Grounded is the new and 6th studio album from German-based folk band Cara. This album was originally planned to be released in 2020, but events in the world were to take us all down different paths and force many a well-laid plan to be re-scheduled, including this one with the appropriately named title of the album Grounded which is due for release now on 15th October 2021.
If you have not come across Cara before, then the band take their name from the Scottish/Irish Gaelic word for “Friend” and features Gudrun Walther: Vocals, Fiddle, Accordion; Hendrik Morgenbrodt: Uilleann Pipes, Irish Concert Flute, Whistles; Jürgen Treyz: Guitar, Dobro, Banjo, Vocals; with Scotland’s/ Edinburgh’s very own Kim Edgar completing the band line-up on Vocals and Piano.
Cara was founded 18 years ago and currently is one of the most successful folk bands in Europe (and further afield). Part of the reason of not only the longevity of the band, but also their success is that each band member is an accomplished musician in their own right, and brings something very different to the band, and the result is music that is simply timeless.
The 12 songs on this album come from many sources and many strands with skilful arrangements of traditional folk classics and newly written songs. It is hard to imagine any other band so seamlessly blending work by Bob Dylan (Lay Down Your Weary Tune) and Robert Burns (Lassie, Lie Near Me) into one soundscape, or taking the story of meeting a Faerie Queen which has been whispered down the gentle winds of time (True Thomas) and making an old island working song (The Cockle Gatherer) feel like they have always belonged together.
There are new songs here too, like The Spell of Winter, but in the overall context of this album, they sound like they have been with you for a very long time, and that is one of the hardest things to do in folk music, make the new sound like it has always been there.
Anyone who has seen Cara perform live will also immediately recognise the instant appeal of some of the instrumental jigs and reels on this album too.
From a production end, this album has a lot going on not only in the recording studio, but also in the packaging of the product, and the album comes with an informative booklet on all the songs on the CD.
If you want more information on the band, and their tour schedule visit https://www.cara-music.com/index.php/en/.
1. The Cockle Gatherer ('S Trusaidh mi na Coilleagan) (4.35)
2. The Windhorse (3.41)
3. Lay Down Your Weary Tune (5.11)
4. The Grounded Traveller: March for the Grounded Traveller / Trip to the Fridge (5.04)
5. Lassie, Lie Near Me (Roud V39584) (4.14)
6. B&B Jigs: Gan Ainm / Paddy Keenan's / The New Leaf (4.16)
7. True Thomas (Roud 219; Child 37) (5.56)
8. The Pretty Girl Milking the Cow (4.49)
9. Jaboozy (3.20)
10. The False Lover Won Back (Roud 201; Child 218; G/D 5:974) (4.46)
11. Milky Way Set: Milky Way / Boys of Chicago / Not Tuscany (5.17)
12. The Spell of Winter (4.15)
Review by Tom King (c) 2021
ARTS REVIEWS EDINBURGH