des avonds in klein maneschijn
[Appel APR1322 (2010)]
[Keltia Musique RSCD295 (2009)]
Groef (or “Groove” in Dutch), is a ten member band (five from Belgium, five from Holland) put together by multi-instrumentalist Guy Roelofs to play the traditional music from the Low Countries in a modern way. The idea for the band, (which is a spin off of Roelofs other group, Tjane), comes out of the European “bailfolk” or country dance movement, so the music, both song and instrumentals, is highly danceable. What is unique about Groef is the number of songs they perform, sung in harmony by three female vocalists.
The music features a strong rhythm section of electric bass, drums and piano that provide a steady dance beat, but not in a rock like way. The main instrumentation is provided by flutist Jenny van Diggelen, accordionist Raquel Gigot and violinist Rudy Velghe (both of the Belgium Celtic band Orion) who play reels, jigs, waltzes and the like, with Roelofs bouzouki adding support to the backing.
While the modernizing of traditional dance and folk tunes with electric instruments is hardly new, it has rarely been done with the music from the Low Countries. Guy Roelofs has come up with an exciting mix of old and new and pointed out a new direction for the folk music of Belgium and Holland.
Both Groef members Raquel Gigot and Rudy Velghe also perform in the long running Belgium based Celtic band Orion. Their fourth recording is titled, “Strawberry Town” and features John Faulkner on vocals and guitar. The music is a pleasant mix of Irish and Belgium influences and offers a pastoral slant on Celtic music. It’s well worth searching out. [www.groeg.eu http://www.denappel.be http://www.orionceltic.com]
Orion Live at the “Festival de cornouaille” 2008