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This band is exciting!
(Aus Arhoolie's Katalog)
"From Transylvania out into the world ..."
Michael Kleff is president of PROFOLK, Association for Song,
"Let those who have ears hear ..."
Wearily, I sat down at a table with a beer with some friends, hoping to last through the evening. Then Anti von Klewitz and the members of Csókolom came on stage.... I could tell she was exhausted having just flown in from Germany a few hours before. She fussed with her shirt sleeves, fussed with her hat, fussed with her violin, and fussed with a microphone. She reminded me of a puppet, carefully attaching the right strings to all the right limbs. Then, with surprising focus, she dug her feet into the ground, rooted herself in just the right place, and began to play. And sing.
I remember the feeling that I was suddenly in another world. Everything happening around me seemed to disappear. The music I was hearing stunned me and deep feelings came whelming up. I didn't know what hit me. Involuntarily, I began to cry.
I looked around to see if anyone else was hearing what I was hearing. Some people were talking, others drinking, and some listening. With tears in my eyes, I had to laugh. The old adage, "let those who have ears hear" came to mind and I returned my attention to Csókolom and rested, entranced, in my own experience. Enchanted by a woman whose music gave voice to something so eternal and ancient, I listened as the young and the old, the new and the forever, collided and merged. The alchemy of musical genius.
After the set, I sat wondering if perhaps this extraordinary and rare experience had been given to me alone. Then I saw Chris Strachwitz, reputable founder of Arhoolie Records, running up the aisle towards us. Like a child on fire, he ranted on and on, seemingly unable to organize his feelings into sentences. Finally he was able to say, "I've got to record them!" Let those who have ears hear.... let those who have record companies record!
He immediately arranged to record Csókolom two days later at Sun Studio in Memphis, the same studio where Elvis Presley and other legends made their first recordings. It couldn't have been a more appropriate studio. I went along to the session and listened as Chris captured the magic of these musicians in this small and somewhat dingy, yet historic, studio. Our hearts soared as we danced and drank wine through the night, as we celebrated the shared joy of "discovering" Csókolom. I thank Anti, Sander and Gregor for taking the long flight to Memphis, going straight to the club without a break, and performing with such skill and soul, so that I could have the joy of hearing their brilliance.
Nora Guthrie runs the Woody Guthrie Foundation.
Aufnahmeorte und -datum:Februar 1998 ist diese CD aufgenommen im Sun-Studio in Memphis, USA.