December 31st, 2010

Of the three Welsh bands presented at WOMEX 2010, I was drawn most to Calan. While not all of their repertoire excited me, their love of Welsh tradition and obvious enjoyment with each other on stage won me over.

They are also very young, and as I edited this video I could not help but be pleased that members of “this generation” that we so frequently think has been lost to the enticements of the internet and thousands of mind-sucking video games, are so involved in the intimacy of making acoustic music together. Their arrangements are excellent, with thoughtful chord alterations, and they attacked dance tunes with righteous fire. There is something immensely pure about it all.

Of course, as each player gets older, they will be confronted by more and more of life’s pathways and possibilities, but right now they are a tight ensemble with tremendous potential. Without a doubt some day they will look back at this time as special. I wish them very, very well.

Yes, I’m waxing maudlin. It must be the New Year….I’ll stop.

5 Responses to “From WOMEX: The Kids Are Alright…in Wales”

  1. Cymro Balch says:

    Calan make me proud to be Welsh !

  2. Linda Hall says:

    Awesome! Saw them as the support act to Brass Monkey at tredegar House Festival in 2009 and they were so good they could have carried the entire evening on their own! Looking forward to seeing them at Whitby this year.

  3. Michal says:

    I share your enthusiasm.. a most impressive performance, one that easily outstripped the flashier presentations. I would have loved to have shown Bethan’s step dancing, but she was positioned behind one of the monitors.

    I’m rooting for Cardiff getting the WOMEX nod next year.

  4. Beth Landmesser says:

    They make me proud to be Welsh as well. A very talented group of musicians! I hope I get to see them in person in the US sometime soon.

  5. Antwn says:

    A great video of a wonderful group of talented, young, lovely Welsh people! They are a great bunch and very humble about their talents. A shot in the arm for folk/trad music everywhere. Many thanks for making the video available. Diolch yn fawr.


Post a Comment


Here’s where you’ll find my weekly original world music video blogs that appear on Huffington Post, as well as an archive starting in April of 2009.

This is also the place where you will find video that is exclusive to my site. I’ve traveled to places like Uzbekistan, Morocco, and Taiwan and no matter where I go I have found amazingly talented and creative people working in every genre from the deepest traditions to the cutting edge.

It’s been incredibly rewarding to interview them and to capture some of what they do on video. Enjoy what you see and hear, and let me know what you think. I welcome your feedback.