I’m overjoyed to tell you that we — Ljova and the Kontraband, joined by some very special guests — have just released a new album — for free! – exclusively via.. Facebook.
Earlier this year, I was approached by Facebook to put together an album of Russian Folk Songs for their new venture, the Facebook Sound Collection (FSC). The idea behind the FSC is to provide a library of royalty-free music that Facebook and Instagram users can use for their video posts. I’m not really sure how this is supposed to work in practice – the FSC site is disconnected from the main FB site and you can neither share individual tracks nor make a playlist — but hopefully you can figure it out! I couldn’t access the site on my phone or tablet – please try it on your computer.
==> Hear all of the tracks at this link. (I’ve included links to the individual songs at the bottom of this post.)
Highlights for me include the singular Inna Barmash singing the classic “Fragile Rowan”, all of the instrumental solos on the Gypsy song “Why Fall in Love at All”, all of the entertaining re-harmonizations on “The Birch Tree” and an arrangement of the popular “Oh The Frost, The Frost” which shrivels up in a snowbank and stays frozen for the ages… The set list was largely suggested by my parents, Alexander Zhurbin and Irena Ginzburg, and includes some personal favorites as well.
Recorded over a day at Flux Studios in New York, with additional overdubs at Fall on Your Sword in Los Angeles, and at my home studio, the band features: Ljova (fadolín, viola & arrangements), Inna Barmash (vocal), Patrick Farrell (accordion), Dmitri “Zisl” Slepovitch (clarinet & bass clarinet), Joseph Brent (balalaika & mandolin), Cory Beers (cymbalom) and Zoe Guigueno (bass). Recorded by Daniel Sanint, Erik Lutz and Ljova. Produced by Mike Block, mixed by Don Cardinal at Dimension Sound Studios.
With that, our part of the Russian Folk Songs project is done — now it’s up to you to share, make videos, and enjoy!
Full track list and links to individual songs:
Fragile Rowan (featuring Inna Barmash)