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Top Picks & Musical Tricks

Wow! I can't believe that this year is at an end. Together, we've logged 52 World Music Shows! Fifty two people! These facts deserve exclamation points, right? And in that time, I've come across some pretty cool music--some new, and some "new to me." So, on this week's World Music Show (12/29), I'll rewind the tape a bit and playback some of my favorite tunes from the past year.

There was so much good music we enjoyed together that it's hard to start somewhere, but start somewhere we must. We'll begin with a couple of tracks from a new release by the folks at Rhythms Del Mundo: Africa. The people behind this CD, are Artists Project Earth (APE) and their first CD (Cuba) did that same thing that this new CD does--match contemporary artists with grooves and musicians from another country. We'll hear a track called "Timshel" that features Mumford & Sons as well as the song "John and Yoko," that features Rokia Traore.

In this same set will be one of my "new to me" releases that came across my fictional desk this past year. It's from Ladysmith Black Mambazo and it's a song off their CD called "and Friends." We'll hear their version of Paul Simon's "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," done by them and Melissa Etheridge and Joe McBride. And we'll also hear a track from the people at the Playing for Change organization who do the song "Groove in G." Plus, if that weren't enough, we'll also hear a live song by Angelique Kidjo when she visited the stage at Guest Street in Boston. She does a great rendition of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song." 

From there, to cover the rest of hour one, it'll be a mish-mash of some great music. We'll hear from Señor Coconut (who does a great cover the Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams"), and The Pinker Tones, from a CD called "Cafe' con Musica." And we'll here from David Byrne and Caetano Veloso (another "New to Me" song) doing a live song from the stage at Carnegie Hall. Plus, a few Brazilian cuts will be tossed in, too. Two from Ceu and one from a band called Otto, who do a song called "Bob" (I had to add that tidbit). 

Then, to round out the hour, it'll be more "new to me" music that features some Nippon Pop music from the late 1960s and a couple of tracks from Paul Simon's latest CD "So Beautiful, or So What," (though, these weren't really "new to me," they're just some of my favorites from the past year).

It's good thing that there are two hours of the World Music Show, because there is so much good music to be heard--especially from this past year. In hour two, we'll blow the woofers out of your speakers, or something like that, with the amount of cool music. To start, we'll hear a couple of new tracks from the Ample Play record company. their cavalcade of sound includes the ultimate cool band known as Cornershop, as well as the Japanese master musician Matsuki Ayumu. Both of the songs from them will worth the listen in hour two.

And, as the sales pitch goes--but Wait, There's more! We'll also hear songs from We Are Enfant Terrible (more "new to me," music courtesy of my pal Josh), along with some swinging 60s French Pop music (one is a cover of "These Boots are Made for Walking."); and we'll hear the sweet, soulful sounds of Ecudorian New Yorker Eljuri, along with the legendary reggae master Jimmy Cliff. And, thrown into the mix will be some Fuzz Bananas, which is Brazilian guitar music from the late 60s and early 70s (the song will be a rousing cover of the Beatles--really, Ringo's song "I Wanna Be Your Man.") 

The hour will conclude with some Afrobeat, Highlife music from 1970s Nigeria (Can you tell I'm on a riff here?), as well as some Tropical Discotheque music from Brazil. I'll end the show with a nod to the late Adam Horowitz, otherwise known as MCA of the Beastie Boys, who lost his battle with cancer this past year. But the last song I play, will be one that I've played at the end of all my seasons thus far. It's not new but it's just a signature for me, I guess. It's Paul Simon's song "Rhythm of the Saints." 

So, will show feature all the new music that came out this past year? No, but it will feature just a few. However, it will be a show that highlights what's been a good year in music for me--and I hope for you too. The World Music Show aires Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m., on WCVE Public Radio, on 88.9FM or online via this website. You can follow me on Twitter, @wcveworldmusic