Friday, June 25, 2010

Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival - Folk to the fore

The 13th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival reflects a distinct Western folk-based influence.

THERE isn’t a barn for miles on the rural road to the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) in Santubong (45-minutes from Kuching), Sarawak. But you’d be forgiven to think that the 13th edition of RWMF next month is all about fiddles, accordions, old-time square-dancing and a frolic behind the haystacks.

The upcoming RWMF 2010 will be held from July 9 till 11 at the Sarawak Cultural Village, and as seen on the line-up list, barn-storming action features heavily across the three-day festival with Western folk-based acts like De Temps Antan (from Quebec, Canada), Monster Ceilidh Band (England), Minuit Guibolles (France), Corey Ledet and Zydeco Band (United States) and ReelRoad (Russia).

The pick of the fiddle lot, you ask? It might very well be De Temps Antan, formed in 2003, which has been exploring and performing time-honoured melodies from the stomping grounds of Quebec’s musical past. Armed with fiddle, accordion, harmonica, guitar, bouzouki and a number of other instruments, these three virtuosos blend boundless energy with the unmistakable joie de vivre found only in traditional Quebec music.

As tradition dictates at the Rainforest festival, you might not be familiar with the names on stage but once the music sounds great to the ears, you can bet the masses will be partying until they drop.

Hailing from Newcastle, England, is the Monster Ceilidh Band, a twisted folk-driven quartet that is built to fuel the good vibes and stomping mayhem. Renowned for rave party energy and heavy metal chord progressions, Monster Ceilidh Band has also been championed by influential British-based fRoots magazine and concert dates with The Levellers and Eliza Carthy have edged the group closer to mainstream visibility.

When it comes to barn dancing, you can’t keep the Americans down. Just like how Carolina Chocolate Drops have revived rural and roots music in the United States, you have a similar proposition waiting to explode at RWMF.

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