Chrystyna Kowal Cahute for NP, Toronto.
While searching the Internet one day, I came across a post from an individual living in Ukraine. He stated that he had picked up a CD by the band Burya from Toronto and although he was not excited about listening to it because he figured that it would be, what he called “sharavarshchyna”, after listening to it he realized that it was “the best sharavarshchyna he had ever heard”. I immediately told my husband, Ron Cahute about the post and just like that, Ron found the name of his new album.
Sharavarshchyna was initially meant to be a derogatory term. It was meant to laugh at the love that we Ukrainians in Canada or the U.S. have of Ukrainian traditions. We laud all things embroidered, hopak-ed, varenyk-ed. We hold on to our traditions with such fervor that the people in Ukraine looked upon us almost in disdain. But hold on to tradition we did, and we are proud of it. And look what has happened now? All things Ukrainian are making such a resurgence that Vogue is lauding Ukrainian embroidery as the best new look, it’s now not only accepted, but also fashionable to speak Ukrainian, and Ukrainian dancing? Well if you ask anyone, it still remains one of the most exciting and beautiful dance forms on the face of the Earth.
But back to the album; Ron Cahute & Burya – Sharavarshchyna is the band’s first CD in 14 years. I asked Ron, in a recent Kontakt interview (where I turned the tables and interviewed him for the show), why it took so long to bring us this CD. He replied that it was difficult for him to find songs that, for one he could Burya-fy (put the famous Burya spin to) and secondly find songs that hadn’t been done over and over again. Ron has a love for Lemko music and Lemko songs are prominent amongst the 17 tracks that are on this album. Self-servingly, I also hinted that my grandfather’s favourite song “Ponad Prutom Moya Kolomaya” would be a good addition, and so that is on there too.
While most tracks on this album are Ukrainian folk songs, there are some original tracks as well. Written by Ron (Accordion Man), and also by his father Maurice Cahute (who passed away when Ron was just 11) wrote one of the English songs: Katrinka.
When you first pick up the album, you will immediately notice the Canadian flag and the Ukrainian flag (in a heart), which is very symbolic. Canada is here, where we are, and Ukraine is in our heart.
The new CD will be available at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival at the Yevshan booth and at the Kvitka Music booth, after which it will be available on iTunes along with two other new albums which will only be available on iTunes. One of which simply has Ron showing off his finesse on the accordion with international tracks and probably the best accordion playing you will ever hear, and the other a Polka-gone- digital album.
For more information check out the Burya Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/6692003059/ or email Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org