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Invasion of the Strings

We owe a lot to the guitar or two the stringed instrument. Just think of all the sounds we'd miss if there wasn't a guitar or other stringed instrument lurking in the background or taking center stage. On this week's World Music Show (7/26), we'll celebrate these sounds with a few choice choices of strings.

Not to compete with one of the shows that follows mine (Time for the Blues at 11pm), but the first three chunks of music are what is dubbed as African Blues music (for the most part). We'll start of set one with the legendary Malian guitarist Issa Bagayogo. His string of choice is the Kamele n' Goni, which is an instrument similar to a banjo. We'll hear a couple of songs from him, one off his CD "Tassoumakan," and the other off a Six Degrees record label compilation called "African Travels." Also off that CD (and piggy-backing on Issa), will be a song called "In the Sun," by Beat Pharmacy.

Starting off aother chunk of African Blues--really, Desert Blues music to be more precise--will be a song by the last master of an instrument called the Biram. Mamane Barka, who is part of the Toubou tribe plays this instrument, which is boat-shaped and cut from a calabash tree, with ease and finesse. Joining him in this set will be two tracks featuring the legendary African blues guitarist Ali Farka Toure. Listed as one of Rolling Stones all time, top 100 guitarists, Farka Toure was a man who like to improvise on his albums. We'll hear him solo, as well as partnered with Kora master Toumani Diabate

In the last bit of African Blues/String-inspired music, we'll hear track from the multi-instrumentalist Kinobe. Kinobe has played with the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi, Youssou N'Dour, and Salif Kieta, just to name a few. He's talented on the guitar and the Kora. Matched with him will be some Super Guitar Soukous music, which is basically Nigerian dancehall music. Off a CD with that title, we'll hear the band Gueatan System and Dave Depeu.

With that bit of Desert Gutiar/African Blues sets behind us, we'll crank up the dance tunes to close out the first hour. And what better place to do this than with a few tracks of Bollywood music. Bollywood, of course, is Indian dance music. We'll hear Nach de Punjabi and Ursula 1000 (who is really the adept musician/DJ Alex Gimeno). And we'll close out the hour on a softer note with a track by the lovely Malasyian singer, Zee Avi.

Spanish singer BebeFor hour, two, we'll take a complete left turn and turn up the volume. The reason for this comes from the Spanish musician Bebe. Bebe, who is one of Spain's most popular and interesting musicians, has a new CD out in which she cranks up the volume, too. Called "Un Pokito de Rocanrol," Bebe lets loose with some really powerful tracks. And like we did with the latest Bossacucanova CD, we're playing the entire CD--well, two tracks at a time, over a number of shows. Taking up the backseat to her lead in (but by no means the real "backseat") will be a couple of tracks from the band Forro in the Dark. This band, who used to call Brazil home, now reside in New York. And, when they started playing in local bars, got lucky when one patron of the bar heard them and decided to help them get a boost in terms of US coverage. That person was World Music lover David Byrne, who oddly enough, can be heard on one of their songs called "Asa Branca."

In another chunk of what appears be a small Latin coup for hour two, we'll hear another new song from the local RVA band Bio Ritmo. Off their new CD, called "Puerta del Sur," we'll hear the song "Perdido." Coming out the backside of this set will be a song by guitarist Marc Ribot.

So, speaking of Byrne, you couldn't call it ironic that we'll hear a couple of cuts off a compilation CD by the record label he founded called Luaka Bop. We'll hear from Jorge Ben and Shuggie Otis. And, to keep the compilation theme going, we'll hear a track from a Rough Guide CD (they put out numerous CDs and books with the titles Rough Guide to...), we'll hear some more desert blues music, this time from the band Entran Finatawa.

As previously admitted by myself (about taking left turns), we'll take another turn--this time to hear some psychedelic music from a couple of musicians/bands who are from the Ample Play record label. We'll close out the show with the band Sudden Death of Stars (who are like the Velvet Underground meets Os Mutantes) and from Japanese mult-instrumentalist Matsuki Ayumu.

In retrospect, it looks like this week’s World Music Show has something for just about everyone--unless you like the Archies--then, you'll have to stay tuned for Time for the Blues for that. The World Music Show magically appears every Saturday from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on 88.9 WCVE or online via this website. Get show updates via Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.