Sometimes you need to head off to dreamland. You know, the netherworld where we can float between reality and well, anywhere. Perhaps this past week requires a trip to dreamland--so many events and news and just too much “stuff.”
This is why much of this week’s song selections on this week's World Music Show (6/8) will be somewhat dreamy in nature. They’ll be some new music in the category I like to call “New to Me.”
Under this realm, we’ll hear from Muito Kaballa. His influences include street funk, jazz, Afrobeat and a little bit hip-hop and punk, so his music has a bit off all that and more. We’ll check out “Lugar Ao Sol” off his new album called “Everything is Broke.”
And we’ll checkout something brand new from the legend that is Carlos Santana, who seems to be on a roll lately. Not only did he just release a new CD with the band Making Movies, but he’s about to release another new album! This one called “Africa Speaks.” This new record is produced by another legend-Rick Rubin, who’s produced everyone from The Beastie Boys to Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and Neil Diamond (who we’ll also hear from--but more on that later). Santana just released a single called “Breaking Down the Door,” which features the singer Buika who’s Grammy-nominated and 3-time Latin Grammy Spanish artist.
Then off a new compilation from the Putumayo record label called “World Peace” (another great theme for this past week), we’ll check out tunes from Bholoja and Bongeziwe Mabandla. Added to this chunk of music, will be the song “Parasites Paradise” by the band Winachi Tribe who are from the U.K.
So a few weeks ago, I was invited to the Portal Project, which was over in Monroe Park near VCU. If you didn’t get a chance to go, you missed out on something really unique. The Portal Project is a giant container like the kind you’d see on ships. Once inside you’re connected to another portal somewhere else in the world. There were portals set up all over the globe, so depending on what time you entered, you could joined with people from Senegal, Cuba or in my case Greece via a giant screen--think a huge facetime set up. It’s here that I met a dozen refugees who are living in camps on the Greek island of Lesbos. The group were fleeing wars and crisis from the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. An organization called One Happy Family helps these refugees with a variety of things, including teaching music. It was an honor to hear them play and talk to them about what they’re doing. And, they did an amazing cover of The Eagles song “Hotel California.”
In another theme within my theme tonight and with the nod to the headline “Dreamland,” I decided to take a look at some musicians from the 1970s who also dabbled a bit in the world music genre. Now, some of these artists didn’t put out these songs in that decade--though, one did. Joni Mitchell, who started off a Folk artist, developed her own style of music. Off “The Hissing of the Summer Lawns,” she did the song “Dreamland,” in which she incorporporated the huge sound of the Drums of Burundi. Partnered with her, will be the song “Dreamland” done with Brazilian beats by Caetano Veloso, though this song doesn’t fall under this little theme, but it’s still great to hear.
Added to Mitchell will songs from Neil Diamond when he first graced the Greek Theater in Los Angeles for his “Hot August Night” CD. He did a beautiful song called “Canta Libre.” And we’ll checkout Yusuf’s song “Tell ‘Em I’m Gone,” off his CD of the same name. Yusuf was also known as Cat Stevens. On that song, he pairs up with the Malian desert blues band Tinariwen. And I’ll end this little adventure by playing “Ou est le soleil” by Paul McCartney from his “Flowers in the Dirt CD.”
Other highlights on the show will be a mini David Byrne Sandwich, with a song off his “American Utopia” CD and one with him and the Talking Heads from their last CD called “Naked.” Mixed in too will be tracks by Ceu, Fantomaticos, Alex Cuba and Angelique Kidjo and Dr. John (who passed away this week). And, you won’t want to miss an almost 9-minute track by the Afrobeat band Kokolo.
Sadly, after the two hours is up, we’ll have to leave Dreamland. But it’s ok--we’ll meet up again next week. The World Music Show airs Saturday night from 8-10pm on WCVE Music: 93.1 or 107.3FM or can be streamed via this website. Follow me on Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE.