TERES AOUTES STRING BAND – Lo Rock ‘n Roll De La Mountagna (TERESCD2018)

Lo Rock'n' Roll De La MountagnaThe Teres Aoutes String Band are from the north-west of Italy and released Lo Rock ‘n’ Roll De La Mountagna in 2018. A couple of weeks ago the e-mail came through asking if I’d like to review it (“it’s sort of folk-baroque-rock and sounds good” – but also pointing out that the whole CD is in Italian). Italian is a language that I neither speak nor have any pretence at understanding, but nothing ventured nothing gained……..

And it does – it sounds good. More than that it’s imbued with a sense of enjoyment. I was wondering which track on YouTube to link to, but I chose ‘Rondeu Du Dahu’, a song with a tune that could be as much at home in an English folk club as it presumably is in Italy. I knew nothing about it other than it sounded like fun. The lyrics are about the dahu which “never goes up…never goes down”.

…..and then I found the video. Let’s face it, anyone making a video of themselves playing acoustic instruments in the snow, in a stone building and in a cow shed has to have a sense of fun. And then I researched it. The dahu is a mythical goat-like animal which has two short legs on one side of its body so it can circle around steep mountain slopes on an even keel. Musically, the first few bars might even have a nod to the famous rising notes in ‘Twist and Shout’. I rather like this band.

‘Rigopop’, the instrumental ‘Courenta Carletta’, ‘Bleus d’Aoste’ and the opening ‘Bouree’ are all instantly likeable. The lyrics (I confess, I was sent a translated sheet of lyrics) wouldn’t be out of place in English folk songs – the man coming home from the fields to find his wife in the arms of the priest and beating them both; the tune of ‘Dirty Old Town’ with lyrics about a man who kisses a beautiful blonde at a dance; ‘La Veca Danca’ another song about dancing and the relations between men and women.

Overall, then, Lo Rock ‘n’ Roll De La Mountagna has been a delight to listen to. Teres Aoutes String Band are a four-piece string band (mostly guitar, mandolin, violin, bass) that remind me how international is the language of music (remember, I don’t speak Italian). Have a listen to ‘Rondeu de Dahu’ below, while reminding yourself the dahu is a mythical goat-like-beast with legs shorter on one side of its body than the other so it can go round a steep mountain slope – and just enjoy the dances and songs of the western Italian Alps – this rock and roll of the mountains.

Mike Wistow

Artist’s website: https://www.facebook.com

‘Rondeu Du Dahu’ – official video:

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