As you can see in the two samples above, the band Isan Slété are still available at the likes of Amazon — I linked to the U.S. and the U.K. stores, but I would suspect that the other international Amazon stores would likely carry offerings, as well.
In one of the references below that I located which have at least dropped the name of this band, it is mentioned that Isan Slété first recorded an album in London back in 1989.
I was able to locate a 1991 reproduction of an article about the band that was taken from a periodical called Dirty Linen Magazine; the article was written by Ginny Landgraf, and profiled Saman Hongsa (Behind The Voice of Isan Slété). This is the introductory paragraph:
Saman Hongsa may be known to some of you as the lead male voice on Isan Slété’s album The Flower of Isan [GlobeStyle ORBD 051 (1989), UK]. Or you may have seen him perform in spring 1989 when Isan Slété toured the U.K. under their earlier name of the Pu Thai Group. He’s a mawlam, literally a master of lam, the singing style of his native northeast Thailand (“Isaan”). To call him a singer, even singer-songwriter, would paint an imperfect picture of his accomplishments. Saman is at once a popular entertainer and a conservator of Isaan traditions, an impresario with his own troupe and a sponsor of young talent, and a farmer with a fourth-grade education who is nevertheless a scholar who says one can “never graduate from the school of mawlam.” If I turn up at his house I may find him recording up-and-coming singers for radio, loading up equipment for a gig, or scattering grain for the 40-odd chickens, ducks, and guinea fowl that run about. It’s a wonder that I’ve never interrupted him writing poetry, for his creations are legion.
The article also included this interesting piece of information:
Sri-Ubon Hongsa, who sings female lead on the Isan Slété album but is “retired” from lead roles in Thailand after marriage as is the custom, comes on for a “fat old lady” part in “Dtèun Maeo” [Arousing the Cat]; Saman unceremoniously drops her for Piguntong. Hmmm… despite the many opportunities for women to talk saucily in lam, it always seems to be the men who win in the end.
Incidentally, for whatever unfathomable reason, a link is offered at the article above to Dirty Linen Magazine that has absolutely nothing to do with the magazine, and is in fact a link to what seems to be a bedding company. The actual magazine ran for years, getting its start under another name in 1983; a print medium, it began to fail in the Internet years, and apparently died in early 2010. The “former editors” (i.e., Paul and Susan Hartman) explain all of this in a May 24, 2010, piece titled A short history of a music magazine.
Anyway, here are those references to minor mentions of the band that I was able to dredge up:
Check out this old album if you can find it “The Sound Of Siam – Leftfield Luk Thung, Jazz & Molam from Thailand 1964 -75″ and also the group Isan Slete does some interesting stuff with the style (they have an album on …
Publish Date: 04/19/2011 10:49
MUSICIANS OF ISAN SLETE “lam phloen” KWANJAI UBON “sending my love to the border soldier” DENESAVANH CHANTHAKHAD “lam pheune” SABAITHONG POWPURI “broken heart, so let’s dance” THE PETCH PHIN …
Publish Date: 04/28/2011 5:56
Hua Ngwak Yawk Soo – Isan Slete -Laos 5. ??? – Pouvieng Vathalisack – Laos 6. Breu Peyney – Musicians of the National Dance Company of Cambodia 7. Saek Pole Dance – Field Musicians 8. ??? – Lao Folklore music 9.
Publish Date: 09/09/2010 15:06
Vajas – Pub-Crow (Norway / Sami) Glawng Seuk Disco (Disco Long Drums) cassette from from Issan , Thailand Isan Slete – Lai Lam Toe Sam Jangwa (Thailand) 7:30. Nathamuni Brothers – Varnam in raga shankarabharanam …
Publish Date: 06/04/2009 2:30
Lai Pu Pa Lan/The Flower of Isan: Songs & Music from Northeast Thailand/Musicians of Isan Slete. Mascaram Setaba/NY – Addis – London/Mulatu Astatke. Uning-Uningan/The Rough Guide to the Music of Indonesia/Pege …
Publish Date: 02/05/2011 18:30
8. Isan Slete – Hua Ngawk Yawk Sa 9. Watazumido – Mushirabe 10. Yatsuhashi Kengyo – Midare. Autor: Dawid Martin o 03:49 · Wyślij pocztą e-mailWrzuć na blogaUdostępnij w usłudze TwitterUdostępnij w usłudze Facebook …
Publish Date: 05/26/2013 3:49
Next was mor lam, known in the West perhaps because of the excellent Isan Slete album recorded in London in 1989. But the music that intrigued me the most – and which turned out to be the prize I was looking for – was …
Publish Date: 12/23/2009 20:01
Isan Slété – “Lai Lam Toei Sam Jangwa”. Posted 2nd February 2011 by Emma Ya Basta! the nameless uncarved blog. a sneezer site with occasional verse. Recent; Date; Label; Author. Loading. Send feedback. Add a comment. Classic.
Publish Date: 02/02/2011 21:55
Isan Slété – “Lai Lam Toei Sam Jangwa”
loquenoseve Uploaded on 2 Dec 2008
In the northeastern region of Thailand, called Isan, traditional instruments include the vot (rotary panpipe made from bamboo tubes), ponglang (large wooden xylophone), and the pin (three-string guitarlike instrument). The core of most local ensembles is built around the khaen (a bamboo mouth organ with 16 tubes).
The region is predominantly populated by people of Lao descent, and many of these instruments are also found in neighboring Laos.
เต้ยโขง [ Toei Khong ] – Isan Slete.wmv
siratuang Published on 19 Dec 2012
โปงลาง [ Ponglang ] : ทรงศักดิ์ ประทุมสินธุ์ [ Songsak Prathumsin ] , พิณ [ Phin ] : สมพร ศิลาธุลี [ Somporn Silathulee ] , ฉิ่ง [ Ching ] : สมาน หงษา [ Saman Hongsa ] , แคน [Khaen ] : ทวี สีดามณี [ Thawee Sridamanee ] , เจริญชัย ชนไพโรจน์ [ Jaroenchai Chonpairot ]
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