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cd cover Annbjørg Lien and Bjørn Ole Rasch
Come Home (Grappa)

With Lien on fiddle, hardanger fiddle and nyckelharpa (and a bit of vocal) and Rasch playing harmonium, the duo offers both traditional and original material on this 2010 release.

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More music by Annbjorg Lien
From RootsWorld's review:
In 2009, Lien released a duo record, Come Home, with Bukkene Bruse bandmate Bjørn Ole Rasch. Rasch is known primarily for his work on organ and synthesizers, but for this recording he switched to a harmonium which was given to him by Halvard Kvåle, the Hardanger fiddler and founder of Heilo Records.

This CD features compositions by Lien and Rasch along with some traditional Norwegian folk music and a pair of tunes by one of Norway's best Hardanger fiddle players from the last century, Hans W. Brimi. These are great tunes and great arrangements, and the recording is refreshing. Lien said the duo worked to create space in the music which "gave place for details and variations in tone." The creaking of the harmonium is built into the sound adding a real presence, a right-here feel to these songs.

The reworking of "The Old Car" (from the Waltz With Me record) is especially impressive. It's less quirky here, more lilting. Lien and Rasch also add a new arrangement of "January" which they recorded on Lien's 2000 outing, Baba Yaga, this time without the synths. "We toured with this setting," Lien said, "and there were requests from the audience to play 'January' and 'Old Car' live. So we included them on the record." These two pieces demonstrate how good Lien's compositional and arranging skills are. Both feel like they were written with fiddle and harmonium in mind, and yet they worked perfectly in the earlier contexts too.

On the title track we hear Lien singing a beautiful traditional ballad. Her voice is just right for this setting. Come Home explores a smaller range of styles than Waltz With Me does, but the execution is spot on.

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