Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Polkas for a Gloomy World
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock, Classical
Polka for a Gloomy World begins with "Hosa Dyna," an old European polka taken at a breakneck tempo. Near the end of the song, accordionist Carl Finch, the Brave Combo major-domo, shouts out, "Rock it, boys!" And the rest o... more »
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Polka for a Gloomy World begins with "Hosa Dyna," an old European polka taken at a breakneck tempo. Near the end of the song, accordionist Carl Finch, the Brave Combo major-domo, shouts out, "Rock it, boys!" And the rest of the band does just that, proving once again that the ancient 2/4 Bohemian dance doesn't have to be a sleepy shuffle reserved for elderly aunts at wedding receptions. This album proves the polka can be every bit as invigorating as a Cajun two-step, another dance music rescued from wedding-reception hell. Because Brave Combo is based in Texas--the nexus where German and Czech immigrants passed the polka and its favorite weapons, the squeezebox and the saxophone, to the local Mexican immigrants--the band draws on both the Old World and New World versions of the music, both Eddie Blazonczyk's "Polka Chips Polka" and Los Cuatros Tejanos de Monterey's "Eloina's Marbles." In addition to the half dozen traditional European polkas, Finch has written "Flying Saucer," an oompah tribute to UFOs, and has added new words to the well-worn polka standard, "In Heaven, There Is No Beer." Over Barnes' revved-up clarinet figure, Finch bellows that not only is there no beer in heaven but there is no sex or drugs either, so we might as well enjoy ourselves here. And Brave Combo plows through the song as if there's no tomorrow. Geoffrey Himes
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Bill Smythe | Chicago | 05/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a bit much for "standard" polka lovers like me, who usually go for Frankie Yankovic, Eddie Blazonczyk, Joey Miskulin, etc. Everybody performs "In Heaven There is No Beer", with some even adding "in heaven there is no wine, so we drink till we feel fine". But "in heaven there are no drugs, that's why we hang with thugs"? Hmm. Also on this CD are several traditional polkas played at breakneck speed, and a few waltzes and Tex-Mex numbers. It's the Dr. Demento of polkas. Try it, you'll like it."
Scott B. Montgomery | Denton, TX USA | 11/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is as good as it gets! Whimsical, yet musically adept, Brave Combo is one of the most enjoyable bands I know (both on record and especially on stage). If this music doesn't bring a smile to your face, then you must be an inanimate object! Your entire body responds to this music - supremely played dance and smile music. We have ALL of Brave Combo's albums - they are all wonderful. But, this is the favorite - it gets alot of airplay around the house - always elevating the mood and prompting uncontrollable and spontaneous outbursts of euphoria, dancing and rampant happiness. Get this one - your spirit and your feet will thank you every day. Thank you Brave Combo!"
You don't have to like "polka" to love this CD
Scott B. Montgomery | 09/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great fun! If you ask me, the title and cover art alone are worth the price of admission to this collection of polkas and waltzes in a variety of styles. Even the few slow tempo songs are delightful and well-done, and help you appreciate even more the frenetic pace of the uptempo numbers. Personally, I think they do better with the European-based material than with the Tex-Mex. Despite their home state (Texas), there are many other bands that perform that material better. But the arrangements, the energy, musical expertise, and ability to shift gears to different styles but still put their own stamp on the European tracks are seering and enervating. Brave Combo takes charts that are very difficult to play and make them sound easy. Highly recommended."