The untraditionally traditional Cymru, Wales-based group Calan is the only Gwerin (translation: Folk) band to be held in a detainment cell at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport alongside a death metal band from Estonia. Calan is also the only band of any genre to follow-up that experience by performing alongside Sting at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 50th birthday celebration of famed opera singer, Sir Bryn Terfel Jones.
These facts, even without listening to a note (or a foot stomp) from Calan, makes them rock stars, albeit rock stars on a mission to prove that traditional music, based on folklore and taught and performed through the generations, actually does rock. With 2017 performances in Australia and China following several months touring the US and UK supporting the new album "Solomon" (Sain Records, May 12th), Calan is on its way to accomplishing that.
Despite the ancient roots of Calan’s music, this brash, young group is comprised of a new generation of ambassadors, striving to take their sound to new audiences, raising some eyebrows with their deliberate presentation, while also raising the international profile of traditional Welsh music. Get used to this: Accordion, Fiddle, Pipes, Harp, and the percussive sound of Clogs are the new Guitar, Bass, and Drums.
To date, Calan has gone from busking in the streets of Cardiff to introducing Welsh traditional music to curious music fans in the UK, Belgium, Italy, France, and on several tours of North America, playing festival shows on huge stages to tens-of-thousands, as well as at local folk club shows, unrestricted by sound systems, while standing on tables and jumping off chairs.
"Solomon"'s latest single is "Kân"," a patriotic song about the future of the Welsh language and culture which samples the voice of famed poet, Nigel Jenkins, the late father of Calan member Angharad Jenkins. The chorus of this song is based on the style of traditional psalm chanting popular in west Wales at one time.
"Solomon," the latest album by Calan, arrives via Sain Records on May 12th, 2017.
- Gwerin / Folk