Harmony Glen
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Harmony Glen

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Dutch folk group Harmony Glen are sure to win a swathe of Australian fans with their new CD, Before Dawn. The band plays Irish, Scottish and American folk with some Texas flavours and a touch of Jazz.
The CD starts with Tribute to Fisherband, a set of jigs which showcase the musical prowess of this talented group which formed in 2004. This is followed by a stirring Birnie Boozle, written by Scottish poet James Hogg (1770-1855).
Come by the Hills is a personal favourite. Written by Scotsman Gordon Smith it is a gentle interpretation by the band with a soft lilting instrumentation and beautiful harmony. Nienke Bijker’s sensitive guitar is a highlight.
Two original tunes in the set Before Dawn in the Garden of Arts, by Harmony Glen member Vincent Pompe van Meerdervoort, showcase just how talented this group is.
Alasdair Fraser’s reel Old Sparky, with Vincent’s steady bodhran and Sjoerd van Ravenzwaaij’s great banjo, starts an interesting set of reels which picks up pace with Davy Arthur’s popular Tam Lin, finishing on a high with The Four Kisses, a rousing reel by Patrick Ourceau.
The sadness of a longing for homeland is expertly portrayed on another gentle inclusion, The Quiet Land of Erin, written by the 19th century Irish poet, Sean Mac Ambrois.
The stirring box and bodhran playing of Vincent is well matched by Sjoerd’s banjo, guitar and tin whistle. It is hard to imaging any band not including a double bass after hearing Dominique Bentvelsen.
Miriam Kavana’s fiddle is highlighted on two tracks including The Turning Tide which has her composition, Darkness Before Dawn, as its main reel. Although not a member of the group she often appears regularly as a guest musician. Another guest on the CD is former band member Douwe Meijer whose flute playing on tracks such as Charlie’s March enriches the listening experience.
The final track is a rousing set named Cold Turkey. It was introduced to the group by newest band member and a great fiddler, Mike Bruinsma, when he joined the group in 2006, bringing these and other traditional American tunes with him. This is a wonderful rousing finale to a fine CD.
All up the 14 tracks on Before Dawn are a pleasing, well balanced collection of both traditional and contemporary songs and tunes. Harmony Glen are to be congratulated on this debut CD which is a great introduction to the band for any Australian wishing to get to know their music. - Folk Australia.com


(roughly translated from German)
Mostly Irish and Scottisch and American Traditionals, rhythmic, powerfull and sweet at the same time, played by five plus two young Dutchmen with Accordeon, Banjo, Double Bass, Guitars, Bodhrán, Fiddle and Vocals are put together on this first class debut album. - Folker!


(Roughly translated from Dutch)
"[...] Before Dawn consists of 14 tracks, an hour of music alltogether. Not the well-known traditionals; Harmony Glen clearly wants to add something new to the mountain of Celtic music CD's and they do succeed, in my opinion. They are not just copying tracks; because of the different backgrounds of the musicians there is room to handle the material in a playful way, which results in a fresh sound. The group has heart for the music, and that's what it is all about in this style of music eventually.

Mirjam Adriaans, Evaluation: 8+" - FolkForum.nl


"[...] Harmony Glen's fresh and unique interpretation of traditional and contemporary Irish and Celtic music touches the heart and soul of anyone. They have just released their excellent debut CD "Before Dawn"." - Tradmusic.com


Discography

Before Dawn (2006, Epos Imaginaire, EIMM002)

Our debut album recieved very good reviews internationally and has radio airplay at CKCU FM in Ottawa, Canada and KUAC FM in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Streaming Tunes (2007, Epos Imaginaire, EIMM003)
Our critically acclaimed second album, gets airplay in Canada(Winnipeg), Portugal, England, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Three Wheels (2008, Epos Imaginaire, EIMM004)
A 'request' album featuring popular Harmony Glen songs and tunes, released in september 2008.

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Photos

Bio

Biography

Having played with quite a few traditional music groups on the Dutch folk scene, Sjoerd van Ravenzwaaij and Vincent Pompe van Meerdervoort decided it was time to start a group that would sound different, so in the beginning of 2005 Harmony Glen was founded.

In the beginning the idea was to start a traditional Irish chamber orchestra which would play traditional music in an easy, laid- back way, making it fit for easy listening, dinner and party background music.

But things turned out very differently...

When Nienke Bijker and Dominique Bentvelsen joined the band, the group soon found it was quite impossible to them to play Irish music without the liveliness, tenderness, haunting energy and special feeling that was to become so characteristic to the sound of the band.
With Miriam Kavana (formerly of the Alias Ron Kavana Band, The Poguea) as band coach and regular guest musician the Harmony Glen sound soon became even more energetic, catchy and haunting. When not much later Mike Bruinsma joined the group, new 'texas' and jazzy flavours were added to the sound, which completed the rich mixture of musical styles:

Since the musicians in the group have musical backgrounds varying from classical music to old style Jazz and Dixieland, Harmony Glen’s fresh and unique interpretation of traditional and contemporary Irish music touches the heart and soul of anyone.

Listen to our music on www.harmonyglen.com