No Strings Attached | Bellinzona

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World: World Fusion World: Klezmer Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by No Strings Attached

World music (Brazilian, klezmer, Portuguese, Latin) performed on traditional north american instruments: hammer dulcimer, guitar, bass, mandolin
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Vladmir's Steamboat
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4:21 album only
2. Under the Apple Tree/Hot Club Swing
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3:24 album only
3. Schottische du Stockfish
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2:40 album only
4. Assenhado
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4:43 album only
5. Waltz of the Jewel
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2:58 album only
6. Spirit Feel
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3:33 album only
7. Funtaslikh
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5:36 album only
8. Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women
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3:11 album only
9. Langstrom's Pony/Maid at the Spinning Wheel
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4:13 album only
10. Manha du Carnival
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4:36 album only
11. Flor de Santa Cruz
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2:08 album only
12. Minor Swing
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2:53 album only
13. Tras o Monte/Mariachi Meltdown
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4:35 album only
14. Bryan O'Lynn
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3:45 album only


Album Notes
Formed June 1978, in Blacksburg, VA.

An award-winning quartet based in Roanoke/Blacksburg, Virginia, No Strings Attached actually features hundreds of strings playing music described as "eclectic, jazz on acoustic instruments and world beat." Much like Clark Kent appears ordinary for the most part, only to become Superman after visiting a convenient phone booth, No Strings is superficially a traditional string band focusing on instrumental arrangements, but they consistently stretch the boundaries of string music beyond traditional concepts. The Washington Post accurately described them as "one of the more adventurous string ensembles today." While their recordings feature traditional acoustic music, they also incorporate material by Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, the Chieftains, and Bill Spence, as well as their own originals. The eclectic brand of music they play and their exciting stage personae--think Cirque du Soleil and you're close--has allowed them to open for such artists as Mary Wilson and the Supremes, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Doc Watson, Turtle Island String Quartet, John Hartford, and John McCutcheon. They have played in European venues such as Cardiff Harbor Festival (Wales), Pontardawe Festival (Wales), Cork Midsummer Festival (Ireland), FolkClub Zuriche (Switzerland) and in U.S. venues ranging from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and CBS TV's Morning News program to major festivals such as the Pacific Rim International Music Festival in Los Angeles, California. They wrote and performed the theme song for the PRI radio show World Cafe. On stage, they typically dance the tango with their instruments, parody old rock and roll bands, clog while playing old-time tunes, and sometimes use the slinky (yes, the old toy) as a percussion instrument. The band members don't cite strong folk music influences. Bassist Bob Thomas comes from the jazz, rock, and bluegrass worlds and is one of the vocalists in the group. He takes his role as "bassist" to heart, playing acoustic bass, bass
clarinet, and bass saxophone, with the goal of "owning a bass instrument from every instrument family." Wes Chappell is the other vocalist and the multi-instrumentalist of the group. His background is rock and roll, but he plays in a variety of styles. Harmonica player Pete Hastings has become well known for his virtuosity on the chromatic and diatonic harmonicas, having studied under harmonica master Howard Levy for a number of years. Hastings also doubles as the group's guitarist. Randy Marchany, who plays the hammer dulcimer and keyboards, was trained as a classical pianist. So, given their varied backgrounds, perhaps the band's selection of material isn't all that unusual. This variety of styles is one of the cornerstones of their appeal.

Source: MusicHound Folk: The Essential Album Guide

Band Members

Pete Hastings, guitar, harmonica (1978-present)
Bob Thomas, bass, bass clarinet, bass saxophone (1984-present)
Wes Chappell, hammer dulcimer, mandolin, mandola, guitar, pennywhistle, percussion (1978-present)
Randy Marchany, hammer dulcimer, synthesizer, piano, percussion (1980-present)


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Full of variety, energy and awesomeness!
I first saw No Strings Attached perform at First Night Williamsburg (I think) on the eve of 1999 (I think). I was ten or eleven years old (which is why I can't clearly remember the details). And because there were multiple sets for almost every artist performing there, my family went to see them twice. The music was incredible, and especially the variety, and the energy with which it was played. We bought this album right then and there in the form of a cassette tape. But of course, that technology gave way to compact discs and then to digital music files. So I ordered Bellinzona from CD Baby so I could listen to it in the car and on my iPod, rather than being restricted to my outdated boombox.

I love this album. The variety of music is so great as to please any musical taste (at least for those who have eclectic collections of world music, like me), and the sheer energy and talent on this album is just amazing.

You have never, ever heard the hammered dulcimer being played like this before. Because of this album, I find that traditional Celtic music played solo on the dulcimer actually bores me. That's how good this album is. Attention folk and world music fans: Buy it. Love it.