…Drifting away in Driftwood

Every year at the end of November the young kids in Holland get all excited. Saint Nicolas, (Or Sinterklaas as we Dutch call him), comes all the way from Spain to celebrate his birthday with us here in the Netherlands. He arrives two weeks before his birthday on a steamboat, loaded with presents for the young kids. The evening before his birthday, the 5th of December, he and his helpers travel the rooftops of the Dutch houses and throw presents down the chimneys of those who have been good that year. As Sinterklaas is an old man by now, he travels the rooftops on his trusty companion, the white stallion Amerigo.
The Dutch kids, knowing that Sinterklaas may come, will put their shoe next to the stove, hoping that they will find a present in it the next morning. Some of them will put small notes in those shoes for Sinterklaas. It could be a list with presents; a nice drawing for Sinterklaas to put on the wall, or a carrot for his horse Amerigo, or a bit of hay. You just never know if this could persuade Sinterklaas to give a bigger present.

That is where The Carrots come in. They mailed us their EP Driftwood as a surprise on December the 5th, even adding some marzipan Carrots with it, just as the Dutch children would do on the nights before December the 5th. Well I can tell you, we loved this surprise and I’m very happy that I can introduce this fun trio to you all. Something tells me this won’t be the last time we hear something from this fun trio. The Carrots just ooze out talent. But for now, we will focus on their 2020 EP Driftwood. Here is the link so you can read more about them.

Xuntas, introducing the music of Sangre de Muerdago

Comprado en uno de los conciertos más mágicos a los que he asistido.‘ (Bought at one of the most magical concerts I have ever attended.)
Those were the first words I heard about Sangre de Muerdago. These words came from Dani Iturriaga, singer and multi-instrumentalist of Vael, but also the founder of Hierbo Loba, a site in Spanish informing the public about folk music, just as we do with CeltCast.
Dani is just as much a music fan as he is a musician and that becomes clear when you visit his website. It also became clear when we were talking about Sangre de Muerdago. It turned out Dani has been a fan of this Galician band for quite some time. This is what he had to say about Sangre de Muerdago:
-‘I have to admit that it makes me a bit dizzy that you mention Vael so much as a reference in the Xuntas review, because I don’t think we deserve it. For us, Sangre de Muerdago is one of our main references, and we have only just started. The truth is that if there is a group that I would like to be like, it would be them. You know, all bands start out playing covers of their favorite artists. We started by covering Faun and Sangre de Muerdago.’

I can’t think of a better way to introduce Sangre de Muerdago to you all. Xuntas, and all the other (split) albums Sangre made over the years can be found on Bandcamp. So I hope this review will make you discover a wonderful new band, or that it will reacquaint you with an old friend.

– Cliff

-picture by Josanne van der Heijden

PS. Don’t forget, next week it is the first Friday of the month again, the day that Bandcamp waves away their share of the revenue to support the musicians in these odd Corona times.

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