Eileen McCabe writes about +1 in the new issue of Irish Music Magazine:
RALSGARD & TULLBERG
Kap Syd Label, KAPCD007,
13 Tracks, 51 Minutes
The emergence of Swedish folk music was strongly associated with the fiddle and nyckelharpa in the early 19th century and the fiddle was again the focal instrument in the traditional spelmanslag that gained momentum throughout the 1940’s and 50’s. A significant folk music revival in the 60’s and 70’s brought new instrumental into the fold in the form of mandola, guitar, flute and saxophone among others and also revived the Swedish bagpipes, hurdy gurdy and harjedalspipa. The expansion of instrumentation brought a shift in the Swedish musical tradition from solo melody to music in an ensemble form; a form which Ralsgard and Tullberg have married by the effortless intertwining of individual flute instrumental in their new album +1. The concept pertains to the album title in that the duo have invited a musical guest (a Plus One) into each track on the album to add spice to the already flavoursome flute sound.
The pair, who previously released their debut Traditional Folk Music from Sweden to high regard, showcase their own work in this new album with Ralsgard’s Hund Med Hela Tre Ben performed with a heady conviction where the defining rhythms march boldly into Engelsk Gimp taken from the Bast collection of tunes; the lightness and purity of flute soaring above the deeper more grounded string instrumental before gliding chirpily into Tre Engelskor. A highlight is the breathy echoed opening in Lisa Bollings Vispolska where the wind instrumental weaves and circles around the layers of languid sound. The pair close the album with a soft introduction to the flowing Farmors Brudvals; a fitting end to a full showcase of sound that encapsulates the heart of the Swedish tradition yet allows room for exploration both with instrumental and arrangements. Another credit to the folk music of Sweden and Denmark from flute connoisseurs; Ralsgard and Tullberg.