Friday 26th August 2016,
Steeplejack Music


Traditional German folk-songs sung by folk singers from the British Isles.

GeisterBahn Album Cover

After 10 years living and playing folk music in Germany, Andrew Cadie decided it was time to get together a rabble of fellow musicians and go on the trail of German folk songs. Although German songs are not completely forgotten, it appears that folk songs from the British Isles seem to be more widely sung in Germany than the indigenous ones. Despite one or two fairly high profile releases of German folk song CDs in recent years it is still relatively difficult to hear ‘folkie’ arrangements of this sort of material.

The idea behind the project is that folk musicians from the British Isles and Ireland, resident in Germany, arrange and sing a selection of German songs (that may or may not be so well known) in the same way they would approach a manuscript of an old song from their own tradition. That way you might have ‘Ach bittrer Winter’ sung by an Englishman with Celtic style fiddle and Northumbrian pipes – or ‘Tanz mir nicht mit meine Junfer Kaethen’ sung by a Scotsman with a German dance tune between the verses.

The songs were selected from various regions and eras, with examples from the Bauern Krieg, dance songs, North coast sailor’s songs, a Swiss song about the grim reaper and an Austrian love song. The last track includes everyone together on a rousing German sea shanty.

Andrew Cadie

The producer is Andrew Cadie – he was responsible for researching and selecting the songs, distributing them amongst the participants, writing the arrangements and coordinating the recording sessions at various studios around Germany. Andrew is one half of English folk duo ‘Broom Bezzums’, who have released three CDs on Steeplejack and tour extensively in Germany and the UK. Andrew studied on the four year Folk and Traditional Music degree programme at Newcastle University, graduating with a BMus(Hons) in 2005. While on the course he received intensive tuition on fiddle, guitar, Northumbrian pipes and vocals as well as approaches to interpreting, arranging and performing traditional music. These are skills he has put to excellent use on the German material in collaboration with the other artists who agreed to work on the album.

Here’s a review of the project in the German “Folker” magazine

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Click here to listen to samples:

Tim Gray – Panneflicker by steeplejackmusic

Hamborger Veermaster by steeplejackmusic

Ich weiß ein fein brauns Mägdelein by steeplejackmusic

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