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Natalie Nowytski | Amerikana

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Folk: String Band World: Eastern European Moods: Mood: Fun
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by Natalie Nowytski

A unique fusion of traditional folk songs and vocal stylings of Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Rusyns of Eastern Slovakia set to American bluegrass, old time, country, and Americana arrangements, featuring the Prague-based Amistar resophonic guitar.
Genre: Folk: String Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Chodila Dievčina (A Girl Was Walking)
5:10 $0.99
2. Poljana, Poljana (Field Girl)
2:47 $0.99
3. Čerešničky, Čerešničky (Cherries)
3:09 $0.99
4. Muši Vam, Mamičko (You Must Be, Mommy)
2:56 $0.99
5. Za Dunaj / A Ja Taká Dzivočka (Beyond the Danube / Oh, I Am That Kind of a Girl)
4:46 $0.99
6. Čerešeň, Čerešeň (Cherry Tree)
3:51 $0.99
7. Šest Dní Do Týdňa (Six Days In A Week)
2:56 $0.99
8. Horehronský Čardaš (To Ta Hel'pa) [Chardash from Horehronie] [This Town of Hel'pa]
3:47 $0.99
9. Svieti Miesac (The Moon Is Shining)
3:23 $0.99
10. Čirčanka (The Chirchanka Stream)
3:03 $0.99
11. Už Se Krumlovskej Zámeček Bourá (The Castle of Krumlov is Falling Apart)
2:56 $0.99
12. Kebych Byla Jahodú (If I Were a Strawberry)
3:32 $0.99
13. Krjačok Ljalijovŷj (The Lily Patch)
3:41 $0.99
14. Teče Voda, Teče (Water Flows)
4:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Natalie and the band courted the audience with incredible music from foot-stomping bluegrass to country remorse. This new release is definitely worth adding to your collection!"
– Minnesota Bluegrass Magazine

Audiences rave:
"[Natalie Nowytski] was beyond what I could have imagined. I told [my friend] after the show that she sounded like the music somehow rose up from the earth and she channeled it."
"I almost cried at that last waltz piece, it was so beautiful, an outstanding performance!"
"This was evocative and enchanting—I traveled in my sleep."
"Absolutely beautiful...I almost started crying on that last country piece."
"I was beside myself!"

It's a little known fact that Czechs and Slovaks dig bluegrass. So does Minneapolis-based vocalist Natalie Nowytski, a first-generation Ukrainian who is known for her 20+ years as a performer and teacher of traditional Eastern European vocal techniques. Nowytski—who has shared the stage with Garrison Keillor on "A Prairie Home Companion"—and her star-studded cast of Twin Cities-based musician friends present her new album, Amerikana, which documents a unique fusion of Eastern European and American folk styles: It combines traditional folk songs and vocal styling of Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Rusyns of Eastern Slovakia set to American bluegrass, old time, country, and Americana arrangements, featuring the Prague-based Amistar resophonic guitar.

“In my research,” Nowytski says, “I found that, interestingly, most bluegrass and ‘newgrass’ out of Czech Republic and Slovakia is made up of original compositions; there is no tradition of taking old Czech, Slovak, and Rusyn folk songs and infusing them with a bluegrass sensibility. That’s one reason this album is so unique.”

One might think these styles are too different to work together. But, in fact, they complement each other well: From a melancholy Slovak-Tennessee waltz to a playful Rusyn hoedown to a sensitive Appalachian-inspired Czech ballad, the result is surprisingly harmonious on many levels.

Amerikana is a project Nowytski has wanted to do for nearly a decade, after a 2003 Resophonic Guitar Festival collaboration and subsequent demo with Twin Cities-based musicians, including Steve Kaul (The Brass Kings). Diving into American folk styles has been a healthy—and highly successful—stretch for Nowytski, who is perhaps best known for her work in Balkan and Eastern European music (Orkestar Bez Ime, Mila Vocal Ensemble, Ethnic Dance Theatre, Flying Foot Forum, Ukrainian Village Band). Although her discography includes more than a dozen albums, Amerikana represents Nowytski’s first solo effort.

The album was researched and recorded thanks to an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and features prominent Minnesotan folk musicians Peter Ostroushko, co-producer Steve Kaul, Adam Kiesling (Pert' Near Sandstone, Corpse Reviver), Jim Parker (Pig's Eye Landing, Mother Banjo Band), Scott Keever (Orkestar Bez Ime), and Gabriela Sweet (Rhizosphere).



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