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Riverboat Records

Wild Goats & Unmarried Women



United by their love of rip-roaring artfully delivered klezmer, She'Koyokh spin tales of wild goats, unmarried women and broken hearts drawn from the rich folk traditions of Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Balkans.
United by their love of rip-roaring artfully delivered klezmer, She'Koyokh spin tales of wild goats, unmarried women and broken hearts drawn from the rich folk traditions of Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Balkans.

'Britain's best Klezmer & Balkan music band'Songlines

'one of London's musical treasures, playing the best Balkan and klezmer music in Britain' 5*****stars, The Evening Standard

4****stars, The Guardian

'among the finest klezmer ensembles on the planet... striking aural experience' 5*****stars, The Weekend Australian

'a hugely enjoyable listen'
4****stars, Top Of The World, Songlines

Wild Goats & Unmarried Women

Inspired by wandering nineteenth century klezmorim, She'Koyokh have spent the last decade sponging up the rich folk musics of Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Balkans. The first incarnation of the band cut its teeth busking at Columbia Flower Market in the heart of London's East End. Nowadays they are more likely to be found stomping the stage floors of Europe's most prestigious concert halls with Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and London's Southbank Centre already ticked off the list.

Wild Goats and Unmarried Women pays tribute to Eastern European repertoire via the opening track 'Beregovski Sher/Honga/Freilicher Yontov', which includes a musical tribute to Ukrainian ethnomusicologist Moshe Beregovski.

Another track, the Romanian tune 'Țigăneasca de la Pogoanele' is inspired by the recordings of accordionist Constantin Fulgerica and violinist Tudor Pana, as well as the manouche jazz of guitarist Django Reinhardt and the sound of the taragot reed instrument. Heading further east She'Koyokh uncover Russian tradition. 'Limonchiki' is a song first made famous by the Soviet Jewish jazz singer Leonid Utyosov in the 1930s. The track is full of character, Odessa gangster character to be precise: the title is Russian rhyming slang for milionchiki (millions of roubles).

Drifting far southwest to Greece next, 'Selanik Türküsü’ is a lament for lost love. The lyrics tell the story of a couple who are preparing to marry before discovering that the bride has cholera - the lovers beg death to grant them three more days together. Band members Susi and Matt learnt the traditionally slow tune 'Argitikos Kalamatianos' on the overnight boat from Crete to Athens.

Turkish tradition is also illuminated: 'Teke Zortlatmasi' takes its name from the tekes (billy goats) that live along the South West coast of Turkey. When the mating season starts, the males jump up and down to attract female goats - allegedly the inspiration for the genre of music heard here.

On other songs She'Koyokh mesh location and genre with genius ease. 'Der Filosof/Flatbush Waltz' partners a satirical song mocking rabbis of the Hassidic movement with a waltz that has become a standard of the klezmer repertoire. This arrangement was authored in part by revered klezmer musician Andy Statman who is known for both for his work as a clarinettist and as a bluegrass mandolinist. Join She'Koyokh as they discover, uncover and revel in the uproarious sounds of the klezmer tradition's fascinating history.

Wild Goats & Unmarried Women takes you on a true klezmer odyssey, with She'Koyokh delivering a classic album that combines the zest of their live performance with the virtuosity and intelligence of their musicianship.


Detailed Track Information

Beregovski Sher/Honga/Freilicher Yontov
Soviet-Jewish ethnomusicologist Moshe Beregovski made around two thousand field recordings of Yiddish music in the Ukraine between 1929 and 1947. American academic Mark Slobin has re-published many of the melodies, now regarded as treasures of the klezmer repertoire. The Honga is a Jewish version of a popular Hungarian dance. Freilicher Yontov(Happy Holiday) was composed by maverick of the klezmer clarinet, Naftule Brandwein (1884-1963).

Esmera Min
With a theme of unrequited love, Esmera Min (My Brunette) is a traditional Kurdish song from Turkey. Çiğdem has known the song since her childhood in Istanbul where it became a hit after being translated into Turkish.The chorus shares its melody with a nign(Yiddish: tune) sung by Hasidic Jews from Stolin.

Hora De La Munte
Introduced to the band by our former bass player Oliver Baldwin, this Moldavian Dance from the Mountain originated in the Carpathian mountains of North Eastern Romania.

Țigăneasca De La Pogoanele
Inspired by the recordings of accordionist Fulgerica, violinist Tudor Pana, the music of guitarist Django Reinhardt, and the sound of the taragot (a reed instrument popular in Romania), we have introduced clarinet as well as a touch of manouche to this Roma tune from Pogoanele, a town in the Buzău County, South East Romania.

Poco Le Das La Mi Consuegra/Scottishe 'Saint Julien'
This Sephardic song is a quarrel between mothers-in-law. The groom's mother accuses the bride's mother of not providing a large enough dowry. We learnt the medieval Scottische from fellow musicians at the Saint Chartier festival in France.

Argitikos Kalamatianos
Argos is a city in the Peloponnese region of Greece. It is said, however, that this tune gets its name from the way it is played -argos means slow. Matt and Susi learnt this melody on the overnight boat from Crete to Athens when they were visiting She'Koyokh's former percussionist and great friend, Dimitris Chaidemenakis.

Selanik Türküsü
A poor young man goes to Thessaloniki to find work and falls in love with the beautiful daughter of the wealthy merchant who employs him. After gaining the merchant's surprising approval the lovers prepare to marry, only to find out a week before the wedding that she has cholera. The lovers beg Death to give them three more days together.

Kopano Horo
Boris Karlov (1924-1964) was born into a family of Gypsy musicians in Sofia. He is best known for pioneering the accordion as a solo instrument in Bulgarian folk music. This tune is from a collection of early Bulgarian recordings, compiled by American accordionist Lauren Brody.

Moj Dilbere
A love song from the Bosnian Sevdah tradition. Sevdalinkas have existed since the Ottoman Empire and are usually very elaborate, melancholic and passionate songs with Ottoman and Sephardic elements. "Dilbere" here refers to a man, although in Turkish it means a beautiful, charming woman!

Jaseni Kolo/Miloševka Kolo
Krnjevac (1924-1991) was a legendary figure of traditional Serbian accordion playing. He named the first tune of this pair after the riverJasenica in Central Serbia. Urosević was born in 1931 and still leads his own band in Belgrade. The kolo is a popular circle dance heard at weddings throughout Serbia.

Teke Zortlatmasi
The Teke Peninsula is a mountainous region along the coast of South West Turkey, taking its name from the tekes(billy goats)that live there. When the mating season starts, the tekes jump up and down to attract female goats. It is said that the jumping goats inspired this genre of music and dancing. The song is about unmarried women who are describing different kinds of men they would like to marry.

Der Filosof/Flatbush Waltz
Zbarjer (c.1824 - c.1884) was from Galicia, Poland. He also lived in Romania and Vienna but died in Istanbul. Despite the beautiful melody, Der Filosof is a satirical song mocking rabbis of the Hasidic movement. The Flatbush Waltz, named after an area of Brooklyn, New York, has become a standard of the klezmer repertoire. Our arrangement reflects Statman's affinity with both klezmer clarinet and bluegrass mandolin.

Svatbarska Rachenitsa/Yavuz Geliyor & La Comida LaMañana
The opening instrumental in this medley is a wedding dance from Thrace in Bulgaria. The song that follows is shared between Sephardic and Turkish traditions and &;Ccedili√Ñ≈∏dem sings here in both languages. The Turkish part of this song takes its name fromYavuz, the battleship that was given to the Ottomans by the Germans during World War One which fought against the Russians, dominating the Black Sea during the war. The Ladino version,La Comida laMañeana, (the morning meal) features a mother trying to persuade her daughter not to fall in love too easily.

Amarantos/Tsamikos ‘Vohaítissa’
The lyrics praise the flower amarantos (non-withering) that grows in steep rocky hills and can keep its golden colour and scent for days after it has been cut. As with many traditional songs, it uses nature as metaphor to express the enduring qualities of Greeks under Ottoman rule at the time. The tsamikos is a popular dance from Epirus, Central Greece and the Peloponnese. ‘Vohaítissa’ (the girl from Voha) is a striking melody with an improvised ending.

A song made famous by the Soviet Jewish jazz singer Leonid Utyosov in the 1930s. To get a feel for the Odessa gangster subtext, it's useful to know that limonchiki (little lemons) is Russian rhyming slang for milionchiki (millions of roubles).