Introducing Bela Lakatos & the Gypsy Youth Project

Performers Bela Lakatos & the Gypsy Youth Project

February 24, 2009 | Compact Disc

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Personnel: Istv n P‚ter Farkas (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Bela Lakatos, Mrs. Maria Balogh (vocals); Marisa Lassman (harmonica); Gusztav Varga (spoons).
Arranger: Bela Lakatos.
The mission statement of Bela Lakatos & the Gypsy Youth Project is in their name. The quintet of young Hungarian Roma (Gypsy) musicians set out in the late '80s to ensure the survival of traditional Gypsy folk songs sung in the Romany language, and that's precisely what they've done on this U.S. debut. It's all a lot livelier than either their name or that description imply, though. The mixed-gender group (known at home as Ternipe, which translates to youth), led by Lakatos, is a rambunctious bunch, rhythmically strumming acoustic guitars and mandolins, banging on tin cans and anything else at hand, and singing both harmony and solo vocals in an alternately rousing and mournful fashion. The effect is not unlike several other European folk musics, from klezmer to flamenco to Greek rembetika and Portuguese fado. There's an unbridled joyousness to the sound, which is sometimes at odds with the lyrics (translations are provided), which, when not completely opaque, can lean toward the heartbreaking and tragic ("The sky falls on the Romanies/Cruel is the world to them/Oh, God...help our folk" goes one). But the songs, regardless of the sometimes gloomy content, all possess an innate old-world charm and an undeniable beauty. Even if the listener was never aware that these musicians had an ulterior motive of preserving a fading culture, it would be difficult not to feel the love here. ~ Jeff Tamarkin

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: February 24, 2009

Genre: Gypsy

Style: International

UPC: 605633510621

Found in: Gypsy

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Introducing Bela Lakatos & the Gypsy Youth Project

Performers Bela Lakatos & the Gypsy Youth Project

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: February 24, 2009

Genre: Gypsy

Style: International

UPC: 605633510621


Title Track Time
1.O Bijav (The Wedding) --
2.Pal O Foro (After the Market) --
3.Lina --
4.Shun Athe Mura Dola (Listen to Me God) --
5.Muro Shavo Kiki (My Dear Son Kiki) --
6.Geri Romnji (Abandoned Woman) --
7.Autar Manca (Come with Me) --
8.Korkorro Som (I'm Lonely) --
9.Del O Brishind... (It's Raining...) --
10.Bilako Na Zhuvau (I Can't Live Without Her) --
11.Patave Baxtale (Fortunate Sandal) --
12.Puter Mama (Mother Open) --
13.Dimo --
14.Na Sutyom (I Haven't Slept) --
15.Po Drom (On the Road) --

Editorial Notes

Personnel: Istv n P‚ter Farkas (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Bela Lakatos, Mrs. Maria Balogh (vocals); Marisa Lassman (harmonica); Gusztav Varga (spoons).
Arranger: Bela Lakatos.
The mission statement of Bela Lakatos & the Gypsy Youth Project is in their name. The quintet of young Hungarian Roma (Gypsy) musicians set out in the late '80s to ensure the survival of traditional Gypsy folk songs sung in the Romany language, and that's precisely what they've done on this U.S. debut. It's all a lot livelier than either their name or that description imply, though. The mixed-gender group (known at home as Ternipe, which translates to youth), led by Lakatos, is a rambunctious bunch, rhythmically strumming acoustic guitars and mandolins, banging on tin cans and anything else at hand, and singing both harmony and solo vocals in an alternately rousing and mournful fashion. The effect is not unlike several other European folk musics, from klezmer to flamenco to Greek rembetika and Portuguese fado. There's an unbridled joyousness to the sound, which is sometimes at odds with the lyrics (translations are provided), which, when not completely opaque, can lean toward the heartbreaking and tragic ("The sky falls on the Romanies/Cruel is the world to them/Oh, God...help our folk" goes one). But the songs, regardless of the sometimes gloomy content, all possess an innate old-world charm and an undeniable beauty. Even if the listener was never aware that these musicians had an ulterior motive of preserving a fading culture, it would be difficult not to feel the love here. ~ Jeff Tamarkin
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