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Have Guitar, Will Travel

So, I don't want to fool you with that riveting headline. That attention grabber was mostly for show. Because on this week's World Music Show (8/16/14), there will be more than just traveling guitar music. Sure, we'll dot the two hours with some acoustic, as well as some electronic guitar sounds. But this week's show will have so much more. And I'm sure, if you listen really hard and play musical Columbo, you'll be able to detect the guitar sounds in almost all of tracks featured. However, I think it's best to enjoy the picture of Seu Jorge and his mates from the film "The Life Aquatic," and prepare to dive into the missive that follows.

To kick of the electric sounds that feature some guitar work, we'll dive into two more tracks from the latest CD by the Spanish musician Bebe. Known for her eclectic style and engaging live performances, Bebe is one of Spain's most popular artists. She won the hearts of Spaniards by hitting the clubs solo as well as with other musicians and by winning various singing contests. After she developed a strong enough following, Bebe spread her musical wings and began to explore her range. On her latest CD, "Un Pokitio De Rocanrol," Bebe lets loose with some heavy riffs and soulful vocals (if you've been following the tracks that I've normally played from her, the difference is night and day). I like this CD so much, that for the past few weeks, I've been playing two tracks at a time (as per FCC guidelines). This week we'll hear songs 5 & 6, which are "Compra/Paga," and "Mi Guapo."

Piggybacking on Bebe, but no less important, will be another new track from local Salsa-rific band Bio Ritmo, who also have a new CD out, called "Puerta del Sur." And like the Bebe CD, we've been traversing our way through the entire CD (this time, though, one track at a time, so as best to savor it). We'll hear the song "Motocilengua."

Now for the traveling part. Will guitars be involved? Sure, I guess so. But on this CD, called "Arabian Travels," the folks at the Six Degrees record label have compiled an upbeat album full of Tabla and Middle Eastern sounds. Off that, we'll hear both Banco De Gaia and Euphoria--and both this bands do some mesmerizing beats.  In another travel section, also put out the Six Degrees folks, will be a song off of their Asian Travels CD, namely the song "Ja Sha Taan," by the band Fun Da Mental.

In this next to the last set is when we'll combine both the "beat" concept and the guitar references mentioned above. And in all four tracks that encompass this chunk of music, the thread keeping them intertwined will be of a Brazilian nature. Here's the diagram. We'll start off with some Timbalada music from the legendary Carlinhos Brown (who, by the way, took his last from Soul singer James Brown). Brown's Timbalada music is beat-heavy. It's a thundering sound of bongos, congos and more. But don't think this is your average drum circle found on the various beaches and parks around the globe. It's rhythm--pure, hydraulic-infused rhythm.

To keep that thread going will be a few tracks featuring another famous Brazilian--Seu Jorge. We'll hear him when he partnered with the band Almaz doing two great cover tunes: "Rock With You" (yes, the Michael Jackson song) and the song "Girl You Move Me." Then we'll get that acoustic guitar sound out by hearing him cover David Bowie's song "Queen Bitch," from the soundtrack to the Wes Anderson film "The Life Aquatic."

David ByrneFor the second hour, we'll ditch the primary guitar sound that was barely featured in the first hour. Instead we'll go super disco-y. But don't worry, the two tracks that will start the show are not a throwback to a bygone era. Instead, they're off a disco-musical created by the minds of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. And if that weren't interesting enough, the musical was based on the early life of former Philippine leader and First Lady, Imelda Marcos. However, before you jump the gun and think it was a show about her shoe collection, think again. The two-disc CD and show was actually about her early life, namely the relationship with her nanny. The CD has some great music on it and it's filled with some stellar musicians, including these two: Sharon Jones (sans Dap Kings) and Kate Pierson (sans the B-52s). And the good thing about this disco-musical is that you won't need to don a white suit to enjoy the tracks. And in case you miss hearing a little David Byrne, don't worry--we'll hear two tracks off his "Look into the Eyeball," CD, including a cut featuring the singer NRU, who is from the Mexican band Cafe Tacuba.

Rounding out the rest of the show will be tracks from Ziggy Marley (new ones from his CD "Fly Rasta), Peter Tosh, Zee Avi, The English Beat and Paul Simon (who ends the show with some guitar or rather string sounds from an instrument called the Kora, which is a 21-stringed lute harp (and amazing to hear).

So, if you first read the headline hoping for a strictly guitar-based World Music Show, my apologies. Perhaps a future episode will be dedicated to that (since it's been done before). However, I think you'll find that this week's show will be worth tuning in for. The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. EST on Richmond Public Radio, 88.9 WCVE or online via this site. Get show updates via Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.