With Karen Ashbrook:
KA·PO in Concert Old & New Traditional Music from In and Around Belgium (and Ireland!) on harp guitar, hammered dulcimer, accordion & wooden flute. KA/PO brings driving dance tunes, whimsical songs, haunting airs and more direct from a 2013 concert in to your music player! Review Neal Walters for Dulcimer Players News:
"Karen Ashbrook and Paul Oorts are two of the busiest musicians on the planet. Karen and Paul's newest recording, recorded at a European-themed concert for the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, is the first to focus entirely on their duet arrangements. The tunes range from sprightly, playful and mischievous to introspective, contemplative and comic, all showcasing their incredible virtuosity and their complete mastery of the many facets of European dance music. This is music that will have you wondering how in the world they find this stuff even as your foot is tapping insistently. I don't know a branle from a bourée, but I recognize great music when I hear it! "...
Spring Will Come - Celebrating 30 Years of Playing Hammered Dulcimer Featuring Belgian, Celtic, French & Jewish traditional music from a live concert celebrating thirty years of America's premier player of the hammered dulcimer. Hear the excitement and energy as Karen Ashbrook brings together musicians extraordinaire on Celtic harp, vocals, cittern, harp guitar & percussion. Includes Boys of Bedlam and Paul Oorts playing accordion and singing the lusty French buskers' song "Accordéon." Review by Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR:
"It was a pleasure to hear these musicians’ sweet set of songs characterized by vigor, freshness and clarity. Tempos attach right to the grooves, and renditions never sound rushed. They allow the audience to connect and relish in the moment...
Ashbrook also knows how to make the dulcimer particularly gleaming and sweet sounding with such techniques as plucking or dampening the strings when appropriate. Her flute and whistle-playing are buoyant and lyrical...
Overall, Spring Will Come is a lumionous album full of both wanderlust and panache."
Celtic Café Irish, French and Flemish instrumental music from the cultural crossroads of Europe. Features Karen Ashbrook and Paul Oorts. They perform on hammered dulcimer, wooden flute and pennywhistle; harp-guitar, classical and steel stringed guitars, mandolin, musette accordion, cittern, tenor banjo and with a wide and diverse range of guests on fiddle, uilleann pipes, woodwinds and soprano sax , French horn, bass, piano, and percussion. Review in the Washington Post:
"If you think an album named in honor of the cozy cafes and noisy pubs that have long nurtured Celtic and Continental music would be filled with lively but somewhat ragged performances, you're half right. The latest release by multi-instrumentalists Karen Ashbrook and Paul Oorts is the product of a series of wonderfully energetic and exquisitely arranged collaborations. Ashbrook is an American Irish hammer dulcimer player well known for her work with the Ceoltori Celtic Ensemble. Oorts, her husband, is an exceptionally versatile Belgian musician and scholar…"
Review in Dirty Linen:
"By now, Celtic music has been blended with more things than a packinghouse sausage so I don't exactly jump out of my chair when a CD purporting to be a unique mix lands in my mailbox. But I'll make an exception for Celtic Cafe, that pairs Belgian-born fretted instrument master Paul Oorts with Karen Ashbrook, an American who dazzles on hammered dulcimer, flute, and penny whistle. Their collaboration mixes Irish, Scottish, Flemish, and French music."<->
Guest Artist On:
Cottage in the Glen - Jody Marshall
Fire and Water - Andrea Hoag
Moonfire - Present, Past and Future (pictured)
Cracks and Shadows - David Wiesler
What did we leave behind? - Doofus
Preachers' Daughters - Debra Justice and Rachel Sprinkle
The Curlews - Cliff Moses
Chameleon - Alexander Mitchell
Mystic Dance - Maggie Sansone
Food for the Long Haul - Jesse Palidowsky
Red-Haired Boy - Craig Harrell
Otter Creek - Ken Kolodner & Brad Kolodner (pictured)
With Simple Gifts:
A Place Just Right (with Steve Schneider)
"Brought me moments of awe at the amount of creativity and freshness.
I highly recommend it." (Dulcimer Players' News)
With Steve Schneider:
You can hear us play Scott Joplin's Cascades Rag (YouTube video), and look at some of the interesting soundholes designed by our friend James Jones (who built Steve's instrument).
My favorite tune of the album is called Woodworm