News & Editorial Archives, 2021

Joey Miskulin: Back to Slovenia
March 5, 2021

Joey Miskulin's new album, Back to Slovenia

I will confess I rarely buy polka albums these days. I'm pretty focused on my own music projects, most of which are outside the polka genre, plus many of the polka CDs that end up in my collection are promos or complimentary copies given to me by the recording artists.

One recent day I was listening to the radio and heard Joey Miskulin's hit song I Wanna Call You Sweetheart being played by an Oberkrainer band. "Well that's pretty cool," I thought to myself. "I wonder what European group recorded that?" Then it was announced that this recording was a new one by Joey himself. Without hesitating, I went to Polka Connection [if anyone would have it, they would] found the CD, and bought it.

Back to Slovenia is an album of Joey's most popular, original songs arranged in the authentic Oberkrainer style of Slavko Avsenik. All of the lyrics were translated to Slovenian, and the music was performed by Joey and a group of talented musicians and vocalists from Slovenia.

In my opinion, what makes this album so unique is that Joey is kind of like America's Slavko Avsenik. Slavko is arguably the most renown polka writer and composer the world has ever known. Likewise, Joey is widely regarded as one of the best writers and composers in the genre today. Both Slavko's and Joey's songs are on the playlists of virtually every polka band in the country.

Polka bands in the United States have been performing and recording Americanized versions of Slavko Avsenik's hit songs for decades, but now we get to hear Slovenianized versions of American polka hits! That in itself is pretty neat, but what prompted me to buy this album was knowing that Joey was at the helm of it all, so the quality was guaranteed to be as good as it gets.

And it is.

Over the last few years, I've arranged and recorded a couple of songs with a heavy Oberkrainer influence [One Day and Going Back to Switzerland] so I know firsthand how challenging it can be. If anyone could do it extremely well, however, it would be Joey Miskulin — a musician of such high caliber, he could throw a fistful of silverware down a flight of stairs and finish Schubert's symphony. The production quality of this album is superb. Swiss Glarner Waltz in particular is so fittingly arranged that it's hard to imagine it having been recorded any other way.

I encourage you to add Back to Slovenia to your polka collection. It's available on all the major streaming and download services, but I recommend that you treat yourself to the compact disc, because this is one album you'll want to own as a keepsake.

The Mystery of YouTube Video Thumbnails
January 24, 2021

Apparently there's a strategy YouTube's most popular content creators use for designing their videos' thumbnails, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I can't seem to crack the code. If only it were something obvious.


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