Karen Ashbrook & Ka/Po | Spring Will Come

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World: Celtic Spiritual: Judaica Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Spring Will Come

by Karen Ashbrook & Ka/Po

Featuring Belgian, Celtic, French & Jewish traditional music from a live concert celebrating thirty years of America's premier player of the hammered dulcimer. Hear the excitement and energy as Karen Ashbrook brings together musicians extraordinaire.
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Belle & the Butler: Sandy River Belle/ The Butlers of Glen Avenue
5:05 album only
2. De Winter is Vergangen/ La Bien Aimée
4:05 album only
3. My Lowlands Away
5:26 album only
4. Four Mile Stone/ Fox in the Glen
3:47 album only
5. Accordéon
4:21 album only
6. Taimse i m'Chodlach/ Carolan's Cup (Spring Will Come)
5:02 album only
7. Jimmy Ward's/ Old Joe's Jig
2:30 album only
8. Orcha Bamidbar/ Frailach #7
5:06 album only
9. Iberian Jig Set
3:20 album only
10. Boys of Beldam
4:11 album only
11. Durme
3:21 album only
12. Parting Glass
2:09 album only
13. Candles in the Dark
3:15 album only
14. Jerusalem of Gold/ Lo Yisa Goy
4:25 album only


Album Notes
Karen Ashbrook started her career as a hammered dulcimer player in 1976 when she built a dulcimer from scratch as a high school project. Her heart’s desire to learn Irish music took Karen overseas to play with Irishmen in pubs in England and Ireland. Along the way she also picked up the pennywhistle and wooden flute. Between wanderlust and busking (street performing) she spent 5 years traversing twice round the globe.

The vibrant Irish & folk music scene in the Baltimore/ Washington, DC area led her to settle there in the early 80’s. She soon formed the Celtic group Ceoltoiri with Celtic harp champion Sue Richards and later added vocalist Connie McKenna. Playing in contra and square dance bands were irresistible and she also joined the Jewish band King David’s Harp founded by David Scheim.
In 1995 she started playing with and soon married Belgian multi-instrumentalist Paul Oorts. He added Flemish and French music to her repertoire while playing driving DADGAD guitar and cittern accompaniment with her dulcimer and flute. In summer 2005 they met master percussionist Steve Bloom and started collaborating with him.

Karen & Paul tour extensively teaching and performing at festivals all over the country. They are very active in the revival of the “hakkebord” the Flemish hammered dulcimer in Belgium too. Karen & Ceoltoiri have several recordings on the Maggie’s Music label.

In February, 2006 Karen brought together several of her musical cohorts in a concert celebrating their many and varied musical collaborations. Ceoltoiri performs Irish music adding Sue’s Celtic harp and Connie’s vocals, including “Carolan’s Cup” by the blind harper Turlough O’Carolan with new lyrics by Karen and the twisted song of insanity “Boys of Bedlam.” Paul sings the lusty French street musician’s ballad “Accordéon” and plays several sets featuring his exquisite harp guitar. Steve Bloom adds powerful, multi-layered percussion throughout the concert including on the Celtic “Iberian Jig Set” and the joyous Jewish dance tune “Lo Yisa Goy.” David Scheim plays harp and piano on Jewish and Irish tunes with Karen. The CD “Spring Will Come” is the result.



to write a review

komatsuzaki kenji

Great Dulcimer!
I am Japanese Hammer Dulcimer Player.I am very fan of Karen.I love her Dulcimer.I recommend this CD.

Joe Ross

A lumionous album full of both wanderlust & panache
Playing Time – 56:13 -- Celebrating thirty years of playing hammered dulcimer, Karen Ashbrook’s ‘Spring Will Come” blossoms with a delightful set of material with Irish, Flemish, Breton, Jewish, Iberian and Appalachian flavors. As a teen, Karen built her first hammered dulcimer from scratch in 1976. Recorded live in early 2006 at a concert in Rockville, Md., this CD is a celebration of the proficient and significant musician’s accomplishments as a player, teacher and advocate. Before ultimately settling in the D.C./Baltimore area, Karen’s adventurous approach to music took her on world travels with her dulcimer, wooden flute and pennywhistle.

Meeting many fine musicians on her journeys, Karen first crossed paths with Paul Oorts (harp guitar, musette accordion, cittern, vocals) in West Virginia at a dulcimer festival, and they would eventually marry. In this set, “Accordeon” depicts a kind of familial relationship between busking street musician and his instrument. David Scheim (piano, Celtic harp on 3 tracks) introduced Karen to Jewish music when she performed with his group, King David’s Harp. “Jerusalem of Gold” and “Lo Yisa Goy” close the show to a rousing audience reaction to the optimistic set calling for peace. Meeting at a music camp in 2005, Steve Bloom (percussion) is a relatively new friend who appears on the CD. The concert also involved the other members of Karen’s trio called “Ceoltoiri” -- Sue Richards (Celtic harp on 6 tracks) and Connie McKenna (vocals, guitar on one track). On songs like “My Lowlands Away” and “Boys of Bedlam,” McKenna delivers each lyric with convincing sentiments.

It was a pleasure to hear these musicians’ sweet set of songs characterized by vigor, freshness and clarity. Tempos attach right to the grooves, and renditions never sound rushed. They allow the audience to connect and relish in the moment. The pleasant interminable tarrying of “De Winter is Vergangen” (The Winter is Past) allows the harp’s melody and flute’s harmony to dance like the first daffodils of spring swaying in the breeze. While some might initially think that the fiddle would be missed in music of this nature, the other instruments provide plenty of sparkle and warmth. Ashbrook also knows how to make the dulcimer particularly gleaming and sweet sounding with such techniques as plucking or dampening the strings when appropriate. Her flute and whistle-playing are buoyant and lyrical. The creative joy of Oorts’ jazzy guitar break in “Sandy River Belle”elicits appreciative audience applause. Overall, “Spring Will Come” is a lumionous album full of both wanderlust and panache. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.)