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It's a Concrete Jungle Out There

I have a confession. I'm all over the map on this week's World Music Show (10/22). But that's ok, right? I mean, the whole fun of doing a radio show in the World Music genre is that you and I get to be globe trotters. So, for fun this week, you should grab your World Atlas and play follow the bouncing ball with me as we head to some great musical regions.

To kick things off in the first hour, we'll head over to Mali to hear from Issa Bagayogo. He's been playing since 1998 and has toured the world over, singing and playing the kamele n'goni, which is a six-stringed West African instrument similar to a banjo. In another African country we'll hear a song off of the new Ladysmith Black Mambazo CD called "Songs from a Zulu Farm." I'll play the song "The Biting Chicken."

We'll start another set by hearing some Garifuna music from Honduran guitarist and singer Aurelio. Garifuna music was developed on that Caribbean coast from two cultures: African and Caribbean Indians, who came together because their ancestors were shipwrecked slaves who intermarried with local natives on the island of St. Vincent. They were later deported to the Central American coast in the late eighteenth century, which is where Garifuna music began.

In another set, we'll hear from Senegalese great Youssou N'Dour as well as from Vieux Farka Toure, (another Malian musician). And we'll hear an interesting mix from a Belgium/Brazilian band called Think of One. This band are musical explorers who travel the globe looking for musical inspirations.

In hour two, we'll hear some fantastic Brazilian music off the still new "Red Hot + Rio 2" CD. I'll play a funky track from a band called Super Human Happiness, as well as a song that features both Angelique Kidjo and the Brazilian Girls. In that set, too, you'll hear some Tribal Bahia music, which was created by Carlinhos Brown and features some heavy percussion.. But the track we'll hear will be from the band Xexeu and Ze Raimundo.

And if we're still thinking globetrotting, then another stop will be back in South Africa to hear a couple of classic tracks from Johnny Clegg and Savuka, who have been playing music since the Aparthied era. In that time period, they were banned from radio play becuase their band was "mixed," meaning it featured musicians who were both black and white--something that was outlawed. In that set, too, I'll play a couple of tracks from the classic Paul Simon CD "Graceland." Simon, by the way, is on tour now and will be in Richmond this November at the Landmark Theater.

And now, to explain the title of my blog. Near the end of the show, I'll be doing a little musical experiment. I'm comparing two versions of the song "Concrete Jungle." The first is the original, by Bob Marley. The second take is by the still touring British Ska band The Specials, whose take is almost like a new song. The title "Concrete Jungle," could have come from a film, originally released in Great Britain as "The Criminal." It rereleased in the U.S. as "Concrete Jungle." Either way, it's a good excuse to show a couple of different versions of a similar theme. Let me know what you think.

The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio or online via this website. You can follow me on Twitter @wcveworldmusic. During the show, I tweet background information about what I'm playing.