Thursday, April 30, 2015

Perchance: Paul Brady and "Dreams Will Come"

The random tune for today is by Paul Brady, an Irish singer-songwriter from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland whose music straddles traditional Irish music and pop. He first became popular in the 60s in several Irish traditional groups such as The Johnstons and Planxty. He then formed an Irish traditional duo with Andy Irvine, and later performed in a group with Tommy Peoples and Matt Molloy. During these years he established himself as a preeminent interpreter of Irish music, and recorded definitive versions of classics such as Arthur McBride and The Lakes of Pontchartrain. In the late 70s, he decided to delve into rock and pop music. He released a number of albums in this genre and his work was covered by artists such as Santana and Dave Edmunds, and he was name-checked in the booklet of Bob Dylan's CD set Biograph. He has released 15 solo albums, has collaborated with artists such as Bonnie Raitt and Richard Thompson, and has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Ulster University for his contributions to traditional Irish music and songwriting. This song, Dreams Will Come, can be found on his 1991 album Trick or Treat.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Ways Away: Altan and "Far Beyond Carrickfinn"

The random tune today is by acclaimed Irish band Altan. Far Beyond Carrickfinn is from their newest album The Widening Gyre (2015). Altan was originally formed in County Donegal by vocalist and fiddler Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and her husband Frankie Kennedy in 1987 after the pair initially released a pair of albums as a duo. They named the band after a lake in County Donegal. County Donegal has a rich tradition of Irish music and styles, and Altan made this music available to the world and in the process became known worldwide with a popularity to match The Chieftains. Kennedy died of Ewings sarcoma in 1994, leaving Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh to keep the band going. Besides The Chieftains, they have worked with musicians such as Enya, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt and Alison Krauss.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Raise a Goblet: Misirli Ahmet and "Meçhul"

Today's random song, Meçhul, is by Turkish darbuka virtuoso Misirli Ahmet. Ahmet's music is influenced by Indian, Latin American and Arabic music, as well as jazz. First self-taught, he refined his playing style in France and Egypt where he developed a unique split-fingered technique that allowed him to play at very quick tempos. He has worked with many musicians from around the world. Meçhul can be found on the compilation album Homegrown Istanbul, Vol. 1 (2006).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Powerful: The Bulawayo Church Choir ad "Wangal' Unozipho"

Today's random tune, Wangal' Unozipho by the The Bulawayo Church Choir, is from The Power of One movie soundtrack. I don't know much about the group, and I couldn't find too much information either, other than that they are from South Africa. I did see the movie many years ago. The Power of One is based on a novel by Bryce Courtenay and is the story of a young English boy in South Africa and his complicated relationships under apartheid with others in the country, black and white. The Power of One soundtrack was released in 1992.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tanz the Night Away: Golem and "7:40"

Today's random tune is from the band Golem and is called 7:40. A rock-klezmer band, Golem was created in 2000 in New York City by Annette Ezekiel Kogan, who serves as bandleader, vocalist and accordionist. The band describes their music as Eastern European Jewish folk-rock, and combines elements of rock, punk, and klezmer with lyrics in mainly English, Yiddish and Russian. The name of the band refers to the monster created out of clay to protect the Jewish people, and turned back to clay when it got out of control. The band calls themselves a collective monster that approaches traditional music with respect, but without timidity and resistance to change. 7:40 can be found on Golem's 2014 CD Tanz.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Between Worlds: Aromates and Michele Claude with "S'eloigner de Moi"

Aromates, which gives us our tune today, is the ensemble put together by Michele Claude, a French percussionist. Their music straddles both time and space, sitting between Occident and Orient, traditional and modern, composition and improvisation. This song, S'eloigner de Moi, comes from the 2005 Aromates album Jardin de Myrtes, which explored Arab-Andalusian music of the 9th through the 19th centuries.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

We is Us: Nosotrosound and "Chaskis"

Chaksis by Nosotros on Grooveshark

Today our random tune is called Chaskis, and is by the Arizona band Nosotrosound. Originally known as Nosotros, they had to change their name because it was copyrighted by a New Mexico band. Nosotrosound started in Mexico in the late 70s and perform tunes from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Mexico using traditional instruments. Note: our good friend David Seleme, who Megan and I have known for over 25 years, is a member of this band. Chaskis can be found on Nosotrosound's 1991 album De Los Caminos (under the band name Nosotros).

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Where Are We Going?: Rahim Alhaj and Amjad Ali Khan with "Common Destination"

Today's random tune, Common Destination, is by Rahim Alhaj and Amjad Ali Khan. Rahim Alhaj is an Iraqi-American oud player and composer living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He began playing the oud at age nine and soon revealed a great talent for the instrument. A political activist against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, he was forced into political exile, first in Syria and Jordan and then in the United States. He combines traditional Iraqi maqams with contemporary stylings and influences. Amjad Ali Khan is an Indian classical musician who plays the sarod, an instrument that his family claims to have invented - he is the sixth generation of his family to be a musician. He is a recipient of India's second highest civilian honor, the Padma Vibhushan. Common Destination can be found on their 2009 collaboration Ancient Sounds.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Straight Outta Balochistan: Abdulrahman Surizehi and "Bya Bya"

Today's song, Bya Bya, is by Abdulrahman Surizehi, an ethnic Baloch musician from Iran who lives in Oslo, Norway. He is a specialist in the benju, a keyboard zither, and is acknowledged as the instrument's greatest performer. Bya Bya can be found on his 2011 album Balochi Gowati O Damali Zeymol - Rakhshani Love Songs and Trance Music from Balochistan.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Snoozer: Robert Mirabal and "Lullaby"

Lullaby (World) by Robert Mirabal on Grooveshark

Today's global music random song is by Robert Mirabal, a New Mexican Native American musician. A flute player and maker from Taos Pueblo, he is a leading proponent of world music. He performs around the world with a mix of flute playing, tribal rock, dance and storytelling. He has been twice named Native American Artist of the Year, and was featured in a Grammy Award winning album, Sacred Ground: A Tribute to Mother Earth in 2006. This song, Lullaby, is featured on his Warrior-Magician CD from 1996.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mystery Tangoists: Alexis Kalofolias and Thanos Amorginos with "Gia Ligo"

Today's random tune is by Alexis Kalofolias & Thanos Amorginos. Unfortunately, today is one of those rare days that I can't find any information on the artists. I know that both have composed music for movies, and that Alexis Kalofolias was in a band called The Last Drive. However, that's all I know. Today's song, Gia Ligo can be found on the 2007 compilation CD Putumayo Presents: Tango Around the World.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chip off the Block: Maria Ines Ochoa and "Sol Redondo"

Our random song today, Sol Redondo, is performed by Mexican singer and songwriter Maria Ines Ochoa. The daughter of famous Mexican singer-songwriter Amparo Ochoa, she is currently singing with La Rumorosa, one of the more interesting Latin-American bands to emerge in the past year. Ochoa was born in Culiacan, Sinaloa and first studied ballet but by 14 was singing in contests and festivals around Latin America and later in Europe. She became a professional singer in 2001 and while based in traditional Mexican music, in her new band she also has branched into fusion with other styles. Sol Redondo can be found on her 2007 album Identidades.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Give and Take: DakhaBrakha and "Buvayte Zdorovi"

Today's random song is by DakhaBrakha, a band from Ukraine that presents the styles of several different ethnic groups, including Indian, Arabic, African, Russian and Australian instrumentation. Their name is a combination of two Ukrainian words meaning "give" and "take." All the groups members are graduates of the Kiev National University of Culture and Arts, and DakhaBrakha was originally a project of the avant-garde theater project called Dakh. This theatricality is embodied in their shows, including their on-stage costuming. This song, Buvayte Zdorovi, can be found on their 2014 album Light.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Unfortunately, I Lose Keys: Cuarto Poder and "Solo Tu Tienes la Llave"

Solo tu Tienes la Llave is by Creole hip hop and rap band Cuarto Poder from Venezuela. Fusing the four elements of hip hop (graffiti, MCs, break dance and DJs), Cuarto Poder represents the best of hip hop in Venezuela. On this song, they perform with Morodo, a Spanish rapper who does a unique style of reggae-influenced hip hop. Solo tu Tienes la Llave can be found on Cuarto Poder's 2010 album In Tha House.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

African Mellow: Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté with "Hawa Dolo"

The great Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté perform our random tune today. Ali Farka Touré, who died in 2006, was a multi-instrumentalist and singer from Mali renowned as one of Africa's greatest musicians, and the person who represents the intersection between Malian music and the blues. Known as the African John Lee Hooker, his playing style on guitar was similar to Hooker's blues. He sang in several African languages, and won two Grammy awards. Toumani Diabaté is a Malian kora player who not only plays traditional Malian music but also has collaborated cross-culturally in blues, jazz, flamenco and other international styles with musicians such as Björk and Taj Mahal, among others, This song, Hawa Dolo, is from their Grammy Award winning album (for best traditional world music) In The Heart of the Moon (2005).

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Steamy: Lawrence Ardoin and "Hot House Zydeco"

Hot House Zydeco by Louisiana's Best Cajun and Zydeco Performers on Grooveshark

Hot House Zydeco is the name of our random tune today. The performer, Lawrence "Black" Ardoin, is the son of Creole accordion legend Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin and he joined his father and two brothers in the Ardoin Brothers Band as drummer, later taking over the accordion when his brother Gustave was killed in a car accident in 1974. Feeling stifled by traditional Creole music, he started a new band in the 1980s called the French Zydeco Band which branched out into Cajun and swamp pop. He also formed another band, Lagniappe, which included his son Chris on accordion. Hot House Zydeco can be found on the compilation CD Louisiana's Best Cajun and Zydeco Music.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lounging Around: Charanga Cakewalk and "La Cumbia Lounge"

Charanga Cakewalk, performer of today's random tune, is the brainchild of Michael Ramos, a Latino Chicano Mexican who also describes himself as a citizen of the world. A once sideman and rocker who played with John Mellencamp, Paul Simon, Patty Griffin and others and was a sometime member of the BoDeans and The Rembrandts, he maintained a keen interest in the Latino music of his childhood. Ramos has made Charanga Cakewalk the leading proponent of a style called "cumbia lounge." Within his musical landscapes, you might hear tejano, flamenco, merengue, salsa, garage rock, ska and reggaeton. Charanga Cakewalk has released three albums. La Cumbia Lounge is from his 2004 album Loteria De La Cumbia Lounge.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Into the Woods: Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys with "La Pointe aux Pins"

La Pointe aux Pins [Pine Point] by Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys on Grooveshark

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys bring us our random tune today. Founded in 1988, the band takes its inspiration from Cajun traditional legends Dewey Balfa, Belton Richard and Walter Mouton. However, the music of Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys has grown into a style that is distinctly Cajun but also unique and personal. They sing almost exclusively in Cajun French. They have been nominated twice for Grammys in the Best Traditional Folk Album category, and in 2013 Steve Riley took home a Grammy as part of The Band Courtbouillon, a Cajun jam band featuring Riley, Wayne Toups and Wilson Savoy. Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys have released 11 albums to date as well as one compilation album. This song, La Pointe aux Pins (Pine Point), can be found on The Best of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys (2008).

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Lighting the Way: Tish Hinojosa and "Farolito"

Farolito, or Little Street Lamp, is our random tune by south Texas Mexican-American singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa. Originally from San Antonio, Hinojosa sings traditional Mexican folksongs and her own compositions in both Spanish and English. She accompanies herself on guitar, playing right-handed even though she is naturally left-handed. Farolito can be found on her 1995 album Frontejas.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Where the Wild Things Are: Old Blind Dogs and "A Wild Rumpus"

Old Blind Dogs provides the tune 'o the day with A Wild Rumpus. Old Blind Dogs are a Scottish band which plays traditional Scottish and Celtic music with influences from rock, reggae, jazz, blues and Middle Eastern music. They are known for performing songs unique to northeast Scotland and singing in the unique Doric dialect of the Aberdeen area. "A Wild Rumpus" can be found on their 2003 album The Gab O May, and on their 2006 live album Play Live.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cockeyed Optimists: Te Vaka and "Lovely World"

Today's random tune is from South Pacific/New Zealand group Te Vaka. In case you're wondering about the post title, it's from the musical South Pacific. Te Vaka performs contemporary Oceanic music in a style they call South Pacific fusion. Founded in New Zealand in 1995 by Opetaia Foa'i, they have won a number of awards and have been labeled the most successful contemporary band playing Pacific music by the BBC. They use traditional instruments such as the pate and pa'u (drums) and most of their songs are written in the Tokelauan language, though some songs are in Samoan and Tuvaluan. This song, Lovely World, can be found on their 2011 album Havili.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sweet: BeauSoleil and "La Douceur"

Today's tune is La Douceur by BeauSoleil. BeauSoleil was founded in 1975, released its first album in 1977 and became one of the most well-known groups from playing traditional and original music in the Creole tradition of Louisiana. They have also gone beyond the traditional, incorporating rock and roll, jazz, blues, calypso and other genres. They are an extensive touring band, and they sing in both English and Colonial Louisiana French. The band takes its name from Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, who led the Acadian resistance to British deportation from Canada and led 193 exiles to safety in Louisiana. The band almost didn't come to be - Michael Doucet, one of the founders, was going to New Mexico to study Romantic Poets, but he won a Folk Arts Apprenticeship sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. As he puts it: "I traded William Blake for Dewey Balfa," and he sought out every living Cajun/Creole performer to learn what he could about Cajun music and their techniques. He even encouraged some to resume performing. BeauSoleil are one of the few Creole/Cajun groups to win a Grammy. La Douceur can be found on their 2013 CD From Bamako to Carencro. The video was made from a live performance in the Cumberland Caverns of McMinnville, Tennessee.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I Want to be in That Number: Zydeco Force and "Saints Go Marchin' In"

Saints Go Marchin' In by Louisiana's Best Cajun and Zydeco Performers on Grooveshark

Get out your dancing shoes because today's song is Saints Go Marchin' In by Zydeco Force. Formed in 1998 in Opelousas, Zydeco Force became a regional favorite in Louisiana and East Texas. They were featured in the award winning film Schutze Gets the Blues, filmed in the former East Germany, Texas and Louisiana. The band is currently inactive. Saints Go Marchin' In can be found on the 1992 compilation album Louisiana's Best Cajun and Zydeco Music.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Told You: Liber Terán and "You See"

You See (Bonus Track) by Liber Teran on Grooveshark

Liber Terán provides us with our random song for today. You See is a bonus track from his 2008 album El Gitano Western. Liber Terán is a founding member and former lead singer and guitarist of the Mexican band Los de Abajo, which focused on Latin ska, rock, salsa. reggae, cumbia, Son Jarocho and banda sinaloense. As a solo artist, Terán has expanded his repertoire to explore classic rock and roll and Balkan influences.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

At a Crossroads: Saoco and "Intro/Oriki Eshu"

Intro/oriki Eshu by Saoco on Grooveshark

The random tune for this Easter Sunday is Intro/Oriki Eshu by Saoco. Unfortunately, I can't find any information about Saoco. I don't think that they are the Detroit band of the same name. However, the song title refers to Eshu, who is the African/Latin American trickster god that stands at the crossroads and is a guide along the road of life. However, he can guide you into trouble just as easily as not. He is synonymous with Papa Legba of vodoun and voodoo. Intro/Oriki Eshu can be found on Saoco's 2005 album La Farandula.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hey There!: Mamak Khadem and "Heydar"

Sorry about the title pun. The random song for today comes from Iranian-American musician Mamak Khadem. Khadem has been called "one of the wonders of world trance music" by the Los Angeles Times, and works from a base of Persian classical music and poetry to weave a sound steeped in ancient tradition but also completely new. Heydar is from her 2007 album Jostojoo (Forever Seeking), and while she continues to use Persian classical music and poetry as her foundation, on this album she has widened the scope of the music to include rhythmic and melodic strains from other countries. She collaborates on Heydar with Turkish musician and composer Ömar Faruk Tekbilek, whose own style builds on Sufi traditional music using traditional instrumentation such as ney, saz, oud, kaval, and zurna but also takes inspiration from ambient electronic music.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Gimme Some Shuga: Olchey and "Chavadak (Song of the Hero of Socialist Labor)"

The random tune for today may bring back memories of the Cold War and communism. The song is called Chavadak (Song of the Hero of Socialist Labor). However, this is not just some old era Soviet propaganda band. The group that sings the song, Olchey, is an attempt to explore the similarities between the Asian and European ethnic music in Russia. Part of the band comes from the Karelian region, which is in Northwest Russia near Finland and Estonia. The other part of the group comes from Tuva, which is in south central Russia near Mongolia and whose people have ethnic and cultural ties to the Mongolian people. Olchey was conceived by actor and musician George Beletsky as a way to find intercultural communication through traditional wisdom as translated into modern times. The band, originally all Tuvan, achieved this synthesis when two members of the Karelian band Va-ta-ga joined Olchey. Olchey began creating a new sound with the combination of these two traditions. The result was the 2010 CD Shuga, the name of which means the fragile layer of ice at the water's edge in Karelia and "thin" in Tuvan. Chavadak (Song of the Hero of Socialist Labor) can be found as the fourth track on Shuga, and features lots of Tuvan throat singing to a funky yet ethnic beat.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

In Your Belly: Baba Zula and "Kisaltmalar (Dub Mix)"

A little Turkish psychebelly dub music is up for your listening pleasure today. Kisaltmalar (Dub Mix) is by Baba Zula in collaboration with Mad Professor. Founded in 1996, Baba Zula is a Turkish alternative group that creates a psychedelic sound combining traditional Turkish instruments, electronica, reggae and dub. At the core of their sound is the saz, a Turkish bouzouki-like stringed instrument with a bright, high-pitched sound. Baba Zula became well known outside of Turkey when they appeared in the 2005 documentary Crossing the Bridge, and have since performed in many high profile world music festivals. They have released eight albums. Mad Professor is a Guyanese dub music producer and engineer known for original productions and remix work. He is a leading figure of dub's second generation and as such has been instrumental in bringing dub into the digital age. Kisaltmalar (Dub Mix) is from Baba Zula with Mad Professor's 2003 album Psychebelly Dance Music.

Just so you know...the music doesn't start until about 18 seconds into the video.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Stormy Weather: Marcel Khalife and "Promises of the Storm"

Our random song today is from Marcel Khalife, a Lebanese singer, composer and oud player. A winner of the Palestine Award for Music and the UNESCO Artist for Peace award, Khalife first created a group in his village in the 1970s to revive Lebanese music and Arab choral singing during the Lebanese civil war. He combines traditional Arab music with western elements such as piano, and recently has concentrated in instrumental works. His music has been controversial in the Arab world - it was banned in Tunisia in 2005 possibly due to his support of imprisoned Arabs in Israel and Arab countries and his support of Tunisian activists. He also faced criminal prosecution in Lebanon for a song using lyrics that quoted the Qu'ran. While Khalife was found innocent of blasphemy, senior Sunni Muslim clerics still maintain that he is guilty. This song, Promises of the Storm, is from his 1997 album of the same name.