Nord - Warsaw Village Band
Jaro Medien GmbH
Geordie troubadour, Jez Lowe sings;
“From Valhalla by the power of Odin
Big fellas, long yellow hair and grins
They all look like the singer out of Led Zeppelin
And we all could use a trim - so say the Vikings
When you’re laughing, drinking, cursing and fighting
Picking on the little people
Isn’t that the way of the world of today?
That’s what the Vikings say.”
Oh sure, we can joke about the Vikings now, but in the Middle Ages, their berserking was no laughing matter, especially for Poland, which was summarily invaded by the warriors who brought, along with domination, that dark Scandinavian mysticism. They also stole from Poland’s culture and, during the Polish-Swedish wars of the 17th century, they acquired the Polish dance Kujawiak, to become better known in Sweden as the Polska. Warsaw Village Band’s 6th album, ‘Nord’ set its sights north to Sweden and further still to the Saami, the Inuit people of Scandinavia’s northernmost regions. To assist in fleshing out this particular cross-pollination in the band’s continuing exploration of its rich folkloric history, they’ve teamed up with none other than Sweden’s cult global music pioneers, Hednigarna on the first two tracks, making a potent and visceral impact from the get go. Warsaw Village Band’s signature ‘white voice’ close harmonies and Hednigarna’s own deep rooted Scandinavian folk contributions (which also include ‘Joik’ a kind of Saami chanting similar to First Nations) are matched and woven seamlessly by these adept performers. Speaking of First Nations (or speaking in First Nations more to the point) is another guest on Nord; Vancouver’s marvelous Sandy Scofield, a Métis from the Saulteaux and Cree Nations. The multi-award winning singer/songwriter hails from four generations of fiddlers, singers and musicians. Her chants bring a kind of Canadian inclusiveness to this expression of Nothern culture, culminating in one of Nord’s most gripping moments called ‘War’s coming’. There is an irony in warfare producing the kind of cross-cultural exchange that encourages peaceful, music innovation; harsh, violent buried remnants of a past, Warsaw Village Band are uniquely qualified to unearth.