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Accordion Crimes & Misdemeanors

So what happens when an accordion, a sitar, a tabla drum and a kora all walk into a bar? I’m not sure, but on this week’s World Music Show (4/15), we’ll explore each of these unique instruments.

It’s time to dust off that Sherlock cap, grab your pad & pen so you can help me investigate and roll the dice on our musical game of Clue.

We’ll kick start the show with the accordion. And I can think of no better way then to dive head first into some Cajun music, which is a melding of French and other styles of European music. Plus, it’s fun. It’ll be Bruce Daigrepont with the song “Acadia a la Louisiane,” followed by the song “Jolie Bassette,” by the band Charivari, which is named for a Cajun custom of an impromptu musical gathering at a house.

 Also included under the accordion umbrella (and wouldn’t that be a sight!) will be some music out of Northern Ireland by Jim McGrath, some Gypsy music from Germany, by a DJ/Producer named Shantel and some French music by Lo Jo, Tetes Raides, Dupain, and some Django inspired French music from the trio Paris Combo.

 Let’s switch up instruments now, since we are investigating other things like the Sitar, the Tabla drum and the Kora, which we’ll hear next on a track called “Rewrite” by Paul Simon, who since his Graceland CD, has embraced all sorts of world music instruments. Also by him and off of Graceland, will be the song “That was Your Mother,” which yes, does feature the accordion again (I can’t escape this treacherous instrument), as does an Irish song by the Pogues. But, mixed into this set will be some beautiful Kora playing by Toumani Diabate, who along with guitarist Ali Farka Toure, do the song “Kaira.” That can be found on their second, and sadly last, collaboration together called In the Heart of the Moon.”

 Ending the hour will be more accordion music—one out of Columbia another out of New Orleans, but it’ll be a surprise and an tune that is not “World Music.” Tune in to find out who it is.

 In the second hour, I think it’s going to be the sitar and the Tabla Drum. And here’s a great example of both. From the CD called The Calcutta Chronicles, this is Debashish Bhattacharya I’ll play the song “Gypsy Anandi.” Besides the tabla drum on this track, you’ll hear the masterful playing of slide guitar by Debashish. 

 From there, we’ll plug in with some Asian Massive Music, which is a mix of electronic Indian tabla beat music. We’ll check out tracks by duo Midival Punditz and by the late DJ Cheb I Sabbah who will do the song “Raja Vedalu.”

And if you like throwbacks as well as surprises, then you’ll enjoy the two cuts I’m throwing in by The Beatles. Of course, it’s all about George Harrison’s sitar playing. Both of the songs, which are alternate takes, can be found on the Beatles Anthology 2 CD. I’ll let you tune in to find out which ones I’m playing—but I’m sure you can probably guess.

 Also in this hour and featuring the sitar will be a couple of songs by a sitar player, who like Harrison, learned from the best. We’ll hear Anoushka Shankar—who of course learned from her Dad, Ravi, as did Harrison—do the songs “Jump In (Cross the Line)” with the rapper M.I.A. And the song “Oceanic,” which features Karsh Kale as well as her father Ravi.

 Closing out the show will be Tabla music, by Tabla Matrix, Fun Da Mental as well as some Canadian folk music by Alan Mills. And I’ll end our Clue game by playing songs that don’t really feature any of the instruments we’re investigating by playing some music by Issa Bagayogo and Amar Sundy who plays some African Blues music.

Join the investigation with the World Music Show as your guide Saturday from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on Richmond Public Radio, 88.9 WCVE. Stream the show via this website and follow the fun on Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Music on WCVE.