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Steel Strings and Iron Curtains

by The Yehla Collective

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The Angel 04:06
The Comet 03:33
Magdalene 03:08
Sarajevo 03:04
Salome 03:47
The Wastrel 04:49
Habet 02:36
Petersburg 03:06


In their native Czech, Kryl and Nohavica are known for powerful, politically-minded, existential lyrics that inspired generations living behind the Iron Curtain. Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, Steel Strings & Iron Curtains introduces the English-speaking community to Central Europe's versions of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Ray LaMontagne and Elliot Smith.


released November 17, 2019

While Plamen Press is striving to present Kryl and Nohavica as literary artists, this project does not marginalize the significance of its music. Quite the opposite. Here the beauty of Kryl's and Nohavica's songs is infused with elements of Gypsy Jazz, played by guitarist Tomas Drgon and violinist Christina Kharazian, in arrangements which include traditional Slovakian and Moravian instruments such as the fujara and the koncovka, masterfully handled by Bob Rychlik.

All songs were translated into English for the first time for this release by co-producer Roman Kostovski, who partnered with Producer Ian Jones (Sun King Records), known for his work with Reggae master Claudius Linton, to realize the masterful arrangements of the music. In addition to Ian's talents, we were fortunate to have worked with The Yehla Collective, a truly international and talented group of musicians from the Baltimore/DC area: Anna Connolly (USA), Tomáš Drgoň (Slovakia), Ian Jones (USA), David Keplinger (USA), Christine Kharazian (Armenia), Reggie Love (USA), and Bohuslav Rychlik (Czech Republic).

"well-selected collection of songs by Karel Kryl & Jaromir Nohavica..wonderfully performed... "
- Vladimir Merta


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The Yehla Collective Washington, D.C.

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