Tag Archives: Ukrainian music

Weekly Vinyl – Marenych – Маренич

12 Aug

Маренич – Marenych
Trio Marenych / Маренич Трio
(year: ?)
This album appeared in my life when I was in high school. It was the early 80s I gather. My parents would blast this on the stereo every Sunday after church – religiously. It would also be on Saturdays and during the week at odd times.
The Marenychi are/were a folk trio from Ukraine. Perhaps they were siblings, a brother and two sisters or some sort of combination – but then again the Ramones were not at all related. This album was one of these samizdat, illegally smuggled recordings that came out from behind the Iron Curtain and infected the émigré community and elevated hope that the nation was still salvageable.
Initially, I was not a fan of this album as my puny transistor tape player did not have the power to play progressive rock louder than this folk stuff cranking from the family stereo.
Time passes and as I listen to this I get a really good feeling. Not just of nostalgia of lying in my bed with pillows over my head trying to drown out the music, but of the sheer talent of this trio. The recording is very well made. I heard it cranked in my youth, but listening to this now, at a normal, non-uber-patriotic level, I realize that this is such a quiet and delicate album. It is not bombastic. The vocals and instruments are so light that they just dance upon the ears.
Nice album. I’m glad I rediscovered it.
Now to hoist in onto my kids…

Weekly Vinyl – The Willow

31 Jan

The Willow and other melodies
J.B. Wesolowsky

It is very appropriate that I just happened to randomly pick this album and am listening to it so close to Super Bowl Sunday.
There is a great corelation between the Super Bowl and maudlin Ukrainian music.
In my youth, the Super Bowl was played towards the end of January. The day of the big game always fell on the same Sunday when Ukrainians would hold this huge long event at Toronto’s Massey Hall to commemorate the date, January 22, of Ukraine’s short lived independence in 1918.
So I never saw the Super Bowl as a young lad but had my fill rousing patriotic speeches and melodic Ukrainian music. Music similar to what is on this album.
I love the cover of this album- it is by noted artist Edward Kozak from Detroit. It’s got just the right pathos that goes well with the music.
The recording itself is actually quite good. A little too heavy with the orchestral arrangements for my liking but a nice sentimental thing to put on during the Super Bowl game.