A Hawk and a Hacksaw The Way the Wind Blows

With Beirut and Balkan beats on the tip of everyone’s tongue, it may finally be time for everyone to embrace Balkan melody in its purest form, not just twisted for different sensibilities. Lending a helping hand to the masses who look to gain a little more exposure to the proper ideas behind gypsy music, Jeremy Barnes, who’s played on Beirut’s equally compelling Gulag Orkestar and with Neutral Milk Hotel, and his violinist companion, Heather Trost, happily take us deeper into this bewitching music. But, even they need tour guides, and exuberant gypsy brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia led the way for Barnes to set up a makeshift studio outside a tiny Moldovan village filled with Roma. Not quite music that’s found in any country, the music of the Roma has a quality of fathers and mothers teaching their children the requisite three notes of their instrument and letting fate take it from there. It is the gypsy appreciation for music and life that Barnes tries to showcase, and it works amazingly. "In the River” is more Western-oriented, but "Gadje Sirba” is madness and genius around a homemade bonfire. Touching, uplifting and original, this moves the feet and will have anyone shouting a hearty "Taven Baxtale!” by its conclusion. (Leaf)