Link to Living Tradition Homepage





LENA JONSSON TRIO - Stories From The Outside 

LENA JONSSON TRIO - Stories From The Outside 
Hedgehog Music HM03CD  

Contemporary Swedish fiddle - except this album from one of Stockholm's finest musicians doesn't sound particularly Swedish. Maybe that explains the title. Listening to Stories From The Outside I was thinking Oldtime, Scottish, Baroque, even progressive rock music. Lena handles all these genres with ease - she's played with groups specialising in every one. The Swedish elements are there too in the background, and they are perhaps the unifying thread through all these Jonsson compositions. The trio sound also holds the music together - Lena on fiddle, Kristofer "Krydda" Sundström on bass, and Erik Ronström on guitar and mandola as well as sharing composing credits on a couple of pieces.

The musicianship by all three is exquisite of course - check out Erik's fingerpicking on Vidderna/Jakten, and Krydda's complex lines on the opening track, plus his walking bass on the more oldtimey numbers. There are handy English translations of the titles in the sleeve notes - and the usual Jonsson alt-glamour photos. Highlights for me included the gorgeous air Sjön, the slow-drag porch melody Big Lake, and the pulsing Nordic breakdown Larven. There's a handful of high-calibre guests, but Stories From The Outside is basically a trio recording. I can't access the site for Hedgehog music - I hope it hasn't gone the way of Hedgehog Crisps - but Lena's site has all the details. The final air, Bakom Berget, ends this collection sweetly, and all too soon (at 38 minutes). CDs are definitely getting shorter!

Alex Monaghan


This review appeared in Issue 135 of The Living Tradition magazine