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Folk music in Prague. Help!

Gweltas 07 Sep 10 - 10:27 PM
Joe Offer 07 Sep 10 - 10:58 PM
GUEST 08 Sep 10 - 02:00 AM
GUEST 08 Sep 10 - 02:08 AM
mandotim 08 Sep 10 - 04:58 AM
GUEST,Patsy 08 Sep 10 - 05:20 AM
Jack Campin 08 Sep 10 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,FloraG 08 Sep 10 - 03:00 PM
Gweltas 08 Sep 10 - 10:56 PM
GUEST 09 Sep 10 - 05:27 PM
Jack Campin 09 Sep 10 - 07:05 PM
Gweltas 10 Sep 10 - 01:26 AM
Tyke 10 Sep 10 - 07:18 AM
Jack Campin 10 Sep 10 - 07:42 AM
Tyke 10 Sep 10 - 07:52 AM
Tyke 10 Sep 10 - 07:54 AM
Jack Campin 10 Sep 10 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Sep 10 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Sep 10 - 01:06 PM
Gweltas 11 Sep 10 - 12:42 AM
Gweltas 11 Sep 10 - 01:05 AM
Gweltas 11 Sep 10 - 01:39 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Sep 10 - 03:33 AM
Jack Campin 11 Sep 10 - 05:03 AM
Gweltas 12 Sep 10 - 11:25 PM
Gweltas 13 Sep 10 - 12:11 AM
SPB-Cooperator 13 Sep 10 - 03:19 AM
mandotim 13 Sep 10 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Sep 10 - 11:56 AM
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Subject: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Gweltas
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 10:27 PM

I am travelling to Prague on this coming Sunday (Sept 11th) and returning home on Sept 24th. I'm wondering if any Mudcatters are familiar with the local folk music scene in Prague and might be able to direct me to a bar, or cafe, or other venue in the city where I might have the opportunity to hear some folk music from this region? I would be very grateful for any suggestions. I have tried hunting for information on line, but without success.
Best Regards,
Anne XX.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 10:58 PM

I heard some great accordion music on an evening river cruise. I looked around for folk music, but didn't find anything. What I DID find everywhere, were flyers advertising classical music concerts in former churches in central Prague - but I didn't get a chance to take any of them in, other than some I heard outdoors.
I think I saw flyers for Klezmer music in the former ghetto.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 02:00 AM

Here`s a band located in the Czech Republic:

http://www.jimmybozeman.com/

There seems to be a lot of American stuff - at leat what I heard...

Good Luck - and please report!

Ernest


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 02:08 AM

P.S.: I remember some american guy playing with a local band telling me that he is living in Prague and playing a place called "Rhed, White & Blue" on tuesdays - not 100% sure about the day or name of the place but you could still try...
E.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: mandotim
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 04:58 AM

Loads of bluegrass and jazz in Prague, but the venues change all the time. I found the best thing to do was to go to a gig (I chose a jazz session) and ask a musician; they always know whats happening; Prague is sort of a big village when it comes to music.
Tim


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 05:20 AM

>I am travelling to Prague on this coming Sunday (Sept 11th) and returning home on Sept 24th. I'm wondering if any Mudcatters are familiar with the local folk music scene in Prague and might be able to direct me to a bar, or cafe, or other venue in the city where I might have the opportunity to hear some folk music from this region? I would be very grateful for any suggestions. I have tried hunting for information on line, but without success.
Best Regards,
Anne XX.<

I haven't been to Prague yet but I would dearly love to go out there and check out the folk music. In Bristol there has been a rise in popularity of 'Balkan Gypsy folk/jazz and would love to have the opportunity to get to hear the 'real' thing when I do go, lots of accordians and strings etc.

Have a great trip and please report back!
Best regards
Patsy X


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 05:27 AM

Go to smaller record shops and look for flyers.

You won't find any Czech folk except for stuff aimed at tour parties, but there will be bluegrass events.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 03:00 PM

We've had the prague castle orchestra at sweeps Rochester. They do busk outside the castle in Prague when not anywhere else and are ace musicians. Hope you catch them.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Gweltas
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 10:56 PM

Dear Joe, I have planned to take the river cruise, so hopefully should get to hear some music on that. Like you said, my internet searches turned up loads of information about classical music concerts in theatres and churches, plus lots of Jazz, Rock & Bluegrass stuff in various pubs and clubs, but nothing on local folk/traditional music. I will be looking out for flyers on Klezmer music when I visit the old Jewish area.

Tim and Jack... thanks for your suggestions and I will certainly follow up on them when I get there.

FloraG, I found a video clip on youtube of a talented group busking outside the castle and they sound like the group you mentioned in your post, so I am hoping that they will be in situ when I get there and not off touring somewhere abroad.

Guest Ernest... thanks also for your posts and I have had a look at the website and it seems to have been a while since it was updated, but they may still be playing at the Red White and Blue cafe on Tuesdays. I will certainly check it out when I get there.

Thanks to all who have responded to my request and I will certainly report back on my return as to my success (or otherwise !) in locating some good local folk music in Prague.

Best Regards,
Anne XX.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 05:27 PM

I would recommend that you buy the prague post which is available from paper shops and street vendors it lists all music and theatre and places to eat. It is cheap to buy and an excellent source for finding out what is really on and is not your usual tourist paper.It is well written and I never go to prague without ensuring
I have a copy.
As for the music scene I have struggled to find authentic folk music tends to be a lot of classical rock and jazz.I have been lucky enough to catch some klezmer music in the jewish quarter. Hope this helps. Cheers


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 07:05 PM

The klezmer will have been just as much part of the tourist industry as the Mozart concerts and the Kafka T-shirts. The charm of that sort of thing wears off rather fast.

The nearest thing to genuine Czech folk music I ever found in the Czech Republic was an old guy in Brno busking with an accordion.

Slovakia (outside Bratislava) is quite a bit better.

There is a terrific folk/jazz fusion group from Prague that centres around cimbalom and bass. I can't remember their name at the moment. They didn't have any recordings when I last looked.

You've missed the Strakonice bagpipe festival this year. Next one in 2012.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Gweltas
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 01:26 AM

Thanks Guest and Jack,
I appreciate your efforts.
Best Regards,
Anne XX


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Tyke
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:18 AM

Not thought about it before having just done so is there an Irish Pub in Prague? If so my bet is that thier will be Guiness and a session. The Polish Sea Shanty Group Banana Boat, well worth a listen, possibly could if contacted get you some further information.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:42 AM

One other place to look for info: there is a musical instrument shop in Naprstkova (city centre, a few minutes walk from the Charles Bridge) which will probably have what's on info. (The instruments themselves are mostly not very good and overpriced for what they are).


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Tyke
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:52 AM

Molly Mallones Prague Usefull Stuff
Flannagans


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Tyke
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:54 AM

Perhaps I should have seperated those 3 Blue Clicky links!


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 08:39 AM

I've never seen an Irish theme bar anywhere that hosted Irish music sessions. Of those three, Rocky O'Reilly's has big screens showing sport in every room all the time and I suspect the other two have pub bands at best.

There probably is an Irish session somewhere in Prague, though - ask at thesession.org if that's your thing.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 12:43 PM

Hello, Gweltas.

About three years ago, my husband and I stayed at a hotel in Prague. He is going to bring home the name of the hotel later today.

In the hotel of the basement was a restaurant, reasonably priced. In the restaurant a trio played music. The trio consisted of cimbalom, violin, and bass fiddle. Mostly they played old American pop tunes, but IF ASKED, they would play traditional music.

To go back in time a little, when he arrived in Prague, we asked our cab driver about folk music. His response was 'The young hate it!" (Possibly because they associate it with the communists, but I cannot be sure.)

Anyhow, a few days later we asked the trio to play something trad. The cimbolom player started playing the most amazing gypsy piece. He was halfway through when the restaurant manager stormed right up to him. (The manager was a suit about 35 years old, with a fluorescent-white complection.) He obviously objected to the music. Then he saw me and my husband, seated right near, smiling and enjoying the music. He turned on his heel and stalked out.

At the time I thought it was a case of 'the customer is always right.' Now I think it's possible the manager was afraid of my husband. My husband is a kind, virtuous man, but he resembles the bad guys on TV, and so foolish people are afraid of him.

We gave the musicians a nice tip to make up for any trouble the manager would cause later.

Well, anyhow, watch this spot for the name of the hotel. If the musicians aren't there anymore, perhaps the hotel can tell you where they went.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 01:06 PM

Got it.

It was the Ambassador. A/k/a Ambassador Vlata Husa, on Wenceslas Square.

The food was just like the stuff my husband's Czech grandfather used to cook.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Gweltas
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 12:42 AM

Dear Jack,
I agree with you that, generally speaking, Irish themed pubs abroad tend to be rather dire and if there is music it, is rarely "live", but is either on tape or CD. There is no mention of music on the Rocky O'Reilly's website, but I will check out the other two in the hope that someone in there may know where the local musicians hang out. While I am Irish and enjoy playing Irish/Celtic music with my friends, I don't hunt for Irish music sessions when I travel abroad. I will definitely check out that music store you have suggested. Thanks.
Best Regards,
Anne XX


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Gweltas
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 01:05 AM

Dear Leeneia,
Thanks so much for your helpful post. I have added your information to my Prague "list" and will certainly check it out when I get there on MONDAY. (I have just noticed that I gave the wrong day and date for my arrival in Prague in my initial post ....a senior moment, I guess !)
Your comment about the food in the Ambassador has intrigued me .... referring to it as "stuff" ! Dare I ask did you mean that it was good palatable stuff, or not very nice stuff ? LOL. Never having been to that part of the world before, I have no idea what is good or bad about the local cuisine, but if there are local specialities that are best avoided it would be useful to know about them !
Best Regards,
Anne XX.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Gweltas
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 01:39 AM

Dear Tyke,
Thanks very much for the links and please check out your messages, as I have sent you a PM.
Best Regards,
Anne XX.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 03:33 AM

The food was fine, just rather bland. Soupy sauces were a major feature. I believe that bland dishes with soupy sauces and dumplings are a Czech specialty.

I was surprised to hear from my husband that the trip I'm describing was in 2001. The memories are so vivid, I can hardly believe it.   

In case you are not familiar with the cimbolom, here is a link to a video of the instrument. The piece being played is similar to the piece which was played especially for us that night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mR0_nFTato

Perhaps you will have good luck if you ask around for cimbolom music rather than folk music.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 05:03 AM

I came to label the standard Czech menu as "Pig and Stodge". Their prime culinary boast is being the nation that invented the dumpling. That said, they do good dumplings. My favourite place to eat in Prague is on Narodni truda, opposite the National Thatre - it used to be a classic workers' cafeteria from the Communist era, and last time I was in there the decor had changed but the menu was much the same.

If you have food allergies you won't find it easy. Marion has gluten and dairy intolerance, and most stuff in shops is only labelled in Slavic languages (not even German). Czech and Slovak have just as many words for wheat- or milk-containing ingredients as English does, so however explicit the labelling it's difficult to work out what it implies. If you're a vegetarian it will be even more difficult.

Czech beer is fantastic, but like almost everything else their culture is known for, they've turned it into tourist megabiz. U Fleku (as in "The Good Soldier Svejk") is the only pub I've been in that has a foreign exchange booth at the door.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Gweltas
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 11:25 PM

Thanks for the information, Leeneia. "Bland" food I can cope with !

Yes, I am familiar with Cimboloms (thanks for the link) because I like Romanian and Hungarian music, which often feature this amazing instrument. I tend to feel a little sorry for Cimbolom players though, 'cos most folk musicians play instruments which are reasonably portable, but it must be a real pain in the posterior moving a Cimbolom for one venue to another ............. unless there is a method of folding them up or "semi flat packing" them for transit!!

I will certainly ask for "Cimbolom music", as you suggest.

I am heading off to the airport in a couple of hours now and will let you know how I fared in my quest for traditional Czech music when I get back home again.

Best Regards,
Anne XX.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: Gweltas
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 12:11 AM

Thanks for the information, Jack. Fortunately I don't have any food allergies, but I still have to watch what I eat as I am on a low fat, low salt and no sugar regime 'cos of type 2 Diabetes. I normally eat only fish and seafood, but I will eat some chicken or turkey if these prove difficult to find. I have booked a self catering apartment with friends, during my stay, so that I can shop and cook for myself ...... if the local cuisine proves detrimental to my blood sugar levels !!
Never having managed to develop a liking for the taste of any kind of alcohol, I will happily leave the beer drinking to my travelling companions and steer them gently back to our apartment if they over indulge !! They have heard that Czech beers are considerably stronger than the norm here, so I know they will exercise a certain amount of caution !! Hopefully, most pubs will have Diet Coke, or other form of diet drink available, but if not, I can opt for plain water.
Thanks again for your help and indeed my thanks to ALL who have given their time to respond to this thread. Mudcatters ........ you are a simply wonderful bunch of people and may God Bless you all
Best Regards,
Anne XX.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 03:19 AM

There is loads of Czech folk music available on CD there.

The theater is on Narodní Třida

When eating and drinking, it is best to avaid the obvious touristy areas and shopping malls as they are overpriced.

best places are just a little bit away from the centre like Dejvice, Letna, Smichov. A slight warning, some restaurants over-salt their food.

About 4-5 years ago I saw a pubsession starting ina pub in Břevnov, nearly oppsite the Monastary.   The trams to Vypich and Bila Hora stop there.

For your companions the beers you can get two strenghts, and also small/large glasses. The dark beers (called tmavy) are nice, the light beers are called svetly. The Moravian wines are nice - the names yo are mos likely to come across are Frankovka or Modry Portugal.

Food names - don't worry, mos places have a menu in english if you ask for it.

bramborove knedliky - potato dumplings - these can be a bit heavier in texture.
Houskove Knedliky - bread dumplings - go well with thick sauces.

You'll find the restaurant cook potatoes in every way you can think of.


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: mandotim
Date: 13 Sep 10 - 03:59 AM

If you want a spooky musical moment, there is an amazing church about halfway up the hill to the castle. The interior looks like Florentine marble, but touch it, and it's warm! It's painted wood for the most part over a rough stone structure. If you can blag your way into the organ loft, put your hands on the keyboard and see if you experience a certain frisson; according to local legend, in the last months of his life, Mozart used to play that instrument!


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Subject: RE: Folk music in Prague. Help!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 11:56 AM

"most folk musicians play instruments which are reasonably portable"

I just read that a cimbolom weighs 250 pounds. Each leg looks like a small tree trunk.

Now I know why every gyspy band seems to have a nebbishy-looking Czech guy who plays the bass. He helps move the cimbolom.

I'm sure it comes apart for easier, if not actually easy, transport.
======
Gweltas has been on her trip for a few days now. I wonder how she is faring and if she's found any good music.


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