Monday, August 31, 2015
Today's random song is by Ilkay Akkaya, a Turkish singer and the lead singer for the Turkish group Kizilirmak. The only information I can get on her is in a bad translation from Turkish on Google, so I won't try so I don't risk getting the information wrong. She is accompanied on this song, Nana, by Kazim Koyuncu, a Laz singer-songwriter and activist from Turkey who died in 2005 of lung cancer thought to have been caused by the Chernobyl disaster. Nana can be found on the compilation album Homegrown Istanbul, Vol. 1 (2006).
Sunday, August 30, 2015
South Pacific and New Zealand group Te Vaka brings us our random tune for the day, Moemiti. 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. Moemiti is from their 2011 album, Havili. The song urges us to "Seize and Hold on tight to your dreams, never let them go..."
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Today's song, Sabou, is by Prince Diabaté, a griot from Guinea in West Africa. His father was a kora player who broke tradition and also taught Diabaté's mother to play, and Prince Diabaté gained proficiency by accompanying his parents to their concerts. He takes as inspiration traditional Mandingo and Malinké music, but he also borrows from reggae, rap, blues and funk. He has been called the "Jimi Hendrix of the kora," and he is responsible for creating the sound he calls Mandingo reggae. Sabou can be found on his 2006 album Djerelon.
Friday, August 28, 2015
A New Mexico band provides us with our random tune today. Jaka is an afro-pop funk dance band begun by Dan Pauli in the mid 1990s. They play ancient songs and modern compositions using a mix of contemporary and traditional instruments, such as mbira and marimba. The band has a fluid lineup around five core musicians, and also offers marimba and drumming classes at their Santa Fe studio. This song, Trip Away, is from their 2014 album Glow.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Good for the Blood Pressure: Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys featuring Sonny Landreth with "Zarico Est Pas Salé"
Zarico Est Pas Salé is a zydeco tune that Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys perform with Sonny Landreth. A Cajun band from Southern Louisiana, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys were 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 personal to them. They sing almost exclusively in Cajun French. They have been nominated twice for Grammys in the Best Traditional Folk Album category and have released 11 albums to date as well as one compilation album. Sonny Landreth is an American blues guitar player especially known for his slide guitar method and of whom Eric Clapton said that he is one of the most advanced and under-appreciated guitarists in the world. He is known as The King of Slydeco. He has released twelve albums. Zarico Est Pas Salé can be found on The Best of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys (2008).
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The random tune for today comes from Cirque du Soleil. Terre Aride, along with the entire soundtrack of Cirque du Soleil's Las Vegas (Bellagio Hotel) water and stage show O, was composed by Canadian Benoit Jutras. Jutras' eclectic music combines worldbeat, classical, rock, trip hop and electronica, and the score of O is no exception, with instrumentation that includes classical Western, erhu (Chinese violin), bagpipes, African guitar, African kora (harp), Colombian guitar, cello, ancient woodwinds and a wide variety of percussion instruments. Terre Aride can be found on the soundtrack for O, released in 1998.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Today's tune, Ooh La La, is by Wayne Toups and Zydecajun. Songwriter and accordionist Wayne Toups is one of the most successful Cajun musicians in America. He was born in Crowley, Louisiana and started playing accordion at 13. He was soon winning local contests, and later began to combine Cajun music, zydeco, R&B and rock into a genre he labeled ZydeCajun. Though he released his first album in the 1970s, his first album with the ZydeCajun sound was 1986's ZydeCajun. Besides releasing 16 albums and providing soundtracks for movies such as Steel Magnolias, Toups has also collaborated with such artists as Mark Chestnutt, Sammy Kershaw, Alan Jackson, George Jones and Garth Brooks. Ooh La La is from his 1991 album Fish Out of Water.
Monday, August 24, 2015
The random tune for today is by blind Malian duo Amadou & Mariam. Vocalist Mariam Doumbia lost her sight at age 5 due to untreated measles, while guitarist and vocalist Amadou Bagayoko lost his sight at age 15. They met at Mali's Institute for the Young Blind and discovered that they had similar interests in music. Their music has developed from early sparse recordings consisting of guitar and vocals to a mix of traditional Malian sounds combined with rock guitars, Syrian violins, Cuban trumpets, Egyptian ney, Indian tablas and Dogon percussion. This style has been dubbed "Afro-blues." This song, M'Bifé (Balafon), appears on their 2005 CD Dimanche à Bamako (Sunday in Bamako), which was produced by world and Latin music star Manu Chao.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
We've hit the Celtic trifecta. Today's song is Damhsa by The Chieftains. The Chieftains are an Irish ensemble who introduced the wider world to Irish music. The Chieftains were formed in Dublin in 1962 and played their music primarily around the distinctive sound of uileann pipes. They took their name from the title of a novel by Irish author John Montague. Besides releasing several critically acclaimed albums, they are just as well known for their collaborations with such artists as Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Sinead O'Connor and Roger Daltry. They have released 44 albums. Damhsa can be found on their 1992 live album An Irish Evening. They are accompanied by dancer Jean Butler, whose dance steps you can hear in the song.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
We follow Celtic with Celtic in our random tune today. Niamh Parsons presents us with "An Páistin Fionn" from her 2000 album In My Prime. A singer of contemporary and traditional Irish music, Parsons started her solo career in Belfast in 1990. She had previously been a member of the band Killera in the 1980s with her husband. She was asked to sing for President Bill Clinton and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern in Washington DC, and has made several television appearances in Ireland. An Páistin Fionn can also be found on the 2005 compilation album Celtic Wonder. The song title means "The Fair-Haired One."
Friday, August 21, 2015
Celtic band Lúnasa brings us the song of the day - Boy in the Boat. Calling itself "the hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet," Lúnasa is named after an ancient harvest festival and began in 1997 when a group of musicians traveled together through Scandinavia. The group tours a majority of each year, and has toured extensively through Europe, the Americas and Asia. Boy in the Boat can be found on their 2006 album Sé.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Argentine bandoneón player Dino Saluzzi brings us the random tune for today, a jazzy Cité de la Musique. The son of famous Argentine guitarist Cayetano Saluzzi and the father of guitarist José Maria Saluzzi, Dino takes as inspiration for his music the villages and little towns of his childhood. He developed a jazzy personal style that earned him a reputation for the avant-garde and made him a leading bandeonionist in Argentina. He was invited to play in music festivals in Europe in the 1980s, which led to collaborations with several European and American jazz artists such as Charlie Haden, Tomasz Stanko and Al Di Meola. Cité de la Musique can be found on the Dino Saluzzi Trio's 2000 CD of the same name.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Today's random song is by by Khaled Hadj Ibrahim, an Algerian raï singer and songwriter known by his stage name Khaled. He started recording in his early teens under the name Cheb Khaled and since has become a superstar and the most well-known Algerian performer in the world - he is usually labeled "The King of Raï." This song, El Arbi, can be found on his 1994 album Khaled. The song is in the first person and is an Arab proclaiming his identity as son of forests and pheasant, son of the camel, son of desert and sand. He goes on to say that the woman he loved left him, leaving only the company of the moonlight for his solace.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Today's random song is by Mercan Dede. Dede is a Turkish musician living in France who draws inspiration from Sufi music. Dede is also known as DJ Arkin Allen, and is a composer, player of the ney (a Middle Eastern flute) and the bendir (a hand drum). He fuses traditional Turkish acoustic music and other eastern musics with electronic sounds, horns, dance beats and his Sufi spirituality. This song, Halitus, is from his 2007 CD Breath.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Today's tune is a tango by Hugo Diaz called "Mi Buenos Aires Querido." Hugo Diaz was born in 1927 in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, and lost his sight at age 5 after being hit by a soccer ball. He learned to play harmonica, and two years later after surgery restored his eyesight, he was already playing for a local radio station. He played mostly with friends from his youth, and after his debut in 1944 he scored a series of record contracts. He worked mainly in tango with deep roots in rural music. In the 1970s his musical legacy reached its apex. His daughter, Maria Victoria, was an important part of the Argentine rock and roll scene of the 1980s. Hugo Diaz died in 1977. Mi Buenos Aires Querido can be found on the 2012 retrospective album Tangos, on the 2006 various artist compilation Tango and Tangueros, and on Putamayo Presents: Tango Around the World (2007).
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Today's random song is from Irish band Altan, and is called No Ash Will Burn. 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. No Ash Will Burn is from their latest release, The Widening Gyre, released in 2015.
Saturday, August 15, 2015
From South Africa comes our random tune and a great story to go with it! Shibandza is by Penny Penny, a South African janitor who in 1991 approached Afrobeat producer Joseph Shirimani and asked to work with him. Shirimani agreed after hearing him sing, and they cut a number of songs including Shaka Bundu which became a hit in southern Africa. The songs were notable because they were sung in the Tsonga language - music in that language usually didn't produce hits. After initial success, Penny Penny fell off the radar for 20 years. He spent his time touring relentlessy to make money as many pirated copies of his music were floating around. He then became a councillor in the African National Congress. It wasn't until Brian Shimkovitz, a former music publicist who owns the Afrobeat music blog Awesome Tapes from Africa, heard a cassette of his music. He released an album of Penny's Penny's music in 2013, including his hit Shaka Bundu as well as other songs recorded by Penny in 1994. The album became a hit and led to a Penny Penny tour of America. This song, Shibandza, is from that 2013 CD titled Shaka Bundu.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Get your belly out and dancing! Today's random tune is from Beats Antique, an American experimental world fusion and electronic group formed in 2007 in San Francisco with producer Miles Copeland. They mix different genres of music and their live shows use samples and heavy percussives with performance art and tribal fusion dance. In this video, the belly dancer is Zoe Jakes, a member of the group who mixes traditional belly dancing with tango, popping and Indian dance. The song, Egyptic, can be found on their 2010 album Blind Threshold. This video was made of a live performance Beats Antique did for KEXP Radio.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Today's random tune is from Srikalogy, which along with Srikala is the performing name of Srikala Kerel Roach, a DJ. MC, producer and percussionist who is the son of West Indian parents and who grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. Influenced early by hip hop, reggae, dub, and R&B, he expanded his range to include rock, blues, pop and jazz. At 18 seeking to end a cycle of self-destructive behavior, he entered a monastic life at an ashram on the Lower East Side of New York City which was steeped in the Bhakti yoga tradition and transcendental sound vibration. He transitioned out of monastic life after 6 years and began studying audio engineering and began releasing albums in 2011. He has also collaborated with other groups, notably the Earthrise SoundSystem. He appears regularly in New York City with his jazz funk fusion band, The Flowdown, He seeks to bring hope and inspiration with his music, culminating in a message to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of life. This song, Sita Rama, can be found on his 2014 album Kirtan Sessions: Volume One.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
You might not like the random tune for today...it is a bit to listen to but there is a method in it. Today's tune is from Gjallarhorn. Gjallarhorn was formed in 1994 in a Swedish-speaking portion of Finland and performs world music based in the folk music and traditions of that region. As such, their music tends to be Swedish in nature, but based in acoustic folk music unique to Ostrobothnian area. Gjallorhorn is also known for their use of the hardanger fiddle, an eight or nine string violin (as compared to four strings on a standard violin), and lead singer Jenny Wilhelm's singing technique called kulning, a technique based on Scandinavian cattle herding calls consisting of high pitched wordless tones designed to be heard over long distances. The band's name derives from the name of the horn of the Norse god Heimdallr, who blows the Gjallarhorn signaling the last battle of the Norse gods. This song, iVall (@Ley) is literally cattle calling in improvisation with a pastoral tune. Cattle calls were traditionally used as a signalling system when the cattle were out to pasture in the summertime, and here Gjallarhorn incorporates this into a strange yet compelling tune on their 2006 release Rimfaxe.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
The random tune for today is an awesome cover of Bob Dylan's All Along the Watchtower. Eliades Ochoa is a Cuban guitarist and singer who came to worldwide fame as a member of the Buena Vista Social Club which was popularized by the movie of the same name. A guitar player from the age of 6, he was invited to join the Cuban group Cuarteto Patria as its leader and he began introducing elements of the son musical style into their music. His main instrument is the tres, a Cuban guitar with three groups of six strings, but he also occasionally plays the cuatro, which adds two additional strings. All Along the Watchtower can be found on the 2014 release From Another World: A Tribute to Bob Dylan.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Today's song is by Cathie Ryan, an Irish-American native of Detroit, Michigan who was exposed early to Irish musicians such as Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers as well as American musicians such as Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves and Hank Williams. In her childhood she idolized her father, a tenor, who taught her how to interpret and honor songs by knowing their histories and contexts. She was also exposed to the music of Appalachia from neighbors who had migrated to Michigan to work in the auto factories and gained an appreciation for the likes of Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline, as well as the local music out of Motown. Moving to New York, she learned more about traditional Irish music from her then husband singer-songwriter Dermot Henry and mentor Joe Heaney. After graduating from CUNY with a degree in English Literature and Secondary Education, she began teaching at Lehmann College in the Bronx, but left the classroom behind as her singing career began to blossom. She still continues to teach workshops in traditional Irish singing and Irish mythology and folklore. She was a member of the all female Celtic group Cherish the Ladies. This song, Óró Mo Bháidín (Oh My Little Boat), can be found on her 1997 debut album Cathie Ryan.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Our random song is by the San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble (SAVAE), a unique ancient vocal music ensemble that is accompanied by early and traditional instrumentation. They made their debut in 1989 presenting Latin music from the colonial period. Its artistic director, Christopher Moroney, has penned arrangements and new compositions for the group by delving into ancient history and cultures. The group has been featured on national radio shows and has toured the United States and around the world. This song, Salve (very appropriate for a Sunday), can be found on their 2000 album El Milagro de Guadalupe, and on their 2010 album Songs of Mary.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Our danceable random tune today is by the Mexican Institute of Sound. The Mexican Institute of Sound is Mexico City-based producer and DJ Camilo Lara's electronic music project. Fusing Mexican folk music with modern sounds, MIS is part of a growing movement in Mexican music. Lara started with mixing music for holiday mix tapes, and after getting enthusiastic receptions for his creations, began making musical collages under the moniker Mexican Institute of Sound while relying on samples of Mexican classical music. He has released four albums, with a fifth due next year. This song, Yo Diga Baila, is from his 2009 CD Soy Sauce. Me gusta la musica! Es romantica!
Friday, August 7, 2015
Today's random tune is brought to you by Laid Back, a Danish electronic duo formed in 1979 and based in Copenhagen, Denmark. John Goldberg and Tim Stahl met as members of The Starbox Band, which opened for The Kinks at their Copenhagen concert but received poor reviews. The Starbox Band split up after that show but the duo continued to work together, exploring new possibilities in sound made possible by advancing technology. They has released four albums over two decades, and also gained the Danish equivalent of an Oscar for their soundtrack for a major Danish film. This song, Groovin' on a Feeling, is from their 2013 album Happy Dreamer, although it was also released in 2007 on Putumayo's compilation called World Party.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
The Shee are an all female folk group from Scotland that combine Scottish folk, Gaelic song and bluegrass. Their instrumentation consists of electro-harp, accordion, mandolin, viola, fiddle, flute and whistle. They have released three albums. This song, Troubles, is from their 2010 album Decadence.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Moving to Albuquerque 10 years ago, I never dreamed that somehow I'd end up on radio. Yet I have, and I'm having a blast exploring different music and playing it for an audience (even though it's so late the audience probably numbers in the tens). I would invite you to listen to our global show from last night if you missed it, hosted by me and with music contributions from Megan Kamerick. Just go to http://www.kunm.org/two-week-archive and put in August 3 at 10 pm to start the player. Here's the playlist of the show starting with artist, then song, then album. I have added links to artist and video if I could find them:
Nozinja (South Africa) / Mitshetso We Zindaba / Nozinja Lodge
Ibrahim Maalouf (Lebanon/France), Oxmo Puccino (Mali) and Maitrise de Radio France / Jamais Quand il Faut / Au Pays d'Alice
Michael Franti & Spearhead (United States) feat. K'Naan (Somalia) / Earth from Outer Space / All People
Joy Harjo and Poetic Justice (Native America) / For Anna Mae Pictou Aquash / Letter from the End of the Twentieth Century
Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad (Pakistan) / Kangna / The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Paola (Greece) / Krivo Alitia / Krivo Alitia
Inflame (US) / Lori / Inflame
Hassan Hakmoun (Morocco) / Zidokan (Just Go) / Unity
Today's song is from a world group mixing African and Celtic sounds. Even in My Dreams is by The Afro Celt Sound System, which fuses modern electronic dance rhythms with traditional Irish and West African songs. The Afro Celt Sound System were formed by British producer Simon Emmerson and Afro-pop star Baaba Maal in 1991. Since then they've been proclaimed a world music supergroup, and have collaborated with Peter Gabriel, Sinead O'Connor, Robert Plant, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Ayub Ogada and many other pop and world stars. Even in My Dreams can be found on their 1999 release Volume 2: Release.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Today's random tune is by Balkan Beat Box, founded in 2003 by Tamir Muskat and Ori Kaplan in New York City. An Israeli band, their goal is to take ancient and traditional music and combine it with hip hop to create a more modern sound that would appeal to people in dancehalls and clubs. They cite as influences Boban Marković, Rachid Taha, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Manu Chao, and Charlie Parker. This song, Joro Boro, was recorded on their 2007 album Nu Med, but this version is a remix featured on their remix album Nu Made (2009) and on the compilation Balkan Club Night, Vol. 2 (2011).
Monday, August 3, 2015
Our random song for today is from Dervish. Dervish is a traditional Irish band from County Sligo described by the BBC as an "icon" of Irish music. Formed in 1989, they represented Ireland in 2007 in the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest. They have also been known to stand for their principles. In 2012 they canceled tour dates in Israel and announced a cultural boycott of the country, which in turn led to a negative backlash at home. Ar Éirinn ní Neosfainn Cé Hí is from their 1996 album End of the Day. It was also recorded on their 1997 album Live in Palma and on their retrospective compilation Decade (2001). The song is about a lover who finds a beautiful girl, but will never reveal her name.
Sunday, August 2, 2015
The random song for today brings together two legends from very different places, but who have a common musical heritage nonetheless. Bonde is by the great Malian guitarist and singer Ali Farka Touré and the American musician, songwriter, composer and producer Ry Cooder. Ali Farka Touré was a Malian singer, multi-instrumentalist and one of the most renowned African musicians. His music fits right into the intersection of traditional Malian music and North American blues. Known as the "African John Lee Hooker," he sang in several African languages. In 2004, he became mayor of a small town and spent his own money on improving infrastructure. He died in 2006 of bone cancer. Ry Cooder is an American producer and guitarist known for his slide guitar and his interest in roots music. He has collaborated with many musicians both from the US and abroad, and his albums have covered many different genres, including folk, blues, Tex-Mex, soul, gospel and rock among others. He also produced the worldwide hit album Buena Vista Social Club. Bonde can be found on their Grammy-award winning collaboration Talking Timbuktu (1994).
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Scotland provides the backdrop for this very funky Celtic tune by Capercaille. Capercaille is a Scottish folk band formed in the 1980s. They are named after the Scottish wood grouse. They perform traditional Gaelic songs along with songs in English of their own composition or by others, and often mix traditional songs with modern recording techniques, rhythms and instrumentation. At first sticking fairly closely to traditional styles and instrumentation, in the 1980s they added funk bass lines, synthesizers and electric guitar to traditional songs. In 1992, their EP A Prince Among Islands was the first Gaelic language record to reach the top 40 of the UK singles charts They have since been moving back toward more traditional music while retaining a slight fusion sound. This song, Finlays, is from their 1997 album Beautiful Wasteland, and this version of the song is from their 2002 Live in Concert album (they end this version of Finlays with a snippet of Puirt a Beul, a song from their 1987 album Crosswinds). BTW: This is the band that started my long foray into world music after I saw them in the early stages of their career at Milwaukee's Irish festival in the late 1980s. I absolutely love them!