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Think Globally, Hear Locally

I ask you, what kind of World Music Show host would I be if I didn't, at least once in awhile, play some tracks from some of our very own, homegrown Richmond World Music Bands? Not a very good one. That's why, on this week's World Music Show (2/2), I'll be highlighting a few songs from some of RVA's most popular World Beat Bands.

We'll hear a couple of tracks from the well-traveled, very popular Bio Ritmo. Their high-engery Latin music has a bit of every style or genre thrown into each record. Off their CD "Bionico," we'll hear the fun song "Bionic Boogaloo," and we'll hear the song "Dina's Mambo." In another set, we'll hear some new music from the Brazilian band, Quatro Na Bossa. Their new CD, "Bossa Nossa," features the sweet voice of Laura Ann Singh. Off this CD, we'll hear the songs "Doralice," and the song "Seja, Como For," which was written by Singh and by Bio Ritmo member Marlysse Simons. It' s like getting more bang for your buck on this song. 

And, as a side note and as a promotional effort for these two bands, you should do yourself a favor and go try to see them. They'll be playing together at the Camel on February 8th. 

Is that all the local music I'll be playing? Nope, there is more--more I tell you. We'll also hear from the multi-ensembled band Rattlemouth, who also have a good habit of playing all over the place. Their sound is best described as world-funk--their sound is tight. Also not to be missed will another popular band, Kevin Davis and Ban Caribe. Davis and his Carribbean sound can also be heard all over Richmond. I've seen Davis and his troupe several times and have never been disapointed. And, wedged into this local/global set will be a song from the singer Minyeshu. Minyeshu, who is both a person and the band name, hail from Ethiopia. The RVA connection is guitarist Donnie DuVall--he's a Richmond native who went to U of R. 

If you only have time to hear a part of this week's show, then be sure it's the first hour--but, you'll enjoy this hour so much that you'll want to hear the whole show--you can have your own "driveway" moment for two hours. But, before I move on to hour two, let me tell you other things to listen for in this hour. To keep some of that Latin/Brazilian beat going, they'll be songs from Ceu, Beck & Seu Jorge (doing Beck's song "Tropicalia") and the husband/wife duo known as Undersea Poem (formerly from Mosquitos).

And we'll hear a new track from the Kora player Ballake' Sissoko and cellist Vincent Segal. Their new song, and album, called "At Peace," is a beautiful song in which you can "hear the musicians in the process of discovery," says Sissoko. 

In hour two, the tone will change a bit as I feature some musicians and bands from the country of Mali. If you've haven't kept up on World News, then just know that there's a huge amount of turmoil going on in Mali right now. The country is in the grips of yet another upheaval of political and social change. Because of this, I wanted to showcase some of the excellent sounds that have come out of Mali. In a way, I want to bring the world a bit closer to home--if you hear the sounds and voices from this country, it can put more of a human face on the situation. And, if you want to help the country in anyway, I suggest you look into donating to the Save The Children Foundation or to the Global Giving organization. Both of these are good places to help out, even a little bit. 

From this region, we'll hear from the band Tinariwen, who all met years ago while in the refugee camps in Libya while fleeing earlier political strife in Mali. And we'll hear from the master guitarist Bombino, as well from master Kora player Issa Bagayogo. Plus, we'll hear tracks from Adama Yalomba, Habib Koite--both solo and with his band Bamada. And I'll play a special US/Mali collaboration featuring Taj Mahal, Toumani Diabate and Ramata Diakite.

To close out the show, we'll hear a nice, live acoustic song from Russian singer/songwriter and political activist Yury Shevchuk. And piggybacking on him, musically speaking, will be another outspoken musician, Michael Franti and Spearhead. To lighten the mood and end on a high, groovy note, we'll hear from the band Morcheeba

If you think this week's show is a tad topsy-turvy, that's ok--that's how I like it. The world is a topsy-turvy place, so hopefully I was able to capture some of that this week. You can let me know what you think after the fact--I love to get feeback. The World Music Show can be heard Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. on WCVE Public Radio, 88.9FM or online via this website. You can also follow me on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic.