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Music like yours is a breath of springtime, a surge of hope and optimism, a blossoming of new life, a revival of all things human and warm and inviting…. jeeziz, we need music like this!!
They do for musettes what 'Sound of Music' did for hills.
The Apostle Islands Navigator 2010
Full of heart and impressive natural abilities, CAO completely delights audiences.
Jazz Police 2006
Cafe Accordion’s music is stylish yet appropriately timeless, transcending trendiness with an easygoing charm.
The ONION, Jan 2009
Accordions for Christmas? Seriously? Put aside any prejudices you might have about the accordion, and lend your lucky ears to Cafe Christmas. This is an outstanding holiday release; even the accordion-phobic will stand up and cheer!
If Homer Simpson can ask the organist at Isotopes Stadium to play Baby Elephant Walk with a reggae beat for his Dancin Homer routine, surely the Cafe Accordion Orchestra should be able to pull it off with a gypsy flourish, right? Dan Newton and his intrepid old-worlders tackle songs from the movies on this, their sixth album. Recorded in a clean and no nonsense fashion, Cinema winds through selections from Mancini (the aforementioned Baby Elephant Walk from the film Hatari, as well as Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffanys) to Dick Dale's take on Miserlu from Pulp Fiction, which is returned here to its Middle Eastern routes by way of the gypsy trade routes.
Their Spy Medley winds its way gently through the themes to two Bond pictures and the original Pink Panther movie, A Shot in the Dark, but the real highlight comes in a relatively obscure tune, Harry Limes Theme from Carol Reed's The Third Man. The playful accordion, mandolin and acoustic guitar form a clean, sparse trio thats all Viennese stroll, triple espresso and cigarette holder. It's all tremendously appealing stuff that's easy to listen to, bearing some of the exotic charm of the Buena Vista Social Club, and if Twin Cities merchants know what's good for them, theyd make it the autumn soundtrack for quaint coffeeshops and boutiques on both sides of the Mighty Miss.
Pulse of the Twin Cities August 2006
"There are lots of box sets of movie tunes, but Cinema, by the Café Accordion Orchestra, fronted by frequent Prairie Home Companion accordionist Dan Newton, has gone beyond mere compilation to rewrite film-song history. The five multi-instrumentalists, and guest electric sitarist, have the range of, well, an orchestra, even singing in four languages (five if you count a Chico Marx impression). Cinema is inconsistent vocally but smartly programmed, front-loaded with Henry Mancini chestnuts and “Fit as a Fiddle” from Singin’ in the Rain. A long spy-movie medley serves as an intermission between the nostalgic first half and modern cuts from Chocolat, Amelie, and Kill Bill: Volume 2. The group is sublime on “Moon River,” ridiculous on the Marx Brothers’ “Everyone Says I Love You,” and astonishing in an unlikely medley of Dick Dale’s Pulp Fiction surf riffs and the Exodus theme. Cinema is perfect for driving or the drive-in—a joyful reintroduction to a peerless local group and some bygone gems. And certainly an affair to remember."
Minnesota Monthly December 2006
"On previous releases, Cafe Accordion Orchestra's musical wanderlust has taken its listeners to the sounds of France, Argentina, Finland, and Brazil. For CINEMA, the lads kick back, and accordion maverick Dan Newton leads them on a soundtrack that captures the romance, whimsy, and exotic landscapes of the silver screen. "Baby Elephant Walk" (from Hatari) leans toward rockabilly, and "Never on Sunday" is sung in Greek. Even the Marx Brothers are celebrated on this eclectic collection. Grab a glass of wine, take a seat and enjoy the show. BEST TRACK: "Spy Medley"
Mpls/St Paul December 2006
"It'd be a pretty lame idea in the hands of, say, Rod Stewart, but the Cafe Accordion Orchestra puts a fun twist on movie music with its new CD, "Cinema." Led by squeeze-box maestro Dan Newton, the French-styled combo stuck to its strengths in songs such as "Moon River" ("Breakfast at Tiffany's") and "Charade" ("Charade"), and it picked some unconventional tracks such as "It Had Better Be Tonight" ("The Pink Panther" -- but not the over-tread Henry Mancini theme) and "Urami Bushi (from "Kill Bill 2")."
"There's a certain joie de vivre that's crucial to the romantic gypsy music known as musette, an insouciant revelry with a titch of kitsch. Café Accordion Orchestra don't just understand this, they embody it. Cinema, the quintet's sixth CD, is a particularly impressive sleight of hand, a heavily themed affair that isn't bogged down by its premise. Taking songs from film soundtracks ranging from the Marx Brothers to Quentin Tarantino and revising them to evoke a Parisian sidewalk during that gilded era between the two world wars, they never flag in their enthusiasm, veer into pigeonholed parody, or otherwise insult the listener's intelligence. Founder Dan Newton's accordion remains the obvious signature, but the nimble string-pickers—Eric Mohring on mandolin and violin, Brian Barnes on guitars and banjo—are a worthy foil."
"Vive la France, the land of culture, Armagnac and accordion music, a true taste of French music is now available from The Café Accordion Orchestra (CAO). This quintet, led by Dan Newton on accordion and vocals, epitomises French music, even though they all hail from Minneapolis Missouri in the United States. The CAO have the ability to transport you back to a Parisian pavement café where this passing group of "Bal Musette" musicians will entertain you with the gypsy-influenced dance music which became so popular in France from the 1920’s through to the 1950’s. The CAO sound is an eclectic blend of accordion, mandolin, fiddle, bass, percussion and atmospheric vocals, ranging through a diverse mix of gypsy, Latin, and European dance music. Le Disque Français is filled with superbly presented Gallic morsels which include the elegant lounge standards C’est Si Bon and Charles Trenet’s La Mere while the graceful bolero Jardin D’Hiveris is also a stand out track. Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt is remembered in Swing 42 and a rumba treatment of Nuages, even enfant terrible Serge Gainsbourg is represented with versions of his Elaeudanla Téïtéïa and a frantic adaptation of Chez les Yé Yé. Let the CAO take you on a trip to Paris, listen to samples of Le Disque Français at: www.cafeaccordion.com"
SA Life Magazine
(Review Le Disque Francais)
"It’s all tremendously appealing stuff that’s easy to listen to, bearing some of the exotic charm of the Buena Vista Social Club, and if Twin Cities merchants know what’s good for them, they’d make it the autum soundtrack for quaint coffeeshops and boutiques on both sides of the Mighty Miss."
PULSE of the Twin Cities
(Review of Cinema)
"Café Accordion Orchestra plays their music from the heart, so much feeling is evoked...There was a great connection with the audience."
Director International Akkordeon Festival
Vienna, Austria March 2005
"Café Accordion Orchestra put on a terrific show! We were thrilled with their performance, and the audience loved them. They had the Lincoln Center Plaza crowd dancing the night away."
Jonathan Cappel "Futz" Midsummer Night Dance Series 2003 Lincoln Center, New York
"Café Accordion Orchestra "felt as cozy as a Parisian sidewalk cafe, with music full of French flavor and the occasional Spanish spice, plus a little swing."
"Band leader Dan Newton played his accordion with understated virtuosity..."
"The songs would have gone great with a croissant and French-roast coffee, especially that early in the day, but burgers and Grain Belt were the nearest delicacies."
Minneapolis Star Tribune (review of performance at Minnesota State Fair)
Café Accordion plays "selections Parisian hipsters in the 1920s through 1950s would have been down with."
Duluth RipSaw News
"Here's a simple stress test: If your tension's been rising due to pressures at work or at home, toss this disc into your cd player. If three songs in, you're waltzing about the room, you aren't as far gone as you imagined. If its sunny sound relaxes you, all the better. If you feel compelled to smash the disc into small pieces, well, medication may be required.
What Newton and company offer is a way retro mix of Parisian bistro backdrops, Brazilian bossa, Argentine tangos, fun foxtrots, catchy cumbia and a touch of old-school swing. Although the orchestra slips a number of overseas influences through customs on this Holiday, Newton's accordion never lets things stray too far from a sandy strand beside the Mediterranean. While others cop styles with a deadpan irony that gets old fast, it's refreshing to encounter a whimsical labor of love like this one."
"Their leader is a certified idiot."
Liz Masterson, Augusta Heritage Festival
"Dance music has definitely made a comeback in the past couple years, but local quintet Café Accordion Orchestra was around way before the trend. Now, we're not just talking ultra-hip swing music here. On their second release (On Holiday), CAO does it all: waltzes, tangos, rhumbas, and their forté, the gypsy-influenced dance music known as Musette.
As on their first album, Dancing on the Moon, CAO's music takes you on a voyage through French cafés and Argentinian bodegas while conjuring images of endless oceans and sunny days. From a subdued Musette ("Paris Musette) to a frisky foxtrot ("Angry"), On Holiday will make you feel like dancing -- and not just in that hip, zoot suit kind of way.
Katherine Kelly/Minnesota Daily
"The Café Accordion Orchestra is a dance band for people who still love to waltz and rhumba, an old-school combo. Led by the quietly dazzling Dan Newton, this quintet knows the value of understatement, warmth, discretion, subtlety and easy and genuine swing - not the zoot-suited kids' cliché that's all the rage. CAO's second CD "On Holiday" is subtitled "a musical cruise," and the Café Accordion cats make happy stopovers in Paris, Puerto Rico, Tin Pan Alley and the land of Louis Jordan. They'll make your toes tap, your eyes twinkle and your heart long for a shipboard romance..."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Imagine yourself in Paris sipping espresso at a sidewalk café and listening to a group of strolling musicians. Café Accordion Orchestra can take you there.... With a somewhat unconventional approach to the craft, and the honest talent to make it all work, CAO proves that bringing back the past doesn't have to be done in an over-exposed, commercial way. Forget all those hip new swing bands with their zoot suits and martinis; CAO is the real deal. And you won't be seeing them in any Gap ads, either."
Katherine Kelly/Minnesota Daily
"Sit back, relax, pour yourself a glass of something nice and put this disc in the player. Or, better yet, clear the floor for dancing. The Café Accordion Orchestra...will gladly transport you to another time, another place.... For the fan of fine accordion music, this is a must, and if you don't like the much maligned squeezebox, this recording could very well convert you."
"The recent boom in world music has brought a lot of new sounds to U.S. listeners' ears. But the Café Accordion Orchestra plays the kind of gentle, enticing, low-volume world music that Americans already knew about in the Kennedy era: waltzes, French Café sounds, bossa novas, sambas and tangos."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Two words come to mind as I listen to Dancing on the Moon by CAPA member Dan Newton's Café Accordion Orchestra: mellow and hip."
Julia Cortinas/Accordion Players News