Outlaws. They were vilified by the authorities but the commonfolk respected them as unbridled freedom fighters. Although their valiant struggle was against power and oppression, they sang their songs about heartbreaking lonesomeness and captivity. “The shepherd raises the outlaw” – as the saying goes. Such is the shepherd heritage of the Fehér brothers who founded Kerekes Band. Their ancestors have been rounding up sheep for the Bishop of Eger since the 1700’s, and their great grandfather gave shelter to the most notorious outlaw whose life story inspired Mátrai képek, Zoltán Kodály’s symphonic masterpiece.
This rich heritage as well as the limitless drive for the neverending renewal of the Hungarian outlaw music is a source of inspiration for Kerekes Band. The shepherd’s flute, the Csángó koboz (lute) and the viola from Mezőség in perfect harmony gave birth to the distinctive sound of the band. The groove of tumbling basslines with driving drums provide a free flowing structure adding to a marked stage presence. True to the outlaw spirit, it is a tough, reckless yet uninhibited music. This formula proved to be successful: Songlines awarded them the Top of the World Album, multiple industry recognitions in Hungary and Europe-wide tours from Dun Laoghaire to the Sziget Festival.
For more than two decades, Kerekes Band’s colorful heritage is a fascinating world just waiting to be explored and listeners can discover how history can be seamlessly melt into the future.
Flora Herczeg – pop, jazz, funk and folk
Folk music and I are very close, having spent almost 20 years together. After some time, I have drifted away from it as a performer; however, I always had a much defined curiosity to find out whether it is possible to create a fusion of my preferred genres, without the regular world music sound. Along this line, I have decided to write modern and unusual lyrics for the folk tunes and when we had plenty of them, I have gathered the band and we wrote the songs for our first album straight away.