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EVA DEIVERT - Låtar Från Bakgårn 

EVA DEIVERT - Låtar Från Bakgårn 
Gammalthea SEWJN32

Tunes from the back garden - this collection was composed by fiddler Eva Deivert in a mixture of her local Värmland style and her adopted Irish tradition. The combination of rhythmic Swedish fiddling for dancing with the strong melodic characteristics of Irish music produces powerful tunes. The 14 compositions here, one per track, vary from the very Scandinavian opening, Vättepolskan, to the funky reel, Gamle Skam, which could easily grace a Lúnasa album or a contemporary Scottish session. There are waltzes, airs, a stately tune about the back end of a bus, and one of my personal favourites, the distinctly celtic-influenced Orådspolskan. Each tune has a little story to go with it, in Swedish and English, not necessarily the same story in both languages. There's also some background in Swedish, about how this was a crazy idea, how much help Eva had from the best musicians in the world, and how pleased she is with the result. And rightly so.

Eva's fiddling is not the smooth studied sweet Swedish sound we are used to. There's more rawness, more of a rustic naturalism than the polished performances normally exported from Sweden. With few key shifts and little ornamentation, Låtar Från Bakgårn reminds me of the old Donegal fiddlers and their ability to get a strong driving sound out of a fiddle without any fancy fingering. The fiddle's natural harmonies are helped by some fine guest musicians and powerful arrangements: Eva is joined by fellow fiddlers Ulf Jonsson and Nina Pérez who also plays viola, with Stefan Ekedahl on cello and Per-Arne Pettersson on bass. Irish emigré Christy O'Leary contributes exquisite low whistles and harmonica, while additional rhythm comes from Eva's husband Bert on guitar, Mattias Pérez also on guitar, and percussionist Fredrik Lindholm. Listen to the ominous Bear Hunter, or the delicate polyphonic Vals i 80, and you'll hear why Eva's music is something special. The album artwork is lovely too. 

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 116 of The Living Tradition magazine.