Then and Now, our first album of music strictly from the Vitak-Elsnic Collection, continues to attract attention. It is getting airtime on both internet and traditional radio stations, and people are buying it and liking it.
Our fresh, new approach to polka music also now is under consideration for nomination by the Grammy screening committee. The entire Then and Now album is being considered for best album in the American Roots category, including blues, bluegrass, folk and regional roots (such as polka) music. The single track recording of Snow Waltz, featuring amazing vocals by Abby Broeniman, is being considered for best regional roots performance.
Then and Now
Then and Now reintroduces America and the world to the classic collection of music originally owned and published by Chicago’s Vitak-Elsnic Company (V-E) during the first half of the twentieth century. But this is not your typical polka album. The Vitak-Elsnic All-Star Band, under the direction of Grammy-nominated artist Alex Meixner and including International Polka Association Hall-of-Famer Hank Guzevich, presents each selection in a fresh style. The stylistic differences demonstrate the versatility of these songs while reflecting the rich heritage of the genre. Lead vocalist Abby Broeniman has an incredible voice that will capture your heart. All 14 songs on the album were initially published as V-E arrangements. Standards like Red Raven Polka and Snow Waltz are joined by newly-rediscovered songs like the jaunty Crackerjack Polka and the haunting Last Kiss Waltz. This country is different now, but the beautiful melodies and rich harmonies found in this music are timeless.
Abby Broeniman’s phenomenal solo vocals on Snow Waltz are backed up by Grammy-nominated artist Alex Meixner on accordion. While the roots of this song are in the polka genre, this rendition has every hallmark of a ballad: sweet, lyrical and romantic. Broeniman’s rich vocals deliver the story of two young lovers longing for their springtime love, but living each moment while dancing in the snow. Meixner’s underlying accordion track reinforces the sentimentality inherent in the story.
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If you are a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (or know someone who is), which conducts the Grammy process, we ask you to consider both of these selections. You can get a flavor for the new sound on Abby’s Snow Waltz video on YouTube.