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Friends, Food & Frivolity!

Ali & Toumani

Guitartist Ali Farka Toure & Kora player Toumani Diabate

Tis' the season for Friends, Fun and Frivolity, which is good because that's sort of the theme for this week's World Music Show (12/5). But it's also the season for hectic comings and goings, and with that in mind, here's a brief rundown: We'll groove to some Malian guitar work courtesy of Ali Farka Toure, and dance to some Cumbia tunes from Chico Trujillo. Plus, we'll hear new roots-reggae music from Cas Haley as well as some Bi-lingual Latin love songs from the singer Carrie Rodriguez. However, that's just the start. If you have the time, then dig down a little deeper into this week's stocking to see what else I've got in store.

I've got a chunk of good music on the deck for hour one. We'll start with the "Friend" part. Here's a nice duo who sadly only got to play on a few albums over the years. The late Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure and the Kora player Toumani Diabate are both masters at their craft and both gained followers on their own accord. And both were lucky enough to play together on a least a few albums before Farka Toure's passing a few years ago. And, in case you want to know, the Kora is a 21-stringed lute-bridge harp and it's amazing to hear. We'll hear a cut off their CD simply called "Ali & Toumani," and I'll follow that with a solo song by Farka Toure off his CD called "Savane."

Partnered with them, but only in this set, will also be a song by Electric Issa, who is also known by his real name, Issa Bagayogo. He plays the Kamele n'goni, which is a six-stringed instrument sort of like a banjo. He's called Electric Issa because he may have been the first to plug that instrument in. We'll hear his song "Diarabi," off a great compilation of African music from the Six Degrees label called "African Travels."

So, what do you get when you toss together the sounds of rock, rap, soul and funky Latin Rhythms? Well, you get a molotov cocktail of frenetic carnival-punk like music from the band La Chiva Gantiva. And, most of that text was lifted from various quotes about this band who is out of Brussels. And as a fun trivia note, they recorded their album "Vivo" in a studio they built above a bar. We'll hear their songs "Para Arriba" and "El Valor Tien Mareo."

Other highlights in the first hour (which also be the "Friend" part, although the whole show is fun!) will be some tracks from a mixed CD that one of my pals named Josh, who has sent me a bunch of homemade World Music compilations over the years--in fact, I think he's more well-traveled than I am. From his collection, we'll hear a Brazilian band called Tribalistas, another Brazilian, singer Marisa Monte--and finally, we'll hear a track from musician BID, who is also from Brazil. Thanks Josh!

Speaking getting music from places and people--I just received a couple of new CDs from a nice company who likes to send me things. One is some Roots Reggae music from a guy named Cas Haley. His new CD is called "More Music More Family" and it celebrates his return to playing after an injury-induced hiatus. The CD celebrates the importance of family and positivity. And if you like it, then you'll be able to check him out Live on December 12 at the Canal Club. We'll check out two songs, one called "Whole" and "Before it's too late." And, for the second new CD, (which is the "Fun" part), we'll hear two tracks from a bilingual artist named Carrie Rodriguez. She's from Austin, Tx and is inspired by 40s era music. On her new CD, called "Lola," the songs are a collection of Ranchera-inspired originals sung in both English, Spanish and Spanglish. Plus, she covers some of her favorite Mexican composers. We'll check out the cuts "Sin No Te Vas" and "Llano Estacado."

Rounding out the hour will be more "Fun" music or maybe it falls under the "Frivolous" side. Besides hearing more Brazilian music--this time from Moreno Veloso (son of Caetano!), who took 13 years to release his latest CD called "Coisa Boa," we'll also go back in time to hear two songs from the legendary Carmen Miranda.

For the second hour, we'll continue the theme of Friends, Fun and Frivolity. Coming up in this hour, we'll get fierce with some Latin beats, get mellow with some Brazilian tunes, then take a left turn at the shop on the corner...ah, wordplay.

Under the "Friend" category, and kicking up the tempo a notch or two will be two tracks from the Latin band Chico Trujillo. This Chilean band has been dubbed the Cumbia kings, because they take that style of Latin dance music, but add a punk sort of edge to it. They've been playing for about 15 years and started out playing old Chilean tunes, but with in a punk rock style. After a few world tours, including stops at The Hollywood Bowl and Lollapalooza, and six albums later, the've released this CD called "Reina de Todas Las Fiestas" or "The Queen of All Parties." They recorded this CD in all sorts of places, too, including Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Chile to create a Pan-American sound, while still maintaining their Cumbia roots.

And speaking of "Fierce," I think I'll run the gamut of Latin sounds in the first set alone. Besides kicking off with that pumped up Cumbia dance music by Chico Trujillo, I'll throw in some Spanish Rock N' Roll by the musician Bebe and some fun bop-around Forro music by the band Forro in the Dark. But, we'll bring the speed down a bit and end it on a Mellow note with a tune from the long running band out of East LA., Los Lobos, who were recently nominated for the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame.

Keeping that mellowness going, we'll hear two of my favorite tracks off a Luaka Bop compilation called "Bomaye." One from the Brazilian band Domenico + 2, which features Moreno Veloso followed by the iconic Brazilian Tom Ze. One song is about Possibilities while the other is about Curiosity. Mixed into this set will be more "Frivolous" music. Remember that movie with Bill Murray called "What About Bob?" Yeah, not a bad movie...well one song in this set is called "Bob" by the band Otto, who are from the Northeastern part of Brazil known as Pernambuco. And, in an odd twist of fate or perhaps is just a poor attempt at a segue, that movie has nothing to do with that song.

Closing out the show this week will be more "Frivolity!" This time, it'll be from the band Cornershop, who'll do their song "What did the Hippie have in his Bag," off their CD "Urban Turban." That song, by the way, also has a companion children's book (which the band was nice enough to send me). And we'll send the show with some songs about food. And, there's nothing like songs about food---in this case, especially when it's done by the band Cibbo Matto, who were a great trio back in the 90s, broke up, but recently got back together. Off their CD called "Viva La Woman!" We'll hear their songs "Know your Chicken," which will be fun to hum throughout the day--oh, the looks you'll get! And we'll also hear their song "Apple." Their entire CD is all about food--and it even includes a great cover of the classic song "Candy Man."

I hope you can join me this week for show that will be filled with Friends! Fun! and Frivolity! The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. on Richmond Public Radio, 88.9 WCVE. Or you can stream it online via this sight. Playlists are posted live when the show aires. Also, you can keep up-to-date with the show by following me on Twitter @wcveworldmusic or on Facebook, at The World Music Show on WCVE.