By Hans Järeby for Jönköpingsposten, March 29th, 2015
Svängig fräsch folkmusik med Anna
Anna Lindblad är en dynamisk spelman med ett kraftigt fiolspel och ett driv som ingen annan. Dessutom en charmig närvaro som direkt skapar kontakt med sin publik. Hon bangar inte för att tala om att hon inte spelar mer än på fyra strängar på den femsträngade fiolen. Det märks dock inte i hennes svängiga spel och trion ger oss en härlig timme av svensk traditionell folkmusik, Old-Time och dansk folkmusik med moderna takter. Hon avslöjar också att Schottis efter Hagberg, är hennes favoritlåt.
När hon sedan får höra henne spela så känner man genast att det här är en musiker som älskar det hon gör och älskar att hitta nya infallsvinklar i folkmusiken. Inte så underligt att Ryan Drickey från USA, fastnat för att stanna i Sverige. Han älskar den skandinaviska folkmusiken och trivs bra med Anna och cellisten Anders Löfberg. Anders är en fulländad musiker från Småland som är lika hemma på fiol, cello och bas, den här kvällen stannar han vid spel på cellon. Han sätt att hantera cellon (lite attack) i alla låtar ger den här kvällen en extra touch och härligt sväng.
By Rob Cline for The Gazette, January 19th, 2015
”Fiddler Anna Lindblad hails from Sweden and has been with the band (the Duhks) a very short time, but you’d never know that if it hadn’t been mentioned from the stage. She matched her mates throughout the show, including nailing a tricky unison passage with Podolak on an early Duhks tune. The fact that Podolak had known the song for years and she’d known it for far less time didn’t faze her in the least.”
By Lars Lind for World Music Magazine Lira, September 18th 2014
A new acquaintance, I thought, but it turns out Anna Lindblad plays in both Lyy and Lily Mountain Band (and others). It’s infectious and catchy folk and Anna is a great fiddle player. Her friends contribute to a fantastic album where American Ryan Drickey plays second fiddle of most of the tracks. In addition, heavy names like Roger Tallroth (guitar), Filip Jers (harmonica) and Anders Löfberg (cello).
It is Swedish, American, and Canadian folk in a delightful mix. Original material and other with a lot of traditional music. But it sounds new and fresh and spread a musical joy which is unusual for fiddle albums. ”Reel des menteries” is really cool where American dancer Nic Gareiss‘s feet accompanies Anna’s violin (called percussive dance). The album ends with Anna’s own ”Hörde jag Tønder” (Did I hear Tonder), a folkhit if any. The song ends with a hidden track, but this should not be revealed.
By Devon Leger for SingOut!, September 17th 2014
The new album, med vänner, from young Swedish fiddler Anna Lindblad abounds with triumphant joy. Which is something of a strange thing to say about Swedish fiddling, especially for someone like me who was raised on the dark, terrifying, troll-driven sounds of traditional fiddlers like Bjorn Stäbi. But the tagline on this album, which proves very accurate, is “Contemporary Fiddle Tradition with an Infectiously Positive Attitude.” With med vänner, Lindblad has cherry-picked deeply beautiful and joyous tunes from across the tradition, and cunningly arranged them to become soaring masterworks. To do this, she draws from her long-running interest in other fiddle traditions. On the album, she features powerhouse American old-time tunes, one from John Salyer and one from Marcus Martin, as well as Québécois tunes and tunes of her own composition. Your ear will be tricked into thinking that there’s some kind of thread tying the fiddle rhythms of Sweden to Louisiana’s Cajun country on “Flander’s Dream,” or some kind of link between the heavy drones of Appalachian old-time fiddling and Swedish fiddle doubling or tripling. There isn’t really a link, it’s just that she pulling rhythmic, melodic and arranging ideas from all of these other places into her own tradition to transform her own music.
What’s nice about Anna’s music is that she obviously bases this fusion of many different musical interests on the fellow musicians she plays with who inspire her. The album’s title, med vänner, translates to “with friends,” and as she says in the liner notes, “Music has, for me, always meant friendship. Friendships with people, place, tunes. Thanks to music I’ve made lifelong friends around the world.” And what friends! Louisiana’s Dirk Powell (Balfa Toujours, T-Bone Burnett) guests on banjo, world-class stepdancer Nic Gareiss joins in on the lovely French-Canadian tune “Reel des menteries,” Roger Tallroth of star Swedish rootsters Väsen plays guitar throughout, bringing his endlessly thoughtful and inventive accompaniment, and Colorado fiddler Ryan Drickey seconds many of Anna’s fiddle lines. Each guest meshes perfectly with Anna’s fiddling, but I think rather than viewing this as an album with a mighty guest list, it might be better to view this as part of a larger trans-Atlantic movement bringing Nordic roots closer to American traditions. Most of the players guesting here and Anna herself have spent years pushing this movement and I think we’re starting to see it bear fruit. What a grand time to be discovering new music and making lifelong connections. Hail to the new generation of traditional musicians! Long may they reign.