Some of This & Some of That
I’m thinking that this week’s World Music Show (10/19) is sort of like a parade or a fair or perhaps a farmer’s market in that there’s something for everyone. It also means that there’s no discernible theme, although, I guess that is a theme in itself. Maybe I’m getting too meta or philosophical. Let’s get to what’s on the turntable.
Jump starting hour one will be more new music off of Alex Cuba’s newest album called “Sublime.” His latest effort falls right in step with his previous releases in that it’s another beautiful, moving and yes, sublime set of songs. The Cuban/Canadian played all the instruments on this album and also worked with a variety of other musicians and singers. Each track is just an amazing work in which he seamlessly blends his voice with his soft-touch guitar playing.
Mixed into his set will be two tracks off of a collaboration featuring a stellar cast of Latin musicians--a “super group” if you will. But where other super groups fall over each other in trying to be heard, Los Super Seven stays right on cue. The line up features musicians such as legendary Ruben Ramos, who’s popularity in the 60s made him a well-known musician. And two musicians from Los Lobos, David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas are on the CD as well.
Speaking of collaborations, we’ll check out a mesmerizing song featuring the Griot band Trio Da Kali and the U.S. classical band Kronos Quartet. I’ll play a song that is over 700 years old--yes, you read that right. The Griot tradition is one of storytelling that is passed down through generations.
In the vein of more Latin music, we’ll also hear more off of the latest CD by the legendary Carlos Santana. The release is “Africa Speaks,” and on it he partners (hey, another collaboration) with the singer Buika, as well as some of his family members. Santana has been on a roll lately with this new album and another one featuring the Kansas City band Making Movies. Plus, a few months ago, the entire Woodstock concert was reissued which features his amazing guitar playing.
In addition to Santana, we’ll also hear from the Brooklyn-based Afro-Cuban band Conjunto Guantanamo. They were just here in Richmond playing the Folk Festival. And, I was lucky enough to interview band leader and founder Ulisis Beato. You can hear that on my World Music pages here on VPM.org. Partnered with them will be the song “Black Chicken 37” by Buena Vista Social Club--a band who inspired Beato to dive deeper into Afro-Cuban music.
Now, to really dive into this mixed up show, in one set I’ll feature tracks by The Chieftains, the Kuwait-Louisiana combo band Kuwiasiana, and some classic French Pop music, including one by Brigitte Bardot. Plus, a great song that starts with screaming by Moussa Doumbia.
There’s good news for hour two. Well, ok, really, it’s just a continuation of hour one, which if you’re enjoying it is good news.
Mixing up the first chunk of music will be songs from the Afrobeat band KoKoKo!, Dj/Producer Mr. Pauer (with the help of our friend Monica da Silva of Complicated Animals), and Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang. Nabay, who recently passed away, was from Sierra Leone. He was also the master of Bubu music, which is a genre of music in which musicians blow on bamboo cane flutes and on metal pipes -often re-purposed auto parts to make some really upbeat music.
On every World Music Show, I always insert a slew of cover tunes, meaning songs you most likely know from Western music but are covered by world musicians. This week, we’ll hear from Los Crema Paraiso covering Depeche Mode, Jolly Boys covering Iggy Pop, Seu Jorge and the band Almaz covering Michael Jackson. And in a twist, I’ll play the original version of “Cherry Oh Baby,” by Eric Donaldson but often covered by UB40.
We’ll head to the lounge too in an hour to hear some moody, electronic inspired tracks from the German brother duo Jasmon, a band out the Netherlands called Arling & Cameron, and a French/Argentinian band who specializes in electronic tango music called Gotan Project.
They’ll be other mixed in music too on this week’s show, so be sure to tune in. The World Music Show airs Saturday nights from 8-10 pm on VPM Music, 93.1 & 107.3FM or can be streamed via this website. Follow me on Twitter @VPM_IanStewart and on Facebook at the World Music Show on VPM.