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Interviews & Reviews - Appalatin in Chicago
Appalatin at Docktoberfest, Chicago, 27 October 2013
Photos and writeup by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved
Docktoberfest was a public celebration organized by condominium owners advocating for improvements in the Polk Street neighborhood of Chicago. One of the bands that performed at their two-day festival was Appalatin, a Louisville-based band that fuses Appalachian folk and roots music with Andean folk music, cumbia and Caribbean percussion. The instrumentation is an interesting mix of regular guitars, charango (a member of the lute family), sapoñas (Andean flutes), Carribbean percussion, cajón and bass.
According to leader Yani Vozos, the group came together in 2006 and began devoloping a strong following in the greater Louisville area over time. It recently released its second album, Waterside (you can read our review here), and this year it began touring more widely.
One of the most interesting things about this group in live performance is the range of styles that it sometimes brings into play within songs. The Andean elements of the music mix nicely with the other styles (and Mr. Moya, who does the heavy lifting with those instruments, has clearly listened to other genres including Jazz in addition to the folkloric music) - he gets some lines out of the flutes that you don't normally hear.).
They also play some standards such as My Old Kentucky Home with a different feel - the original didn't have any percussion in the background, for example. Appalatin's website, which includes some videos, is http://www.appalatin.com
We think we'll be seeing more of them in the future.