Haugaard & Høirup, Rejsedage/Travelling (GO' Danish Folk Music, 2008)

Danish folk musicians Harald Haugaard (fiddle) and Morten Høirup (guitar) have performed as a duo for ten solid years. They might not have the strength of numbers, but their superior musicianship gives them as much power and flexibility as you'd expect from a full band. Their latest CD, available here in the U. S. via download, is called Rejsedage in their native tongue, and Travelling in English.

Situated at the crossroads between the British Isles and Scandinavia to the north and the rest of Europe to the south, Denmark has developed a very eclectic folk music tradition. Haugaard and Høirup's music encompasses the full range of Danish folk, along with some contemporary styles as well. On Rejsedage, you'll hear Nordic waltzes, slow airs, fast reels blending Celtic and bluegrass, and even some French Hot Club jazz. The two musicians deviate a bit from their basic guitar and fiddle sound on a few tracks, adding some accordion, harmonica, and electric guitar. Høirup also sings a couple of songs on the album as well.

Rejsedage/Travelling is not overwhelming or overpowering; instead it is steady, solid, and enjoyably diverse. The one regret here is that Haugaard & Høirup, like many other top folk acts, are really great live performers who can't quite match their concerts on disc. Still, they are the kind of act that anybody interested in folk fiddle music should check out.

Overall grade: B

reviewed by Scott

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