, Fiddle, Pipes, Harp, and the percussive sound of Clogs are the new Guitar, Bass, and Drums.

  To date, Calan has gone from busking in the streets of Cardiff to introducing Welsh traditional music to curious music fans in the UK, Belgium, Italy, France, and on several tours of North America, playing festival shows on huge stages to tens-of-thousands, as well as at local folk club shows, unrestricted by sound systems, while standing on tables and jumping off chairs.

  The musicians making these old sounds new, blasting their way through the old reels, jigs and hornpipes, include Calan vocalist, accordionist, and wearer of the clogs, Bethan Williams-Jones, who sings in both English and Welsh, and learned her style of award-winning clog dancing from her father, who was also a champion.

  Soloman’s first single is “Apparition,” a Calan original based on entries in the bizarre diaries of Rev. Edmund Jones, a minister and soothsayer living in Wales during the 18th century. The writings affirm Jones’s belief in fairies, and discuss the legend that claimed that when the coal and iron industries came to Wales, the fairies disappeared, as fairies don’t react well to metals. No word on how fairies react to Estonian death metal.

  Solomon, the latest album by Calan, arrives via Sain Records on May 12th, 2017. The band launches a UK tour later this month, with dates in Australia, North America, and China to be announced. 

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