Quite often we report about new CD releases that have been sent our way. It’s not often that we are presented with a release from our European bluegrass brethren, so we’re excited to tell you about this release.
Richard Cifersky began his music journey with the banjo at the age of 15. He is a former member of the award winning band Fragment, based in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Cifersky was with the band from 2002-2005. Currently, he is a member of the bluegrass band Waterflow. He is also fronting his own band, Richard Cifersky & Rainy Day. The band takes its name from the title track of his new solo CD by the same name.
The band, and the CD reflect Cifersky’s varied influences.
The CD consists of 10 tracks, eight are original compositions belonging to Cifersk??. The banjo is prominent on all tracks with a very pleasing tone and tasteful playing. The band is somewhat unconventional by American stanards, but the result is great listening for those who are free from the law of tradition.
The band is Richard on banjo, Linda Nov?°kov?° on flute, Ren?© Jankoviƒç on guitar, Richard Moln?°r on bass, and Adam J?°no?° on drums.
The CD features Moln?°r, J?°no?°, and Cifersk??, along with a host of special guests, including one American player.
- Becky Buller – fiddle, vocal
- Emil Form?°nek – guitar
- Roman S??kora – bass
- Michal Barok – mandolin
- Peter Szabados – dobro, pedal steel
- Sisa Michalidesov?° – whistle, flute
- Peter Prelozn??k – piano, strings
- Lubo?° Jurkoviƒç – vocals
These musicians represent several of the top Eastern European bluegrass bands, including Druha Trava, Meantime, and Waterflow.
In addition to her contributions on fiddle, Becky Buller also contributed vocals on two tunes, one from her own pen.
Becky’s distinctive vocals shine on John Lowell’s “When Will You Be Home” and her own song “Wrong Place, Wrong Time”.
The title track, Rainy Day, displays Cifersky’s virtuosity on a composition that is a blend of several musical backgrounds all finding their focus in the banjo. The sounds of the band work well alongside the flute, drums and other instruments.
Blue Nashville represents a more strict bluegrass sound on the CD. With only “traditional” instrumentation, the tune well put together and enjoyable.
Both songs are available (complete tracks) as free mp3s on RichardCifersky.com.
Rainy Day was released on July 15, 2008. In the US we typically host a CD release party that involves a performance of many, if not all, of the songs from the CD, along with “jamming” with special guests. Apparently in Slovakia they have other traditions as well. Jana Mougin, bass player and lead singer with Fragment, sent this picture from the release. It may not be apparent at first, but they are christening the CD with Jack Daniels!
In our country, we have a tradition to choose good Godparents for a CD. I was very honored Richard asked me and Henrich Novak (resonator player for Fragment) to christen (sprinkle ) his new “Baby”. Richard finds a big part of his inspiration in Nashville, Tennessee. We decided Jack Daniels would be the best liquid to use for christening his new album.
I’m sure many a release party in the US has seen an abundance of Jack Daniels, but I don’t know of any CDs being christened with it. Anyone care for a new tradition?