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Czechmate

10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 19, 1999
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$17.84 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

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We don't usually consider bluegrass a politically subversive music, but under the communist regime of Czechoslovakia, bluegrass was a sound of resistance, records were circulated samizdat style, and musicians played under threat of imprisonment. With the advent of democracy, bluegrass and folk have flourished in Eastern Europe, with Druha Trava (in English, "Second Grass") at the fore. Their sound remains subversive: they work up Chick Corea, Bob Dylan, and Rolling Stones tunes with an ear for both jazz improvisation and Old World traditionalism. The five members are all virtuosos, having played bluegrass for some two decades, and if the idea of Czech voices harmonizing high and lonesome strikes you as implausible, it shouldn't. This may not be "authentic" bluegrass, but it's thrilling and inventive just the same. --Roy Kasten


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. El Santo Dia 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Spain 4:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Greensleeves 5:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Before The Bell Tolls 5:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Rest Beside Me, Sara 4:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Brazos Bottom 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Wild Horses 4:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Peace In The Valley 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Skocna 4:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. One More Cup Of Coffee 5:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Who's That Knockin' At My Door 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Czechmate 1:03$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 19, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: January 19, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B00000G4OE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,323 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Who'd've thought you'd ever get a chance to hear five guys from the Czech republic play American bluegrass, mixed with some progressive jazz, over a little foot stomping rock, between Smetana's classical BATTERED BRIDE like it's nobody's business? Well, last night we saw Druha Krava absolutely blow the roof off an old bar in south St. Louis. Besides offereing virtuoso renderings of all styles, the mix and pacing was fabulous. Their CZECHMATE release was featured, and they sure did it justice. NOW ABOUT THE BAND - Lubos #1 alternated between playing the hollow body banjo in a traditional style, and a solid body for the lead. Really nice hearing the lead played on the banjo. Their main singer, mandolin, and rhythm guitarist - kin to Bela Lugosi - alternated between a west Texas and an east Czech accent, always in command. When done dazzling with his dobro, the lead guitarist handled all styles beautifully and Mark Knofler would've been proud. Their percussion engineer (drummer) very mysteriously created a chamber orchestra sound, when he wasn't so madly pounding the skins. And who really missed a fiddle player, when the slide guitarist so strongly carried the load. The bass player stepped out of Bela Fleck's closet and wowed the crowd with his expert style and harmonics for the entire evening. In all, an outstanding performance and a great disk. DON'T MISS THESE GUYS IF YOU EVER HAVE THE CHANCE!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mary L. Sprowle on December 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This group has been at the Four Corners Folk Festival, in Pagosa Springs, Colorado twice, and all who heard were blessed twice and over! The musical dedication of this group cannot be matched by any American artist. They are perfection, simply because they want to be perfect.
This past September when they were at the festival, it was with Peter Rowan. They have made a new CD with him, which was a big mistake. They are a group well worth being on their own. They do not need the aging entertainer to make thier instruments ring !
This CD was wonderful and we would love more and more of them soon !
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By Amazon Customer on June 11, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Druha Trava's first English album -- also their first to be distributed in the US -- was the one that introduced them to a wider American audience, and perhaps partially in expectation of that, it shows off not only their technical chops ("El Santo Dia", "Spain", and "Skocna") as well as a depth of emotion ("Rest Beside Me, Sara"), but also the breadth of their interests and influences, which range from jazz ("Spain", by Chick Corea) to opera ("Skocna" from "The Bartered Bride" by Smetna) to gospel ("Peace in the Valley") to rock ("Wild Horses" by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards). Although it's not the band's best album -- that's arguably "Live in Brno" (with Charlie McCoy), followed by the Czech-language rockabilly (bluegrass-a-billy?) "Starodavny Svet" -- and lead singer Robert Krestan's accent turns some people off, this may be the best introduction to the band, and it's well worth the listen.
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By A Customer on November 23, 1998
Format: Audio CD
The band is nothing short of outstanding. I heard them at last summers Live Oak Music Festival in Santa Barbara County in California. After the performance I and many others purchased CDs at the festival. I have Czechmate, however, there were other which I did not buy. Since then I have tried to purchase more, but they are not available in the U. S.
The band is at home in just about any style they choose. From blue grass Greensleeves to an excerpt from Bedrich Smetana's opera the Bartered Bride, this band does everything on the album. I look forward to finding more CDs. They have a number of CDs; however, most or on the Venkow label (a polyGram Company) which do not appear to available in the U. S. I hope that Amazon will add more of these CDs to their catalogue.
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By A Customer on December 14, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Druha Trava is a collection of true musicians and the album Czechmate shows that off better than any previous work. The album is a collection of music that combines folk, bluegrass, rock, blues, and operatic influences. The band members, who hail from the Czech Republic, have a firm grasp on American music. Their version of Bob Dylan's One More Cup of Coffee is incredible. But the two songs that really stand out are Peace in the Valley and the Rolling Stone's Wild Horses.
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