Red Star Line-From Belgium to America is truly an international country dance project. This recording represents a fruitful collaboration between Philippe Callens, a Belgian dance leader and choreographer, and  A Joyful Noise and Hold The Mustard, two dance bands from the United States. Together we have chosen fifteen English country dances, all written or interpreted by Philippe. 

A Joyful Noise and Philippe first worked together in 1999 at the Playford Weekend in London, Ontario.  When they reunited at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina for Winter Dance Week 2000, Philippe proposed the idea for this recording. He felt it would reflect our common understanding about how the music can be made just right for each dance.  As the project took shape, it was a natural step to include Paul Prestopino. Philippe had long been a fan of Hold The Mustardís recordings and playing style, and this was an opportunity to tap into the musical versatility of both bands.

In searching for a title for the project Philippe found a book about a steamship company called the Red Star Line. From 1872 to 1935, this line transported passengers between Philippeís native Antwerp and major cities on the East Coast of America. During that time, many immigrants from Eastern Europe were among these travelers. We were excited to learn that Danielís motherís family made this very journey in 1923! Renewing that connection through music and dance seemed a perfect theme for the title and artwork of this CD.  We hope you will enjoy dancing and listening to it as much as we enjoyed producing it. x

Philippe Callens

 A Joyful Noise

 Hold The Mustard


(Illustration: Poster from De Red Star Line by Robert Vervoort, Antwerpen, Pandora, 1999)

Track Listing

1. Arlington Assembly (3:39) AJN

2. The Astonished Archaeologist (3:43) HTM

3. The Two Pauls (6:14) HTM

4. Patrick's Waltz (4:44) HTM

5. Excuse Me (5:27) AJN

6. Enfield Common (5:17) AJN

7. Gentleman's Delight (4:32) AJN

8. Return to Newcastle (1:52) AJN

9. A Trip to Amsterdam (3:54) HTM

10. The Delight of Kentish Countryside (4:46) AJN

11. Hortonia (5:48) HTM

12. La Gavre (3:59) HTM

13. Volpony (6:47) HTM

14. Gold for the Mahieus (1:47) HTM

15. An Early Frost (5:26) AJN


    AJN: A Joyful Noise

    HTM: Hold The Mustard