Korong – Kornog


review by Michael Lohr

In the Celtic music scheme of things, Breton music sometimes get pushed back by the sheer volume of Irish, Scottish and American releases on the market today. Kornog are out to change that. Founded in the northwest of France over 20 years ago, Kornog have established themselves as a force in the Breton traditional music scene. On their latest release, entitled Korong, they are attempting to reach out and let music fans know that Brittany also has a traditional musical heritage, one different from Ireland and Scotland.

This CD, Korong, which is named after a river that flows near their recording studio in Brittany and is also an anagram of the band's name, Kornog, is a masterpiece. This CD is full of complex arrangements that simultaneously blend elements of the ancient with the modern. The result is stunning and very pleasing. Kornog's style is unlike any other band out there, which makes this CD all the more enjoyable. Kornog consist of vocalist and bouzouki player Jamie McMenemy, fiddle player Christian Lemaitre, flutist Jean-Michel Veillon and guitarist Nicolas Quemener.

Songs on Korong such as Ridee and Gouel Hollvedel are fine examples of the band's unique style, while Thessaloniki Taxi shows their more playful side. If you like Celtic music but are looking for something a little different from the norm, I would highly suggest Korong.