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New album ‘Time of Day’ by The Rielemans Family released in September 2016.

Mixed by Grammy Award Winner, Malcolm Burn.  

Here’s what Chas Byrne, the family chronicler, has to say about it.

The Infamous Roots Rielemans Family Orchestra


All there was to go on for the moment was a copy of earlier try-outs and outtakes sent over by my cuz: he said it was too risky to send me the master at this stage. I got the message. There always was a sly streak in our family. There are loads of infamous families about, by the way. What puzzled me, though, was the connection between infamy and family in the name, leaving Rielemans out of the discussion for the moment.  A couple of the tracks I listened to certainly have that dark approaching storm thing about them (Who’s That Man, Lowlands Clay). Others talk of love but with the type caution a good song needs (The Fire That Burns, Sentimental Blue). Another is about making a brand new start (Doing It Right) but you can kind of guess how that’s going to end up. And there’s a broken-hearted loner trying to convince us that he’ll make it through (The Rest of My Life). There are other tracks I will let you savour yourselves: got to keep some of the mystery. Besides, I still don’t know who these guys are.

You can hear it in their voices, though: they sound like they’ve been around for while already and have had all the lovey-dovey hugs-and-kisses stuff knocked out of them a long time ago. Or perhaps they display a wisdom beyond their years, much like Rimbaud before he abandoned the pen for the bullet and got into gun-running. And there’s a Spanish connection (Caravana) as well it seems but I’ll have to narrow that one down a bit - Mexico maybe. I know someone I can ask. But I’ve been skating around the name shared by all these musicians, Rielemans. Are they brothers and sisters or are the ties more complicated than that? One number sounds like an old warts-and-all acetate (Time of Day). Is this their granddaddy giving us a hint about the root of all this infamy? Where did they resurrect it from? It sounds like it’s been handed around in the family for a while, not to mention the playing and living that goes along with it. I can’t really say who’s singing what at this stage but there is some fine musicianship to be heard on instruments I find it hard to put a finger on and the female voices have an angel’s-share touch to them. Here is some basic stuff I’ve managed to find out about the musicians:

Gerardo Rielemans - Mexican Flute & Belgian Sax

Josephine Rielemans - Vocals & Chinese Strings

Joseph Rielemans - Vocals & Hawaiian Bass

Hermine Rielemans - Vocals & American Guitar

Eduard Rielemans - Vocals & European Strings


How this all happened? I was contacted by Burn, a distant cousin on the other side of the duck pond and asked to run a background check on these Rieleman people – you can’t blame US immigration for getting his family name wrong; that’s the way it sounds after all. He was okay about their sound but wanted to find out if they were fully legit. He said there was a definite but obscure American connection, not much to go on but then again obscurity is what I’m all about. It had been a while since I’d done this sort of work; everything had gone online since but there was something intriguing about the name already. I knew straight away this stuff wasn’t lying about on the internet and would need some old-style digging, traipsing around, wearing down shoe leather, primitive technology, hard copy, even handwritten scraps of paper and pictures hidden away in dusty cabinets. I had a nose for this type of thing and wanted to get what I used to call that chain-lightning feeling I’d been missing for all these years.Rielemans: I started juggling their name in my head, hoping by some miracle it would shake loose the mystery surrounding them.


Chas Byrne

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