Palm Bay Frost and The Jeremiahs

Own ways with impressive playfulness, House Eifgen, Wermelskirchen, 21.9.2022

October 14, 2022

Reading time: 2 Minute(s)

Two new names and the same problem: What do you do as a music professional when you have both feet firmly in the tradition but don't want to get bored? The solution, if you want to stay with the usual acoustic instrumentation: write your own material and, if necessary, cross genre boundaries. The results of the corresponding activities turned out quite differently for the two groups of the double concert, which in combination resulted in a particularly stimulating musical evening.
Text: Almut Kückelhaus

Sabrina Palm (fiddle), Simon Bay (accordion) and Hartmut Frost (guitar) came together last year in Cologne. The focus of the trio is on instrumental music. The instrumentation lends itself to this, as accompaniment and melody can change in many ways without the sound becoming thin. The beautiful, self-composed melodies were so organically arranged with rhythmic and harmonic tricks that nothing stood in the way of lush listening pleasure. In addition, there was the friendly live presentation and a positive charisma. The music sounded Central European, with influences of dance tunes from the West and North. Who can assign a melodious waltz geographically? With Hartmut Frost, the group also has a good singer and songwriter on board, who added another musical color. The roughly one-hour set was well received and made the audience want more.

With the Jeremiahs from Ireland, I rather asked myself why I had not yet heard of this great formation, which after all already exists since 2013. It can not be due to the qualifications of the four band members. The fiddler and violist Niamh Varian-Barry, who comes from Cork, was for some time with the US folk supergroup Solas. With two songs of her own, she also showed herself to be a good singer and songwriter, bringing a bit of country into the mix. Julien Bruneteau from Bordeaux studied jazz and is so deeply immersed in Irish music that he can build on it with the same ease as his colleague. The adventurous runs were reminiscent of the group Flook. Two Dubliners completed the quartet: James Ryan, the calming influence on stage, distinguished himself as an accompanying guitarist with his enormous versatility. But the Jeremiahs become unmistakable through their singer Joe Gibney. Small in height, but, as was immediately apparent, quite big in voice. His trademark: When singing, he has his left hand on his ear.

The Jeremiahs belong to the bands that captivate their audience after a few beats. Their joy of playing left no one in Haus Eifgen unimpressed. Unlike Palm Bay Frost, the four drew their non-Celtic influences more from the USA. How was it received that the melodies were turned upside down by jazzy rhythms and unexpected twists? The audience was carried away by the temperament of the instrumentalists and reacted enthusiastically. The quiet to melancholy songs formed a counterpoint. "Misery Hill," for example, was about the misery of the outcasts in Dublin in the Middle Ages. With the unaccompanied "Auld Triangle" Joe Gibney vocally resurrected the Dubliners. And with the furiously fast tunesets towards the end, the audience was torn from their seats. Thus ended a memorable performance.

An album with the current line-up is in the works and should be released by the end of the year.

The Jeremiahs

Foto: Almut Kückelhaus

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