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KEBNEKAISE

Prog Folk • Sweden


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Kebnekaise biography
Headed by guitarist Kenny Håkansson, this early 70's Swedish band, named after the highest mountain in Sweden, tried their hands at a number of different styles over the course of six albums, including blues rock, jazz rock, even African music. However, it is for a couple of Scandinavian folk LP's that they are remembered for. By the end of the 70's, and after a slow disintegration of the band, they more or less successfully tried their hands at symphonic rock and then disappeared. Their albums are mostly instrumental.

Their first, a basically blues-rock album, really bears no resemblance to the rest of their répertoire. The hiring of six new members after its release proved to be the turning point of their career, as they churned out their two excellent folk prog albums, "Kebnekaise II" and "Kebnekaise III". Both take Swedish folk melodies and rock them up/dress them up with a prog sheen. Often played in minor keys, the violin along with the guitar carries the melody, enlivened with congas, bass and drums plus a few assorted traditional instruments. If not spectacular, the musicianship is fairly good and the material fresh and original, making for an exciting listening experience. By their fourth, fifth and sixth albums, the band had abandoned their folk roots for African music, jazz rock and symphonic rock respectively, none really possessing the charm and allure of numbers II and III. Thankfully, a 1993 compilation CD featuring many interesting tunes from II and III has been released under the title "Electric Mountain".

Fans of Swedish folk prog will definitely get a kick out of KEBNEKAISE II and III.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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KEBNEKAISE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KEBNEKAISE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 28 ratings
Resa Mot Okänt Mål
1971
3.96 | 59 ratings
Kebnekaise
1973
4.00 | 30 ratings
Kebnekaise III
1975
3.02 | 8 ratings
Ljus från Afrika
1976
3.88 | 7 ratings
Elefanten
1977
3.00 | 7 ratings
Vi Drar Vidare
1978
3.86 | 11 ratings
Kebnekajse
2009
3.46 | 26 ratings
Idioten
2011
2.83 | 3 ratings
Aventure
2012

KEBNEKAISE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Live Tanto 14-02-04
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kebnekaise på Grand
2005

KEBNEKAISE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

KEBNEKAISE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.39 | 4 ratings
Electric Mountain
1993

KEBNEKAISE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Los Companiddros: I Want my Darlin / Dream Push
1971

KEBNEKAISE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kebnekaise III by KEBNEKAISE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 30 ratings

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Kebnekaise III
Kebnekaise Prog Folk

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Kebnekaise's third record was made two years after their second. Now it was 1975 and the beautiful cover shows a giant troll which has integrated himself with the mountain and now he warms his finger on the smoke from a hut. Kebnekaise represents the Swedish folk music and the melodies are very traditional. But the style of it isn't directly Swedish. It has the rock flavor from England and USA and the beat from Africa. It's interesting music. Mostly though I think this folk rock is psychedelic. It has an almost bluesy swing, fortunately for me that it isn't too much of the blues. The orchestra of Kebnekaise is big; Ingemar Böcker plays guitar and sambaros, Pelle Ekman drums, Mats Glenngård plays violin, mandoline and guitar, Bah Hassan plays congas, timbales and watch, Kenny Håkansson plays guitar and violin and Göran Lagerberg plays bass, Pelle Lindström harmonica, violin, tambourine and Thomas Netzler plays bass and drum. It counted to eight fixed musicians here and it is as usual for Kebnekaise.

This record isn't as good as Kebnekaise II which was totally amazing but it still contains fantastic Swedish folk music is a very special representation. The best song here is the first "Leksands brudmarsch" which has a wonderful flow and I'd call it a hit song(9/10). They got a perfect ballance of melody and groove. The second best track is "Balladen om björnbär och nätmelon" has a strange and not so folky name but it is amazing. The best is the main melodical theme of the song, the record's "grande finale" and then comes a longer psychadelic welcome part(9/10). "Polska från Härjedalen" and "Eklundapolskan" is also amazing songs from the depth of the folk(8/10) and "S:t John" is almost as good(7/10). "Polska från Bingsjö" though is more common and what you would expect of this band(6/10) and "Skänklåt till speleman" is nice and includes vocals as the only one here(6/10). You would absolutely though avoid "Mariamá", the album''s only African track. Just as on their last record "Aventure" is the African tunes here not as good as the others(4/10). Kebnekaise can interpret Africa as they do on their record "Ljud från Africa" which I think is very good, but not here. This record will get a weak four star!

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 Kebnekaise by KEBNEKAISE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.96 | 59 ratings

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Kebnekaise
Kebnekaise Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars According to Kenny Håkansson, after the release of Kebnekaise's first album he was touring with singer/songwriter Cornelis Vreeswijk, who had two fiddle players in his backing band.Their music was so impressive that forced Hakansson to redefine Kebnekaise's sound.By the time of a second album Bella Fehrlin and Rolf Scherrer had left the group, which featured now an expanded line-up: Ex-Heta Linjen's Göran Lagerberg on bass, Mats Glenngård on violin, Gunnar Andersson on drums, Thomas Netzler on bass, Ingemar Boecker on guitar, Hassan Bah on percussion and Pelle Lindström on harmonica and violin.The album, simply entitled ''Kebnekaise II'', was recorded at the Decibel Studios in September 73' and it was released at the end of the year on Silence.

It wouldn't be an excess to say that Kebnekaise not only had passed through a total lifting, musically speaking, but their new style defined a whole new world for Swedish Rock, with elements that plenty of groups borrowed in the future.They mixed Psychedelic Rock with Swedish Folk in a charming way, combining the rock instrumentation with the some folky tunes and the heavy use of violins.Unlike mane people would expect, their music was rather joyful with optimistic tunes, headed by the impressive electric guitars of the Hakannson/Boecker duo, the rural edge of traditional fiddles and the strong use of percussion.Groovy, mid-tempo tracks with good interplays and an emphatic rhythm section, backing the main role players.They even included a long composition, the 16-min. ''Comanche spring'', which sounded a bit different and rather more progressive than the rest of the album.The guitars had now a slight jazzy edge, the solos became more furious, the interactions between guitars and violins were endless and the track swirled between different atmospheres with upfront segments and more smooth lines.The performances overall are pretty great with the Folk touches in the forefront but also many Psychedelic Rock offerings.

A milestone album for Swedish Rock.Not totally flawless or masterfully composed, but certainly this is an album full of great moments and a very original mood.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars

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 Kebnekaise by KEBNEKAISE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.96 | 59 ratings

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Kebnekaise
Kebnekaise Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Competent, intricate folk rock with a distinctively Swedish sound. Some aspects of the production and sound suggest that Kebnekaise was keeping up not just with the American folk rock greats but also the likes of the UK's own Fairport Convention, but at the same time they didn't let this dilute their own personal band identity. At its best when the band let themselves sprawl a little, as on Comanche Spring, the album feels like it's carrying forward the ideals of 60s-era counterculture folk rock without rooting itself in the aesthetics of the previous decade, with the band successfully balancing accessible melodies with progressive song structures.

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 Kebnekaise by KEBNEKAISE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.96 | 59 ratings

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Kebnekaise
Kebnekaise Prog Folk

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

5 stars Kebnekaise II is a record I am proud of to own. It is the group's secord effort and the first with their famous folk rock approach. It has a blue cover with mountains and a fjäll(montain) sea/älv(Swedish river). In inte left corner a japanese person rests. On the back side there is a beautiful painted tree where all the Kebnes have climbed up with guitarist Kenny Håkansson with his long black hair in the middle, drummer Pelle Ekman and bassist Göran Lagerberg in the top, guitarist Ingemar Böcker and conga-man Hassan Bah in the second highest bransch, fiddler Mats Glenngård and bassist Tomas Netzler down on the left bransch and finaly the choir guys Pelle Lindström and Gunnar Andersson on the low right bransch. It was recorded i september 1973 and released on the label Silence(on of the two big progressive labels in 70s Sweden).

For me this is the perfect prog folk record. Kebnekaise(which also is Sweden's highest mountain) combines old folk songs with psychedelic rock and more experimental rock. This full record is amazing. It starts with "Rättvikarnas gånglåt"(The Marching Tune of the People of Rättvik) which is a joyfull folk tune which is sung by singer/songwriter Turid Lundqvist(a front woman of 70s progg). Thereafter comes "Horgalåten"(The Hårga Song) with a psychedelic cautious introduction to explode in a fast folk song with great playing of Kenny Håkansson. This is one of Kebnekajse's most popular tunes and they still use to play it on tour. I heard it last autumn, they are still the same guys and play it wonderfully. Next song "Skänklåt från Rättvik"(Gift song from Rättvik) is even more cautious in the introduction. They are improvising in the beginning in a very psychedelic way and then it totally changes unto a wonderful traditional folk song with great guitars. This is really folk prog heaven, in my opinion much better than Jethro Tull. The B-side has two fantastic tracks. First comes "Barkbrödslåten" (The Bark bread song) which was a progg hit in the 70s. The guitars are very sharpe and powerful, of course a real very old folk song. Finally we have "Comanche Spring" which is the only tune here that is not a traditional folk song. It is long and episodic, starts slow with bass line and explodes with powerful guitars in an exuberant wild melody with interesting tendencies. Sometimes the sound is very experimental here and in my opinion this track is the disc's best.

I would absolutely say this is an essential record, and one of the best in the prog folk genre. Highly recommended!

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 Aventure by KEBNEKAISE album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.83 | 3 ratings

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Aventure
Kebnekaise Prog Folk

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Kebnekajse's latest effort from last year: "Aventure" shows a lot of the group's talent and is worth listen to, but not to spend much money on. It is Kebnekajse's ninth album and featured the old time line up: Kenny Håkansson (guitar, vocals), Thomas Netzler (bass, vocals), Göran Lagerberg (bas), Hassan Bah (jembas, thumb piano, congoma, vocals), Mats Glenngård (violin, yahama electric violin, mandolin, guitar, vocals) and Pelle Ekman (drums and vocals). They have all played in Kebnekajse for several years and really know how to play.

Unfortunately this isn't their best record. The two "african" songs "Aventure" and "Battery" are worse than many other form of music. They seem meaningless and very boring like long jams and not especially interesting at all. Otherwise even this record contains great stuff to enjoy such as "Snickar-Anders" the opener which is both dark and groovy and traditional and very melodical. Is that song they caught speed and joy and it is hard to not move to that song. "Vallåt efter Britta Jansson" is slower but also pure and nice. "Spelmannen" was nice to hear live but theis recorded version isn't so good, quite bad actually and Kenny Håkansson isn't the best singer (but a marvelous guitarist). "Svartbergstrollen" has speed and splendor and shows exactly what a great mixture of folk and psychedelic this is. The three following pieces are also nice with a wonderful melody in "Midsommarnattsdröm" for example. But do not listen to Aventure or Battery, they could not be more boring. How did they ever think of giving the record its name from that [&*!#] track? A big question. I think this could have been better if "Kebne" had waited until this year with releasing it. They could have recorded more and better songs.

Still the most tracks show how great this band can be and I am willing to give it three stars. I recommend you to explore Kebnekajse, but begin with their second(blue) record from 1973.

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 Kebnekaise III by KEBNEKAISE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 30 ratings

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Kebnekaise III
Kebnekaise Prog Folk

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Do a little dance, make a little love - get down tonight. Swedish style!

Up here in the cold north, we have a very similar sounding folk music. Whether you travel to Sweden, Denmark or Norway - there are definite trademarks of an old kind of music that has been in existence for many many centuries. I've actually grown up on this music, and I remember my grandparents dancing along to this unique sounding waltz music quite clearly, and I guess it goes way back into my early childhood years. They were dressed up in traditional costumes - my grandmother wearing a red dress with some kind of apron on top of it. Wooden clogs on her feet - just like my grandpa, and all these other superfluous clothes items, which at the time seemed completely ridiculous to me, as they were on the verge of swinging wildly around on the dance floor. Keeping warm should be the least of their concerns, but what did I know? I clearly remember thinking to myself, that these two strange persons, whom both were part of my family - looked remarkably like Christmas elves, especially my grandpa, who always wore a red woollen pointy pixie hat.

Then the music started and you were instantly thrown into this wild riding violin lead folk ditty - catapulting the dancers into one another -twirling around themselves in some kind of human generated vortex. Bizarrely enough, that is about the best description I can think of regarding this very release. The music on Kebnekaise's third outing, aptly named lll, does the same sort of thing, and I find myself deeply immersed in these old mental pictures of frantic folk dancers twirling wildly about, each and every time I put it on. Yes the music is largely focused on the old Scandinavian folk music, and yes the violin sounds hectic and skewed, spiralling around itself - keeping the beat, yet there is so much more to this album than what meets the ear.

In a most alluring kind of way, Kebnekaise's albums never really sound the same. You'll probably pick up some subtle similarities suggesting that it's the same band, but each album has something new to say. Whereas the self-titled second album sponsored a distinct psychedelic feel to it, sounding like a decisively folky type of Krautrock to yours truly - this one elaborates on the folk tendencies. The first track Leksands brudmarsch is a perfect example of this natural progression. The musical theme is taken directly from a bridal march, though here it is heavily infused by congas and all around fuzzy and frenetic instrumentation. Like all the other tunes here which rely on old school Scandinavian folk thematics, the feel of the thing is somewhat split into the authentic vibe often coming from the duetting violin and guitar, and then what happens around it: a far more psychedelic and rhythmically enhanced pseudo psychedelic music that simply defies description. I guess we're back at those twirling dancers again...

Just like another Swedish band I reviewed not too long ago called Archimedes Badkar, you get the impression that Kebnekaise were trying to challenge the sonic framework of this old national music - adding African and Spanish percussions to the mix. Throwing some psychedelic fiery electric guitars in there - lighting things up nicely.

Then again, when you think you've got this album pinned down, it throws a piece like St. John at you, and alakazam! We're in Benny Hill country! Taking the role of soundtrack to one of England's favourite silent funny men, you're tempted to start all over in your pensive philosophizing about this band's true nature. Well don't you worry, because while this track delivers some brand new musical impressions, and you're most likely imagining this long train of people maniacally chasing Benny around the lawn - the emphasis on folk is still there, albeit in a slightly different dressing. Great you might say, - we finally hit the nail on the head and we can safely pop this mother up on the right shelf - stick this bun in the oven flick it on high and start worrying about dish washing, feeding the koala and other such important things. Hhhmm yeah well maybe not entirely, because when you get to the centrepiece of lll, the second bitch slap occurs. Full blown Krautrock all of a sudden pours out of the speakers. Sticky, gooey and slimy music shambling its way into unknown territories. The guitar takes the lead, the drums transform into old Indian callings - ghost dances - foggy soundscapes - confused expressive earthworm on its belly - emanating this soothing type of salute to the soil. Swoosh - and the worm is gone, maracas march on forward - what sounds like mandolins take off gently - persuading the music for a loftier climate - delivering some welcomed wings to the piece. All of this manufactured in true Krautrock style - focusing on jamming instrumental freedom. Goes without saying that this particular track, Balladen om björnbär och nätmelon (The Ballad of blackberries and Musk-melon), is my favourite out of the lot. I just love it - and I have this unbridled urge to lick it .

I know I've probably tainted this release in an unfair traditional folk light, but just remember that all this sonic candy comes across in a totally original way, which is both highly psychedelic as well as being extremely danceable. If it's been far too long since the last time you aired your wooden clogs to a good waltz, then by all means go ahead and get this. I promise you, you'll never look at a pair of clogs quite the same again - let alone that one true love of yours after the somewhat bizarre cheek-to-cheek you had during Polska från Bingsjö. Someone should probably have told you guys, that you were dancing to a polka....

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 Resa Mot Okänt Mål  by KEBNEKAISE album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.31 | 28 ratings

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Resa Mot Okänt Mål
Kebnekaise Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Kebnekaise is a still active Swedish band found by guitarist Kenny Hakansson in Stockholm in 1971.Hakansson was a famous studio guitarist already from the 60's,having played next to Bo Hansson,Leonard Cohen and Michael Ramel.He was also a member of the Blues/Psych Rock band Mecki Mark Men,led by organist Mecki Bodemark.After his departure from Mecki Mark Men,Kenny recruited bassist Bella Fehrlin,drummer Pelle Ekman and guitarist Rolf Scherrer to complete the original Kebnekaise line-up and release the debut ''Resa mot okant mal'' in 1971 on the Silence label.

Despite being known mostly as an folk/prog rock act,this album contains standard guitar- based hard rock,influenced by the likes of MOUNTAIN and THE CREAM and sounding similar to very early RUSH at times.Powerful playing with often dual guitars,bluesy influences,catchy solos and a humurous edge around is what the listener will face here with a very dynamic rhythm section backing up.The performance is really decent,but what actually spoils the album is the lack of any kind of surprises and the abscence of some personal approach.A few Scandinavian traces can be found here and there,but they are only traces,far from what this band actually had to offer.Additionally the vocals are rather dull and definitely not for my taste.

The feeling this album leaves the listener is the same with the top of the Kebnekaise mountain,after which the band was named: Cold.Recommended only for fans of early-70's guitar-driven hard rock but with no appeal to prog fans at all.

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 Kebnekaise by KEBNEKAISE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.96 | 59 ratings

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Kebnekaise
Kebnekaise Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Buying albums from this band is a bit like playing bingo. You don't know what you get. Hence, you have to investigate each and individual album in ProgArchives before you buy a Kebnekaise album.

In this case, the album starts out as a Swedish folk music album. Folk music mostly from Dalarna if I am not wrong. The album then changes over to a more straight Jazz album. At the end, the styles merges in the bonus track, which is a live version of Horgalåten. A track which is also a space rock track where the guitarist and the rest of the band uses as an improvisation excersise.

Space rock and jazz is not what you think you get when the album starts with a straight folk music tune called Rättvikarnas Gånglåt though. To be fair, they have tried to root their jazzy and space rock excesses in their folk rock roots. And that with a high degree of success. My problem is that I cannot stand Swedish or Scandinavian folk music at all. I think this type of music is a piece of squirrel dung, in general terms. This is a matter of personal preferences though. I am therefore far more happier when Kebnekaise moves into space rock and jazz on this album. The bonus track, the live version of Horgalåten, is far better than the studio version of this track. The jazz tracks at the end of this album is far better than the opening track Rättvikarnas Gånglåt. In short, this is a album that swings between poor and good. But ultimate, this is not my kind of album. I find it messy. There is no tracks here I really like too. Hence my modest sprinkling of stars.

2 stars

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 Ljus från Afrika  by KEBNEKAISE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.02 | 8 ratings

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Ljus från Afrika
Kebnekaise Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Graceland indeed.............

This album is an oddity in Kebnekajse's discography. In fact, it is not. Kebnekajse changed style on almost every album. It is very difficult to pinpoint this band. Anyway, Kebnekajse went to Africa (West Africa to be more precise) and returned with an album which is so diverse that it is difficult to describe.

Yes, they sounds like Osibasa and Paul Simon on Graceland. But how the holy squirrel they also included some Soft Machine type of jazz on this album is something I do not understand. Some modern rock is also included here. The album is supposed to be from Africa, but it ends up somewhere near Madrid, Spain when all influences is taken into account. Bewildering !

I prefer the Soft Machine themes here. But the few African themes here are also great. But this album is so diverse and bewildering that it is impossible to really embrace this album. For me, at least. This album is just a filler in a Kebnekajse collection and will not be played again by me. 2 stars is a sufficient distribution of stars.

2 stars

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 Kebnekaise III by KEBNEKAISE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 30 ratings

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Kebnekaise III
Kebnekaise Prog Folk

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars This album is a definite improvement of everything else that so far has been conceived by Kebnekajse! It's clear that the band had evolved enormously since their self-titled sophomore album and the direction of the music feels much clearer than previously.

The music on Kebnekaise III is much less guitar driven and instead the melodies are greatly complemented by the use of harmonica, violin, mandolin and congas that are a lot more prominent in the mix. The sound production and mixing have been greatly improved by 1975 which means that the sound is much clearer, meaning that every instrumental contribution now actually adds to the music instead of just polluting the recording with even more muddy sound. Still it's the composition quality that has improved the most this time around. The first three numbers titled Leksands Brudmarsch, Polska Från Härjedalen and Eklundapolskan feel like an interconnected concept piece where each of the following tracks picks up on the themes from the previous one. This is also where Kebnekajse shows the most development in their craft of fusing great folk melodies with rock music arrangements.

Skänklåt Till Spelman is a pretty traditional sounding performance that I would have probably enjoyed even more without the vocals that make it sound dated in comparison to the rest of the music on the album. While the 13 minute Balladen Om Björnbär Och Nätmelon is one of the band's completely original compositions that has become a huge fan favorite over the years. The track starts off with a long buildup that halfway through the performances transforms into a upbeat section most notable for Kenny Håkansson's guitar work and the congas drum sound from Bah Hassan. The performance is then followed up by unexpected Spanish-flavored Mariamá that serves as a completely unexpected, but highly welcomed, surprise conclusion to the album.

Kebnekaise III is easily my favorite album of this classic Swedish band that have recently reunited for a few live performances around the country that have even resulted in a new studio album. As for this 1975 release I highly recommend it to fans of traditional folk music with rock arrangements. For everyone else this is definitely an excellent addition to the prog rock music collection.

***** star songs: Leksands Brudmarsch (4:29) Polska Från Härjedalen (3:09)

**** star songs: Eklundapolskan (4:19) S:t John (3:51) Skänklåt Till Spelman (3:07) Polska Från Bingsjö (3:19) Balladen Om Björnbär Och Nätmelon (13:01) Mariamá (3:14)

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