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Branco Stoysin

Lily of the Valley


by Ian Mann

April 27, 2006


Immaculately recorded. Relaxing but with plenty of depth.

‘Lily of the Valley’ is the fourth album by this highly talented guitarist. Stoysin is based in London but the album draws on his Yugoslavian heritage.

The album is subtitled “Traditional Folk Music Of Yugoslavs” and includes fifteen tracks, eleven of which are either a traditional tune or a song by a Slav writer, plus four originals by Stoysin.

It is basically a solo acoustic guitar album with no vocals, but the six string bass of Leslee Booth fills out four of the numbers.

Stoysin is a master guitarist and wrings every drop of emotion out of the gorgeous, flowing folk melodies. The CD’s notes give details of the background of each tune.

Most are love ballads or laments but there is also a brief but invigorating “Kolo” or circle dance.

Stoysin’s originals are very much in keeping with the style of the rest of the album and more than hold their own against the traditional material. The opener “Exodus” and “Indexhome” are particularly memorable.

The album was immaculately recorded and produced by Stoysin at his own Sun Studio (nothing to do with Elvis Presley!) and is clearly a labour of love. The albums title track, which closes the album, is a Stoysin original and takes its name from the traditional flower of the Yugoslavs.

Stoysin’s music is superficially a relaxing listen and makes pleasant background music. However, there is plenty of depth here for the more serious listener and understanding of the music is greatly enhanced by Stoysin’s excellent liner notes.

Stoysin plays live on a regular basis in a duo with Booth - sometimes augmented by percussionist Buster Birch to form a trio.

During the May 2006. Sun Recordings and Branco Stoysin are donating 50% of CDs sale to the project organized by Serbian Council Of Great Britain “Magic & Toys” in helping misfortunate children there, affected by the consequences of the war who are either left without parents, poor, in orphanages or hospitals.

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