Rózinky: Cvrkot

Rózinky: Cvrkot

After a gap of three years Rózinky (which could be translated as Raisins) from the South Moravian village of Kozojídky have recorded their second album. The girls attend elementary art school together and their teacher Kateřina Mičková, who put the group together, still writes songs for them. The girls also perform together on radio and television shows and have played at various festivals from Folk Holidays in Náměšť nad Oslavou to TrutnOff. The question of whether the group will still be viable once its members grow up and mature (and probably have other musical interests and tastes) still hangs in the air. A little doubt already hangs over the disc Cvrkot (which could be translated as Chirp), but not as a threat but rather as a reason for the greater diversity on the album.

There is still the same basic division of labour: Kateřina Mičková writes the songs, while the girls play almost everything: guitars, violin, cello, flute, piano, ukulele ... Among the guests this time we find the violinist Miroslav Kolacia (Musica Folklorica), who together with Kateřina Mičková and Jiří Kovář (piano in more than half of the songs) also participated in the arrangements. In two songs you will hear regular percussion (Petr Sochor) and in one the tuba (Michal Michálek).

This time the topics range from naïve children’s practical jokes to more serious themes that describe the situation of adolescent girls. The first group includes the initial jaunty Otravný cvrček (Annoying Cricket) (where the phrasing also goes against the spirit of the Czech language to fit the musical form). The most beautiful example of the second group is Loďka (The Boat), a song about self-awareness, of the idea that “God gave me a job, that he has in his computer a plan for my story,” and especially “mum, dad and God wanted me here”. Even more explicitly the desires and dreams of teenage females are captured in Píseň mladičké slečny (Song of the Young Girls), while the Malý lexikon pro nervózní rodiče (Little Lexicon for Anxious Parents) was written by Kateřina Mičková evidently for herself and her peers (“When your daughter whines that she does not have a boyfriend, buy her chocolate and something to show off in”).

This time as well Rózinky’s album is full of jokes, quotes other songs in Mejdan v nebi (Party in Heaven) and Otravný cvrček, combines song and recitation in Silničáři (Road Crew), an archetypal tales of nature interwoven with comic scenes from the life of technological man in Večeře (Dinner).

It is up to the listeners whether they prefer the ‘hit’ Zelí (Cabbage) (in the spirit of the list by a character in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, “Cabbages are so popular, sir. You can make so many things out of them! There’s cabbage soup, cabbage beer, cabbage fudge, cabbage cake, cream of cabbage, pickled cabbage, cabbage jelly, cabbage salad, boiled cabbage, deep-fried cabbage, fricasse of cabbage, cabbage chutney…”) or the more serious song Každý z nás má svoji melodii (Each Of Us Has Their Own Melody). Certainly it also depends on whether we listen to Rózinky on a CD or at a concert. Both make sense and are worthwhile.

In the album booklet Kateřina Mičková anticipates that her wards will soon grow up and will be "confident young ladies who will no longer feel the need to sing kids’ songs, because they will start to read the mandatory Baudelaire, Villon, Kafka and Kundera". We'll see. Perhaps Rózinky in this line-up will still squeeze out further albums, where there will be even more songs of love, while ants and crickets finally recede into the background. Or what is today a phenomenon on the South Moravian folk music scene will break up, their teacher Mičková will create another girl band (who knows?) and the current Rózinky will – or some of them at least I hope - devote themselves to music individually, in other projects. They are doing great and it would be a shame if they did not develop this talent further. But that is all the music of the future. Meanwhile Rózinky are still operating and giving concerts and they are doing very well. 

Rózinky, publisher: Indies Happy Trails 2017. 13 pieces + video, total length: 37:11

Photo from the group’s archives

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