Author Archives: Alex van der Jagt

Welcome Lena!!

Remember when we asked you if you would like to contribute to CeltCast? Well, we have received an offer from our lovely community that we couldn’t resist!

20150602-001 - Intro Lena (750p) As of today Lena Seegel, whom some of you may already know from Miroque / Miroquesen auf Tour, is part of the CeltCast team as a reporter!

We are very happy about this and would like to extend a very warm welcome to Lena! If you don’t know her yet we invite you to check out her bio here.

Cesair – Dies, Nox et Omnia – Sine Fine

cd-DNOSF (750p) Last weekend Cesair gave their début performance in Germany at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig.

After their impressive gig on the “heidnischess Dorf” stage, Monique and Thomas met up with Lena (of Miroquesen auf Tour) to take some time to answer a couple of questions for CeltCast.

Music is always something living and vivid. In what way do you feel this counts for “Dies, Nox et Omnia” compared to “Dies, Nox et Omnia – Sine Fine” and what are the reasons you remastered the CD?
– One thing we strive for is for our music and sound to keep growing and evolving. The influences and experiences we’ve had throughout the years contribute to this and affect the way we, and our listeners, listen to what we create with Cesair. We are very proud of our début album, and when the opportunity to produce a new version presented itself, we wanted to make a real special edition, so that we could intrigue new listeners, and at the same time treat the people who have already known our music for two years to something new and exciting! This is why we remastered the CD – to get the most out of what we made two years ago – and why we had some of our friends create remixes of our songs – as a bonus to our most loyal fans.

A lot of people compare your music with the “good old” Faun stuff – how do you feel about that?
– Honoured. They were and are a huge inspiration. Being yourself a fan for years and to now get compared to your idols is something we feel proud of.

WGT “heidnisches Dorf”: How do you like it? Is it different from other festivals?
– At first sight of Leipzig you see a crowded city full of traffic noises and everything you’d expect of a huge city as typical city life. But approaching WGT “heidnisches Dorf” is like diving into a forest-oasis with it’s own magic. And for some of the band members it is even stranger, in a nice way, since they attended the festival as usual festival guests and now they are here as artists on stage.

Being part of the Pagan Folk scene, what makes it special for you?
– For us it is contributing to a modern form of romanticism, some sort of escape out of the difficult world we live in today. The world today expects perfection from everyone, but the Pagan Folk scene and the Pagan lifestyle is much more open minded, tolerant and lets you just be who you are and what you are. It is some sort of free asylum a different world we love to be a part of.

Songs turn special to people when they know the story behind it. Is there any story you like to share with us?
– Some songs are very close to ourselves. With “Dies, Nox et Omnia – Sine Fine” we tried to tell the story of the goddess Cesair. The title-track “Dies, Nox et Omnia” is one of those songs of which the lyrics got very close to us. The song tells the story of her last thoughts while falling off a cliff into the ocean, and for us this story makes her and our story complete. So we are now at a point were the circle has been closed that was started by creating music and that now gives us the opportunity to go beyond this with our next CD.

– Lena

Yes, indeed: Cesair are already in the process of working on a second CD, but they want the album and the music on it to grow in an organic way without pressure, so they can make it as good as possible. Well, with that promise in mind, we will just have to wait impatiently until the moment has arrived…

In the mean time we can practice on the right pronunciation of “Cesair”, thanks to the phonetics provided by Thomas: [kjæsər] 😉

Greenrose Faire – Feed The Flames (2015)

GF (750p)

Greenrose Faire – Feed The Flames

Several months ago we were pleasantly surprised as out of the blue two CD’s popped into the mailbox. They were by a Finnish band that we had never heard of, Greenrose Faire. A band originally formed by Tomi Hyttinen and Niilo Sirola with a background in hard rock music, they started this group with only one rule: “No electric guitars”. And for this I say: Thank you! Because even though I do appreciate the odd electric guitar riff, Greenrose Faire has created their own unique style of music, and it definitely makes me happy!
I first fell in love with their music when listening to their previous album Home Is Where The Heart Is. The clarity of the vocals, the catchy tunes, the lyrics that conjure up deep seated feelings, it combines all of that in a very well blended musical experience. But enough about their last album, we were fortunate enough to get the new one before the album release and do a review on that! For this review we took a slightly different approach. We reviewed one track at a time, and asked Greenrose Faire to supply us with some background on the tracks from their perspective.

Track 1: Too Hot To Stop

Powerful and energetic from the start. This song has some very tight drum sections. There is a definite party atmosphere in the chorus. I would consider this to be a great track to end a concert with. You know, before the encore, because they are too hot to stop!

Greenrose Faire:
It’s the first track of the album and it starts the fire that will not go out. This will also be the opening song at our coming live shows, and it is to remind everyone to get on their feet, put their hands in the air, and give in to the music and stomp and dance and leave all the mundane worries aside for a while.

Track 2: Freedom

An epic song, telling a story. The violin is very moving in the track, later it becomes highly energized, and a game starts between the violin and the keys. There is some serious bass in this track, I really enjoyed that! The song keeps you captivated from start to finish, over six minutes. I’m loving the vocals, same as I did their previous album.

Greenrose Faire:
I love song of epic proportions in the vein of Braveheart. How Deep Love Can Be? It also has a 3-minute violin/organ speed solo in the middle, because, why not?

Track 3: The Tavern

The song starts off feeling very medieval, and I’m definitely feeling the tavern here! It slowly but steadily builds up momentum and mass, and then the party starts! It makes me want to grab a tankard of ale, and maybe a barmaid for a dance. “Here we go, here we celebrate the day!”

Greenrose Faire:
This is hats off to all the world’s taverns. When you feel that you have to go raise one or two pints to the parched lips, it is comforting to know there’s your own tavern where the staff is waiting just for you!

Track 4: Here Waiting

It starts off quite laid back, and with a title like “here waiting” it definitely creates a feeling of anticipation. Sounding rather intimate, I feel a close connection with the person waiting. Varying in intensity, the song keeps the listener interested in the rest of the story throughout. I hope she found the love she was waiting for.

Greenrose Faire:
This was one of the very first songs Tomi wrote for Greenrose Faire, and now we felt it was finally time to put it on tape in the grandeur it deserves. It’s of a love story through dark times, and of waiting and longing and not knowing if you’ll ever see your love again.

Track 5: Tell You A Story

The track starts off very interesting! It has a very intriguing rhythm, somewhat of a tribal feel. The bass in the drums reverberate thought-out the body, I really want to hear this track through some massive stage speakers. Even though I really noticed the drums, the rest of the instruments, as well as the vocals, are very well-balanced. A quote from the track is “share the feeling with me”. Well, to me this track feels like sitting around a fire in a cave in the mountains, with good friends, drinking, laughing and sharing stories. Listened to it a couple of times in a row.

Greenrose Faire:
This song is about a mystical place where people once gathered to tell and listen to stories. It is not an easy place to find but it’s worth the trouble. This was also written during the very first demo sessions but has went through various arrangements and styles, before settling into this minimalistic jig-style arrangement featuring bodhran player Tuuli Rantala.

GF - FTF (750p)

Track 6: Long Time Ago

Nostalgia reigns supreme with this song. Maybe not the most powerful or energetic track on the album, but a good sound to take you back to older days. This track is very smooth, maybe even slippery, but Greenrose Faire keeps it on track and takes it home.

Greenrose Faire:
Long time ago an a place far away… A melancholy song of times long gone. This might be closest to Finnish schlager we’ve ever gone, and features prominently Pete’s Indian travelling harmonium to keep things interesting.

Track 7: Running Away From My Dreams

This sounds like it will be amazing live with an enthusiastic crowd. It’s hard to sit still with such energy blasting from the speakers. Also, it’s these types of tracks that make me happy I don’t have any neighbours. A very danceable track, running away from dreams has never sounded like such a party.

Greenrose Faire:
This differs from all the other songs in that we did not have a change to play it together at all before hitting the studio, so it came together piece by piece in the recording phase. Therefore it’s a bit of a surprise that it turned out to be maybe the most fun of all to play live. This song definitely called for Hurdy-Gurdy, so we got Lajos Oláh to play some. The story is about a virtuous and down to earth girl who for some reason has dreams of being famous and beautiful and shallow, and abhors the idea when waking up.

Track 8: Together We’re Strong

More dancing, only this time it’s more like organised Balfolk dancing. Not only is that the feel that the sound gives, but the lyrics, “take my hand, I will guide you through the night, and see, together we’re strong” certainly sound like an invitation to dance to me. The violin play in this track sounds more classical then folk to my ears, but the overall atmosphere of the song does scream “Greenrose Faire”, and it’s a testament to the versatility of the band if you ask me.

Greenrose Faire:
The text was originally that of a grimy battle song, but for some reason that did not go well with the upbeat melody so it was reworked as an ode to camaraderie. Whatever comes, together we’ll survive anything. This was as true in the old times as it is today.

Track 9: Feed The Flames

The title track of the album, this song is very typical of the group, as it definitely combines the somewhat older Folky feel with many modern influences. A song with lots of body, there is never a dull moment throughout the track.

Greenrose Faire:
This is one of the few songs we had already played live before starting recording it, so we already knew it well, and it then rightly became the title song of the album as well. It sums up perfectly the themes of the album: roaring fire, loyal company and good stories. No matter how dark and cold it is, no one is left alone.

Track 10: Laulan, Luritan

The final track of the album, unfortunately. But the band did save a surprise for us. For this last song they mixed it up with not only a different lead singer, but also a different language. Salla steps aside to give way to Tomi, who sings this song in Finnish rather than English. A whole other direction for the band as far as we know, one more example that Greenrose Faire will not be pinned down if they don’t want to.

Greenrose Faire:
Tomi has often been asked to sing a song, but it was not until coming up with this song and text before he agreed to. The text is in Finnish and uses a bit archaic language in places, so good luck finding out what it is the hairy guy is singing about…

After having listened to the entire album several times I can definitely say that Feed The Flames delivers a sound that we have grown to expect from Greenrose Faire, without sounding “more of the same”. The rock influences and love for acoustic folk combine to a unique style that reverberates not only through this album, but it also combines it with their previous work. The songs are long but stay interesting, the band members are skilled and versatile, and together they make up a winning formula, whatever type of song they play. It’s a style that we hope to be able to enjoy for many years to come! Choosing a favourite track from this album wasn’t very easy. Two songs competed closely, but in the end The Tavern had to give way to Tell You A Story. The interesting rhythms, the feeling it invokes of sharing a great evening with great friends, it all adds up to a marvellous song that for me captures the essence of what I feel about this band and this album.

It’s worth noting that Greenrose Faire are working their way down to the rest of Europe, with at least one Dutch show planned so far at Elfia Arcen in September. If you’re able to attend one of their shows I would highly recommend it. I know we will!

– Arjan

Greenrose Faire are:
  • Salla Rimmi – lead vocals
  • Hanna Heinonen – violin
  • Niilo Sirola – bouzouki
  • Petri Hannuksela – keyboards
  • Jari Tiittanen – bass
  • Tomi Hyttinen – drums & backing vocals

  • Greenrose Faire Give-Away!!

    Greenrose Faire

    We have for you: not 1, but 2! signed copies of the new album by Greenrose Faire, which is yet to be released, but already in our possession! 🙂
    And to make it a proper goodie-set, they have decided to throw in a T-shirt and poster as well!

    All you have to do for your chance to win these items is share this Facebook post and comment on it, so we know you did. (When your shared post isn’t set to “public”, we won’t be able to see it.)

    Finnish folk-rock band Greenrose Faire are about to release their third album, Feed the Flames, which not unlike their previous albums, combines folk sounds and acoustic instruments with a background in rock music, creating a very typical but very pleasing personal style. But don’t just take my word for it! Win the album and you’ll be enjoying it yourself real soon!

    What was that? You have no idea what the tracks on the album are? Well hold on…
    During this competition we will release a review of a track from the album every weekday, together with a snippet of background information about that track, written by Greenrose Faire!

    So what are you waiting for? Share this post and comment on it and you might just win this great new album! 🙂

    Random Reel Report

    Random Reel This week we once again added new music to the stream. Some albums had to come from lands far beyond our horizon, travelling from hand to hand through what we refer to as our Community.

    Here’s the story of how the wonderful music of Random Reel reached our shores:

    From Russia with Reels – Frauke


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