Though one might see Poland as a pretty homogenous nation—there are no big linguistic differences between each side of the country, for example—its folk music is quite surprising. Polish folk sounds bear influences from the music of Germany, Ukraine and the Czech Republic depending on what part of the country they come from.
Which brings us to Dikanda, a group that has been around since 1997 but is only touring the U.S. for the first time. Formed by a group of traveling musicians who initially went busking around Europe as they honed their craft, their music blends urban and pop tendencies with various folkish sounds both from the north and south of the country. An example of this is “Ederlezi.” Their version (which differs starkly from earlier recordings from the likes of Serbia’s Goran Bregovic) has a rock-like backing arrangement reminiscent of “Ain’t No Sunshine” but keeps its roots tight via the strong vocals of accordionist Anna Witczak and violinist Katarzyna Dziubak.
Their system is quite unique: They pick up a traditional song and rewrite both melodic lines and lyrics, effectively making it their own. The group, rounded out by Piotr Rejdak (guitar), Grzegorz Kolbrecki (double bass) and Daniel Kaczmarczyk (percussion), has been able to attract a whole new audience to Polish music. (Ernest Barteldes)
September 17 at Edgewater Gralley Festival, 1420 West Granville, (773)761-1782. 7pm. $10.