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MP3 Romashka - Gypsy Muzica for Dancing & Dreaming

"A lethal dose of gypsy firewater, Romashka will kick you in the ass and sing about it." (DJ Joro-Boro, Mehanata - The Bulgarian Bar)

8 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Eastern European, POP: Quirky

Like a shot of honey-pepper vodka, Romashka sweetens your lips, hits you heavy in the gut, and induces vertiginous euphoria. Listening to this "lethal dose of gypsy firewater" (DJ Joro-Boro, Mehanata), the brassy Balkan beats make you pound your feet, sexy string and accordion syncopations make your hips shake and the heart-twisting Russian tangos and tales of lost love make your spirit sigh and cry. Lithuanian-born singer Inna Barmash fronts a band of multifaceted American musicians and one half-Romanian madcap accordionist, who bring years of Klezmer, jazz and rock experience to their Gypsy music journey.

Roma is the Gypsy term for the Gypsy people. The complex rhythms and odd harmonics in Gypsy music are enough to enthrall musicologists, but to understand it, all you need are ears, a heart, and... a soul. Romashka draws its repertoire primarily from Romanian and Russian Gypsies - with hints from Spain, Turkey and beyond. The musicians have traipsed around Eastern Europe and the Eastern European enclaves of NYC collecting and imbibing local folk music and culture.

Mashke is Yiddish for "liquor." This is party music that burns in the belly. Romashka has roused crowds from BAM Café to the Bulgarian Bar, from weddings to late-night house parties that have shaken the walls and drawn the cops. "If you really want a challenge, try sitting still while Romashka plays!" (Michael Ginsburg, Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band).

Romashka is Russian for "daisy." Next to raucous dance numbers you will also find aching, world-weary love songs, as sweet and unexpected as a flower in a parking lot.

Romashka detonates its signature Gypsy bacchanalia into this debut album. Count down for music with deep roots and fierce vitality, showcasing both technique and attitude, pulsing between seventh heaven and the nine circles of hell:

8. Moldovan Batuta, from the hellish little nation between Romania and Ukraine.
7. A Russian Gypsy medley of Zaznobila - a heart-wrenching tale of lost love,
and Baro Faro (Great City) - in which love is found again.
6. Rustemul - a grungy purgatorial Romanian dance.
5. Sinfully jolly Romanian bar song La Circuma de la Drum.
4. Confessional Russian tango Tayna in which the Secret is you.
3. Shimdiggy -an original mixing moist New Orleans with dusty Romanian roads.
2. Seductively Eden-esque Russian Gypsy ballad Loli Phabay (The Red Apple).
1. A jazzed-up version of Fanfare Ciocarlia''s Romanian classic Mariana.

This debut album was recorded on January 23, 2005 at Vibromonk in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by Tamir Muskat (Balkan Beat Box) and features

Inna Barmash: vocals
Jake Shulman-Ment: violin
Jeff Perlman: clarinet & saxophone
Ben Holmes: trumpet
Stevhen Iancu: accordion
Joey Weisenberg: guitar
Ron Caswell: tuba
Timothy Quigley: drums & percussion

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