"This is ground-breaking stuff.", wrote the English reviewer Andrew Cronshaw in the German folk magazine FolkWorld.eu, when my album "The vineyard - Six new tunes & three old ballads", published in 1998. The American Reviewer Cliff Furland from the online magazine RootsWorld.com wrote: "Morten Alfred Høirup is a Danish guitarist with deep roots but few boundaries.”, and the American folk magazine, Dirty Linen, said of the album that it was: 'Firmly grounded on Høirup's exceptional guitar playing'.
On August 18, 2023, 25 years after the album hit the streets, we re-released it digitally on a number of streaming services, including Spotify, AppleMusic and Youtube.com. It happens via my publishing house over the years, Go Danish Folk Music v. Erling Olsen.
The album Vingården consists of six new melodies and three old ballads in brand new arrangements, and on the album I have a team of extraordinarily cool musicians. On the one hand, I have my two friends and colleagues from the trio American Café Orchestra (ACO) with, namely the Finnish multi-instrumentalist Tapani Varis (double bass, willow flute, Jew's harp), and the American violinist and viola player Ruthie Dornfeld.
On the other hand, I have Danish Lang Linken, three musicians from Funen specializing in traditional Danish music, but also with a strong urge to explore and experiment with the material. Lang Linken (1970 – 2015) consists of Carl Erik Lundgaard on four-row chromatic accordion, Poul Lendal on percussion, lyre, Jew's harp, and violin and Keld Nørgaard (1952 – 2021) on falster pipes, hops, kantele and home-built Nordic bagpipes. Altogether one of Denmark's strongest folk music orchestras at the time.
I myself am responsible for the arrangements together with the participating musicians, and have also composed six new melodies for the album. I play two guitars tuned differently, partly the regular EADGBE and partly the slightly more unusual DADF#AD, which I have explored for the occasion.
I have found the old songs in various books, and I select the six new melodies from among the sketches I have recorded on my little dictaphone in the months leading up to my serious entry into the studio to record Vingården.
The album is still available as a CD i.a. for sale partly with me privately, and partly on the website www.Folkshop.dk
in !998 the band presented The vineyard the album on a tour with 11 concerts around Denmark, i.a. at Vestjysk Visefestival in Tarm, at Lirum Larum in Roskilde and at Teglværket in Tommerup on Funen. Musicians: Morten Alfred Høirup (Vocals, Guitars), Ruthie Dornfeld (Violin, Viola), Tapani Varis (double bass, Jew's harp, flutes), Harald Haugaard (Violin), Carl Erik Lundgaard (Harmonicas), and Keld Nørgaard (Nordic bagpipes, falster pipes, hops, piano, etc.)
In 2022 I restarted the band Morten Alfred & Vingården with Charlotte Andersson (Saxophones) and Kristian Bugge (Violin).
Morten Alfred Høirup
The vineyard (The Vineyard)
This is Høirup's first solo effort of Danish folk tunes/modern arrangements but gets plenty of support from three rustic fellow countrymen, plus American violinist Ruthie Dornfeld and Finn Tapani Varis. Traditional instrumentation features Høirup on guitar, accompanied typically by violin and double bass, and spiced further on specific tracks with overtone flute, hurdy gurdy, jews harp, nordic bagpipes and more. The recording shuffles three old Danish ballads into a set of six freshly composed melodies by Høirup himself and the lack of seams between the new and old attests to Høirup's sensitivity for his Danish heritage and its broader Scandinavian context. Although not devoted exclusively to its title, this album's music does seem to reflect the gentile atmosphere of the vineyard's rewarding labors. The presence of drumming is hardly missed as there is plenty of rhythmic energy in the dance selections but overall The vineyard will probably better satisfy in your chair by the fire I should think. Excellent sound too. - Steve Taylor, RootsWorld.com 1998
We liked this record so much, we reviewed it twice! Morten Alfred Høirup is a Danish guitarist with deep roots but few boundaries. As a member of The American Café Orchestra he established a creative reputation for mixing a serious swing into traditional Danish, Swedish and Celtic folk music. The vineyard is Høirup's first solo effort, and it's a charm. He gets support from fellow Cafe members, American fiddler Ruthie Dornfeld and Finnish bassist and Jewish harper Tapani Varis. Danish accordionist Carl Erik Lundgaard and multi-instrumentalists Paul Lendal and Keld Nørgaard, a trio called Lang Linken, add violins, bagpipes, hurdy-gurdies and all manner of sonic accents. The music sounds ancient on the surface, but underneath the folk tunes are an assortment of new ideas, unexpected twists, pushed by the solid talent of the musicians, and firmly grounded on Høirup's exceptional guitar playing. - Cliff Furland, RootsWorld.com 1998