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The music of Tempest, whose five members hail from five countries, reflects strong traditional European folk influences.
The music of Tempest, whose five members hail from five countries, reflects strong traditional European folk influences. (By Don Corning)

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Oakland, Calif.- based Tempest is a folk-rock band that comes down decidedly on the folk, rather than the rock, side of the equation. That's not to say the band can't get raucous and even heavy, but its mixture of traditional and original Celtic and Scandinavian melodies sounds more conventional than that of popular Celtic punks such as Flogging Molly or the Dropkick Murphys.

What a rock fan gets out of listening to Tempest is a sense of just how influential traditional European folk music has been to some of the great rock bands. Try listening to Tempest and not hearing just where Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull got some of their best ideas.

Tempest has been together more than 17 years in one incarnation or another, the two constants being singer and electric mandolin-player Lief Sorbye and drummer Adolfo Lazo. Rounding out the band's current lineup are guitarist Ronan Carroll, fiddler Michael Mullen and bassist Ariane Cap.

The band is a mini-United Nations: Sorbye hails from Oslo, Lazo from Havana, Carroll from Dublin, Cap from Innsbruck, Austria, and Mullen from Fresno, Calif. Their newest album, "The Double-Cross," was released this year by Magna Carta Records.

Philadelphia's Patrick's Head, which also performs on Saturday, independently released its fourth album, "Traditional Gentlemen of the Road," last year. The roots rock trio comprises guitarists Patrick Mansfield and Scott Wikander (Philly and Jersey boys, respectively) and Dublin-born singer John Byrne.

-- C. WOODROW IRVIN

Jammin' Java is at 227 Maple Ave. E. in Vienna. Tickets are $15. For information, call 703-255-1566 or visithttp://www.jamminjava.com.


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