Spoiler Alert: There is Good Music Coming
Alright, I'm sure you've heard this before. In fact, what I'm about to say could put me in league with various nefarious salespeople who either push placebo medicines or schlocky automobiles. Here it is: This week's World Music Show (8/4) is going to be fantastic. Really, it will be. And perhaps I'm doing myself, and you the listener, a diservice. I mean, me saying my show is "fantastic" is not an understatement. And if you've been reading my missives and listening to my shows on a regular basis, then you know that what I speak of is true.
So, suspend any disbelief you may have, rid your mind of any trepidation, and go with me on this week's rundown.
Right out of the park, I'm going to kick off the show with music by a new artist named Michael Kiwanuka. He's being compared to Bill Withers, Randy Newman, and Otis Redding, as well as Van Morrison and the Temptations. That's quite the roster of people to be put up against. But, it's an accurate comparison. Kiwanuka's got a smooth voice and plays really well on the guitar. In fact, he first inspired to be a sessions player. But, after many a session, it became clear that Kiwanuka had a little bit more to offer. I'll feature a couple of tracks off his new CD called "Home Again."
In that first set, you'll also hear two melodic, guitar-driven pieces off a compilation put together by the Luaka Bop record label (founded by David Byrne). You'll hear the band Domenico + 2 (which features the son of Brazilian legend Caetano Veloso, Moreno), as well as another legend of Brazil, Tom Ze. Plus, you'll hear a track from the ecletic, electric band Burkina Electric (who are touring the U.S. right now--if they come to Richmond, I'll let you all know).
To keep that Brazilian theme moving along, in the next chunk of music, you'll hear another legend of the form, Sergio Mendes, with a couple of songs from his CD "Encanto." On that CD, he once again (he did the same thing on his CD "Timeless") pairs himself alongside some very stellar musicians, including Jovanotti and will.i.am (doing a nice cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim's song "Aqua de Beber'). In this same set, you'll hear some Brazilian music from a bunch of Ex-Pats who have landed in New York, and who formed the band Forro in the Dark. They all met in a local bar, then started playing, and soon after that, landed a record deal, thanks in part to fellow New Yorker, David Byrne. There songs are no "bar music," though. They're solid, fun and steady.
A few more callouts in hour one of the show willt be some Chilian reggae music from the band Gondwana, as well as some World Swing Music from the island of Mauritius by the singer Triton, as well by the musician Romane.
In hour two of the show, I'll once again get the benefit of playing some new music for you. In this go-round, it'll be from a true legend of Reggae music--Jimmy Cliff. It's been sometime since we were lucky enough to hear any new music from him. And becuase of this, I've given Cliff a nice chunk of music to start this hour. You'll hear two tracks off his new CD "Rebirth," followed by a couple of classics off the soundtrack to "The Harder They Come."
I'll keep the reggae going with music from another Reggae legend, Peter Tosh. Tosh, who was a member of Bob Marley and the Wailers," did really well as a solo artist, too. And, speaking of Marley, you know I can't play someone from his old band, withouth playing him, too. So, I'll feature a couple of early tracks from his career.
And, what's a good seque from Reggae? Why Ska music of course. That's right, I'll fit in a couple of tunes from bands like The Specials and Madness, and I'll even throw in some Dub music from another legend (yes, there are quite a few) of this genre: Lee "Scratch" Perry. To close out the show, I'll give myself a little birthday present. What will it be? Well, you'll have to tune in.
The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio or online via this website. You can follow my updates on Twitter, at @wcveworldmusic.