Although Väsen doesn't have a chance of landing on what passes for the hit parade these days, over the past 20 years the Swedish trio has inspired a devoted, worldwide cadre of followers among string fanatics and others enthralled with their innovative takes on the folk tradition. In Bloomington, Indiana, there's even a movement afoot to name a city boulevard after the group. Thus Väsen Street (Northside), the band's first trio recording in five years, is a typically virtuoso performance of tunes inspired by the musical landscape around Uppsala, the home of nyckelharpa player Olov Johansson and viola player Mikael Marin. Toss in Roger Tollroth's guitars and you get a sound that is by turns eerie, ethereal, sprightly, deeply evocative, and richly textured, as forward-looking as it is grounded in the past. Väsen's timely appearance will provide a measure of solace to those suffering withdrawal pains as the Cedar's Nordic Roots Festival goes Global.
Sun., Sept. 20, 7 p.m., 2009