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The Forge Players ft Freddie Wadling – Flow my teares




The Forge Players were kind of a supergroup of Swedish string musicians. The quintet included members of several contemporary chamber music ensembles and symphony orchestras as well as viola player Mikael Marin from the amazing folk band Väsen. In 1998, they released their only album, Flow my teares, which contains renditions of music by Renaissance master composer John Dowland.

In contrast to many versions of Dowlands music, and certainly so compared to the lute and voice setting for which the songs were originally written, The Forge Players’ interpretations are powerful, dark and sometimes quite heavy (as in What if I never speed?). Featured in a few songs each are singers Mikael Samuelsson and Freddie Wadling.

Samuelsson was at that time probably best known for doing the title part in the musical The Phantom of the Opera, in a production that ran in Stockholm for several years (I did actually see that show once). Freddie Wadling’s career began in several punk band in the 1970’s, and he went on to become one of the most unique singers in Sweden, performing avantgarde, rock, and many other genres, in bands like Cortex, The Flesh Quartet and Blue For Two, and as a solo artist. His a capella rendition of the title track on this album is just incredible!

Sadly, Freddie Wadling passed away yesterday at the age of 64.




The cover series: The Unthanks & King Crimson

Playing a cover song is not as easy as one might think, at least not if it’s to be done well. Many bands try to sound as identical to the original artist as they can, and to me this is usually quite pointless. To make a cover interesting in my opinion, you have to add your own character to the song, not try to be a jukebox. In many cases this happens when artists cover a song from a totally different genre than they usually play.

This post introduces The cover series, where I present artists who do precisely this.
British sisters Becky and Rachel Unthanks, vocalists of The Unthanks, have their roots in English folk singing, and use that as the foundation for their music as it expands in different directions. Their rendition of one of King Crimson‘s most wonderful tracks, Starless, is utterly beautiful and haunting, with piano and a string quartet providing the accompaniment for the vocals and trumpet.



Below is King Crimson’s original song.