To the Tavern

LKQ’s fourth album, 'To the Tavern', is a dawn-to-dawn story about a klezmer band’s arrival in a small town. With a wealth of traditional-style compositions by the band, the adventure also features the irresistibly sonorous vocals of Indra Buraczewska in traditional laments, a Warsaw Yiddish theatre hit with a hint of jazz (‘Goodbye New York’) and a song about beetroot soup.

A band arrives at dawn at the railway station outside a small middle-European country town for a 24-hour sojourn. The musicians find their way around, get to know the locals and lead a rowdy session at the local tavern, before exhaustion sets in as they see in the new day. The album was inspired by a short story by Peter Justin Newall entitled 'Konrad's Bukovina Khosidl', and the artwork inside the CD depicts scenes in a film-roll format.

  To_the_Tavern_cover

Read the story that inspired the album

Buy To the Tavern

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Reviews

"The group’s fidelity to klezmer’s rich past has been consistently coupled with a subtle and forward-thinking experimentation.. It’s a record of uninhibited playing, of travelling from town to town, inn to inn, dismantling otherness and difference through singing, dance, humour and sometimes emotionally wrought composition." fROOTS
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"One of the best bands in the UK playing Jewish klezmer music." London Evening Standard
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"Expert players... A fantastic collection of nostalgic reveries." Songlines Magazine
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"Traditional yet creative. Old tunes with a new twist - very enjoyable and dynamic." Radio Centre-Ville, Montreal

"What a great listen! Utterly convincing compositions of the band members, confirming them as amongst the leading klezmer composers of our generation. A beautifully conceived and well crafted album." Musicdeli
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"The LKQ is a band that goes from strength to strength on each album, and on this, their fourth, they've surpassed themselves.... There's an unforced, elegant dynamism and flow to the music and almost telepathic communication between the musicians." Stirrings
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"Highlights are almost too many to mention... Take some friends for a drive with the London Klezmer Quartet, if they don't thank you, find new friends." Northern Sky Magazine
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"Four talented women... An exuberant collection... By turns playful and mournful, but never less than totally enthralling." R2
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Borscht Dunika Waltz

Carol Isaacs (accordion) says:

Konrad's Bukovina Khosidl

It was during a workshop at the Sydney Conservatorium on our Australian tour last year that we met Peter Justin Newall. He brought his double bass and also a copy of a short story he had written, Konrad's Bukovina Khosidl. He had just finished writing it that day and something made him bring it to the class to give to us. We read it and the story haunted us for the rest of the tour.

When we were thinking about recording the next LKQ album Peter's story came to mind. To The Tavern is based on parts of Konrad's Bukovina Khosidl; a klezmer band arriving at a train station somewhere in Europe at dawn; the blank signpost pointing them to a small anonymous town; staying at a klezmer inn*; playing for a party in the tavern that night; leaving as dawn is breaking the next day for the station and a train to an unknown destination.

Later on, Peter wrote "I'm not in the habit of foisting manuscripts on complete strangers, please believe me. I brought 'Konrad' along to that class and pressed it on you because I had been a given a real sense that something good would come of passing it to the LKQ specifically. And if the story has really inspired some music, then to me that is about as good as it gets. It vindicates the whole premise of the tale."

Peter Justin Newall presently lives in Australia, but has spent most winters of his adult life travelling by train through Central and Eastern Europe, pursuing the ghosts of the Habsburg Empire, the Soviet Union and his ancestors, and listening to live music. He recently stayed a year in Odessa, Ukraine, where he sang in a popular local blues band. He began writing three years ago, and his stories have been published in England, Hong Kong and Australia.

You can read the story on Peter's blog.

*In Poland there had been a long tradition for Jews to be able own taverns and sell alcohol. Music and Yiddish poetry were often provided as entertainment.

 

 


"Four highly accomplished and in-demand musicians." Folk Roots magazine