Listen: Ok, sure, I just borrowed that opener ("Listen") from the great Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. And with all due respect to the legacy of Mr. Vonnegut, I think he'd be OK with me snaking that line for this week's World Music Show blog (1/18). And, I'm sure you'll forgive me for tweaking the headline a bit from "Think Globally/Act Locally," to what you see above. Again, I think everyone will be OK with that. The reason being is that there is some great World Music to be found right here in RVA.
We'll kick off this week's show by proving that statement. The local band Bio Ritmo has been playing both at home and abroad for years. And wherever they play, they get the joint jumping with their blend of pumped-up Latin/Salsa music. In fact, they just played at the Camel Club on Friday (1/17)--a great place to see live music. To get a sense of their coolness, we're going to take a listen back to one of their early songs, called "Bionic Boogaloo," complete with sounds from the show (The Six Million Dollar Man). They have a new song and CD coming out soon and when it "drops," as they say in the record business, I'll be sure to play some. But, if you missed them last night or if you want to hear their new song, you can check out Bio Ritmo's website to see get all the latest info.
Following Bio Ritmo, will be a track from the trio known as BossaCucaNova (which is the same band that opens up every World Music Show), as well as a touching song by the Columbian singer Andrea Echeverri, who also sings in the band Aterciopelados.
After that Latin party opening, we'll change gears and hear the rough, gravely voice of the French singer Arthur H., who, to me, has a voice sort of like Tom Waits. You can almost hear the smoke exhaling from his lungs as he sings. A little background about Mr. H. After traveling in the West Indies, he studied music in Boston before returning to Paris. It's there that he began to develop his eclectic but highly personal musical style. His influences are diverse--drawing on the likes of Thelonious Monk, Serge Gainsbourg, the Sex Pistols, as well from the styles of jazz, blues, Middle Eastern music and tango. He'll be the headliner of a chunk of French music that also includes tracks from Serge Gainsbourg (who sings with Brigitte Bardot). But we'll take another quick turn to end this set when we play another new track from the Cyprus band Monsieur Doumani.
Then, like any good World Music show, we'll again spin the dial or pull the musical slot machine on where we go (ok, sorry for those poor metaphors). Embarking on a small musical detective trek, we'll attempt to trace the lines from American Blues Music to that of African Blues--actually not a hard thing to do, since the African continent is bascially where Blues music started. We'll hear from Adama Yalomba and Issa Bagayogo, followed by some not-at-all Blues music. Instead, you can call this protest music, but in reality it's Afrobeat at its finest. We'll hear from the son of one of the Afrobeat founding members, Seun Kuti (his father being Fela Kuti, who along with Tony Allen started the Afrobeat sound).
To close out the first hour, we'll hear some fantastic Bollywood music from R.D. Burman, followed by some Latin/Irish music--yes, it exists, but only as played by The Chieftains, who pair up with Lila Downs to do a song from their CD San Patricio.
For the second half of the show how about we take a trip to the Bahama's? OK, again, my apologies for these dorky references. But I couldn't help it. The reason is that we'll begin hour two with a couple of songs off of a compilation called "Tommy Bahama: Island Hopping." It's funny to think that at one time, clothing companies put out party CDs. In any event, we'll hear The Pioneers doing the song "Let Your Yeah Be Your Yeah," and from the UK band A Man Called Adam (50-points for the most creative band name) with their song "Yachts."
This island hopping will take us next to Jamaica to hear a couple of songs from Ziggy Marley when he fronted the Melody Makers (which were most of his siblings). We'll hear two songs off their CD Jahmekya. Plus we'll hear one of my favorite Peter Tosh songs, called "Stepping Razor." And, we'll take a slight detour from reggae into Ska (and to the UK) to hear from The English Beat.
To close out the show, we'll hear some groovy Tabla Beat music from both Midival Punditz (who'll cover the Led Zeppelin song "Four Sticks"), and from Karsh Kale, who'll cover the Police song "Spirits in the Material World." And we'll end with tracks by David Byrne and St. Vincent, Ursuala 1000 and Thomas Dolby, who has been known to mix in some world beats into his music.
To bring the theme back to Listen Globally and Kurt Vonnegut, I think after this week's show, you 'll be able to say to yourself: So it goes...
The World Music Show aires Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. on Richmond Public Radio, 88.9FM WCVE or online via this website. You can follow the show on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic