Paul Simon & Fela Kuti: A Retrospective
With the move from my afternoon slot to a more, permanent night-time gig here at WCVE Public Radio, I'm able to explore more themes than I was able to earlier in the day. So, with this new time, I've been trying to expand what I play, along with ideas I want to share. So, this week (5/7), I wanted to look at two artists who have really made an impact on me, and on the World Music landscape in general.
The first is Paul Simon. Wny Paul Simon? Well, for me, his breakthrough album "Graceland," opened a door into the World Music Genre that I had not seen before--at least intentially. His blending of cultures and his bridging of countries--in this case South Africa with the rest of world, made an impact on me. Remember, at the time of this album(1986), Aparthied was still in full force and the word on among rock and roll musicians not to play in South Africa and to speak out against the repression and violence, was just coming to fruition--and Simon was right there with everyone. Maybe it was his 60s idealism or other political protest songs he did with Art Garfunkel, but either way, he spoke up.
And on this record, we were introduced to some great African blues guitar along with the incredible vocal group of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (who I'll feature two songs off their new CD "Songs from the Zulu Farm," in this show, too). Interesting side note about a couple of the tracks on "Graceland," Linda Ronstadt supplies a fine harmony vocal on "Under African Skies"
while Los Lobos assists on the albums closer "All Around The World."
I will be trying to span as many songs as I can from that Graceland cd on forward to his new album "So Beautiful or So What," in which I'll play two songs off of. You'll hear songs from "You're the One," and even from "Songs from the Capeman," is "failed" Broadway musical. The first hour is going to a great, mini-retrospective.
As for hour two, you'll get some background information and of course music from Nigeria's legendary Fela Kuti.
We'll hear the songs "Zombie," and "Water get no Enemy," which literally will take half the show to play.
But just because those two songs take half the hour, don't think we'll stop the fun with Fela fun there. I'll feature a couple of tracks from the Broadway musical "Fela." Plus, I'll play some tunes from a tribute CD to Fela, which features a track that has Mixmaster Mike, who has played with the Beastie Boys.
All in all, it's going to be another great show. The World Music Show airs Saturdays at 10:00 p.m. You can follow me on Twitter @wcveworldmusic.