The Czech bluegrass band Druhá tráva has just released a new album Telč. One part of the album captures the band’s concert at a summer festival in the town of Telč last year, the other – coming out in a limited edition – contains songs Druhá Tráva’s recorded live with their friends and collaborators including Peter Rowan and Charlie McCoy.
The heavy metal musician Randy Blythe has been charged in Prague with causing bodily harm with lethal consequences. The frontman of the group Lamb of God is accused of pushing a fan from the stage during a concert in the city in 2010, resulting in his death. Blythe, who is currently in the US, spent five weeks on remand in Prague earlier this year before being released on bail. If found guilty, he could receive a five- to 10-year jail term.
The prog-fusion LP Kuře v hodinkách (Chicken in the Watch) by Flamengo, which was reissued this year on the 40th anniversary of its original release, is regarded as one of the greatest albums in the history of Czech rock. Looking back at its genesis, the group’s leader at the time, Vladimír Mišík, says Flamengo were in the form of their lives when they recorded Kuře v hodinkách, whose replacement lyrics by a regime-approved poet helped lift the project to a higher level.
Twenty-six-year-old Tomáš Klus was voted singer of the year in the men’s category of the Český slavík (Czech Nightingale) awards ousting pop idol Karel Gott who had 13 awards in succession to his name. The 73-year-old singer who has dominated the awards since they were established in 1962 winning 37 nightingales altogether, got a standing ovation from the audience and joked that his fans must be having problems voting over the internet. Lucie Bilá picked up the award for best female singer and was also voted overall winner. Kabát picked up the award for best band for the seventh time in succession. The winners are elected by the public.
The world-famous opera diva Anna Netrebko charmed Prague opera lovers on Friday night with a concert performance of Tchaikovsky’s lyrical opera Jolanta. The Smetana Hall of Prague’s Obecni dum was packed for the event and Ms. Netrebko got a ten-minute standing ovation for her first ever performance in the Czech Republic. The concert was billed as one of the highlights of this year’s music scene and was hopelessly sold out months in advance.
Musicians Bono, The Edge, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Yoko Ono have paid for a large tapestry in honour of the late Czech president Václav Havel which will be unveiled at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport next month, a spokeswoman for the airport said. The tapestry, designed by Czech artist Petr Sís, cost CZK 1.5 million, or USD 75,000. The artists have been invited for the unveiling which will take place on December 9, the spokeswoman said but it’s not clear if they’ll arrive for the occasion. The former Czech president, playwright and dissident Václav Havel passed away on December 18, 2011, at the age of 75.
Czech singer Petra Janů will celebrate her 60th birthday with a sold-out concert at Prague’s Lucerna concert hall on Monday. Guests Ota Petřina, Eva Pilarová and Marta Kubišová have been invited. Petra Janů has already received best wishes from pop legend Karel Gott who made a special note of her birthday in his Sunday programme Zpátky si dám tenhle film on Czech Radio 2 – Praha. Monday’s concert will also see the launch of a new three-disc release entitled Má pouť (My Pilgrimage).
A number of Slovak rock bands are playing a concert at Prague’s Rock Café on Saturday night to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the start of the Velvet Revolution and the upcoming 20th anniversary of the split of Czechoslovakia. The groups Polemic, Billy Barman and Živé kvety will perform at the downtown venue, which is located only metres away from the Velvet Revolution memorial on Národní St. A spokesperson for the organisers said the Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg would appear, as would the former Slovak prime minister, Iveta Radičová, who now heads the Slovak Institute in Prague.
In this week’s Sunday Music Show we listen to music by the soulful a capella group Yellow Sisters and speak with one of its four members Bára Vaculíková (and her young daughter). Antonia, Bára, Hawa and Leňa have been singing together since 2005, using their versatile voices to create full, rhythmical and often playful music.
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