Based in New Orleans yet rooted in Balkan traditions, Blato Zlato features dreamy three-part vocal harmonies over hard-hitting instrumentals inspired by both the ancient traditions of their heritage and the musical influences of their lives today. The band performs folk and composed music from the Balkans and Eastern Europe with a particular focus on Bulgarian songs and dark, improvisational arrangements. With several band members raised in Eastern Europe and Ireland, they are thrilled to be traveling on their debut European tour in Summer 2018.
"We're fascinated by the folklore and stories behind songs that travel with culture as people migrate," says accordionist and vocalist Lou Carrig, who grew up between the United States and Ireland. "Our sound is a blend of Balkan tradition and New Orleans-fueled innovation, and the songs we've studied have come to New Orleans via immigrants like our drummer, Boyanna Trayanova, as well as visiting folklore musicians and teachers. [The songs] take on new life and meaning with each new generation and place, and this tour will be an opportunity for us to connect with other traditional artists as well as our global fan base that we have steadily built through internet presence and cross-cultural musical exchange."
The band’s music aims to explore and preserve the traditional elements of Balkan music that make it so unique – the rhythm, melody, harmony and storytelling – but musically translate these songs with influences of each member’s unique musical background. Elements of classical, jazz, and even psychedelic and metal seep through the folk arrangements, forming Blato Zlato’s unique genre of progressive Balkan folk-rock. A recent review from OffBeat Magazine describes their debut album, Swamp Gold, as “aggressive… a band rocking out with exotic sounds…. The best moments happen when [the vocal] harmonies meet with the band’s rolling thunder.”
Following the release of their debut album Swamp Gold (January 2017), the band has begun to tour nationally and perform at festivals, and has had opportunity to collaborate with such local and national artists as Nels Cline (Wilco), Binky Griptite (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings), Dustan Louque, Leyla McCalla, Carl LeBlanc (Sun Ra Arkestra), and Wendell Brunious (Preservation Hall Jazz Band All Stars). Their second release, a golden vinyl 10” record called VOYAGE (EP), was released in December 2017 and was featured at a weekend-long show produced by Blato Zlato at New Orleans Airlift’s Music Box Village commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Voyager Golden Record’s launch into space.
Landless are a traditional Irish vocal group from Dublin & Belfast who sing unaccompanied traditional songs from Ireland, Scotland, England & America in four-part harmony. A glorious live act to behold, their repertoire features songs of love, death and lamentation, as well as work songs, shape-note hymns and more recently penned folk songs. They have been spellbinding audiences around Ireland, the UK & Europe since 2013 and are set to formally announce their arrival with the release of their deeply impressive debut album Bleaching Bones.have just released their achingly beautiful debut album on Humble Serpent Records.
Recorded by John ‘Spud’ Murphy (Lankum/Katie Kim) of Guerrilla Studios across a series of reverb-heavy historic churches across Ireland (and the occasional underground tunnel), Bleaching Bones is an immaculately performed & deeply moving record. With only the natural room sound as accompaniment, Landless, with the help of producer/engineer/mixer Murphy, have created a timeless folk classic that will appeal equally to fans of early 4AD records as it will to lovers of folk & traditional music. In addition to older works, Bleaching Bones also includes more recent songs by Liam Weldon & Peggy Seeger’s The Ballad Of Springhill.