New Cechomor CD one of biggest releases of year in Czech Republic

Cechomor, photo:

Monday saw one of the Czech Republic's biggest CD releases of the year, with the popular folk-rock group Cechomor bringing out their fifth studio album, "Co sa stalo nove", or as they translate it "What Happened Next".

The band originally had the rather formal name of Ceskomoravska nezavisla hudebni spolecnost, meaning Bohemian and Moravian Independent Musical Society.

But while the shortened version Cechomor means Bohemian and Moravian, the vast majority of their songs are from Moravia - they are old folk songs which the band have updated for a new, younger audience.

Formed in 1988, the group have gone through various line-up changes and are today led by singer and guitarist Frantisek Cerny and fiddle-player Karel Holas.

Playing at festivals around Europe, Cechomor have built up a lot of international contacts, something which is clear on "Co sa stalo nove". Produced by an Englishman called Ben Mandelson, guests include Japanese drummer Joji Hirota and an Irish singer called Iarla O'Lionaird.

Cechomor will be playing some big concerts next month in Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. Their new CD is released by Sony BMG Czech Republic, and you can find out more about the band at