You’re in luck on this week’s World Music Show (1-5) because for the first show of the new year, I was able to interview two members of the fantastic French quartet Paris Combo. This band has been playing their own unique blend of Swing/American Jazz and World-Beat-infused tracks for more than 20 years.
Members David Lewis and Belle du Berry talked to me for about 25 minutes on everything from how they no longer need to do cover tunes (since they now have six albums out) to some of their musical influences (Belle started out in a Punk band) to what the climate was like in Paris during the Yellow Jacket protests.
When they began, they were sadly lumped into part of the major swing revival that was blowing up all around the globe, thanks to bands such as Squirrel Nut Zippers. In fact, Lewis tells me that during their first tour of the states, they were amazed at how many people showed up dressed in classic swing clothing.
Paris Combo is playing Sunday, January 6th at the City Winery up in D.C. at 8pm. Then they’ll continue on a brief tour of the States that even includes a stop at the famed Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA.
Mixed into the interview will be several tracks off their latest CD “Tako Tsubo.” du Berry will talk about the meaning behind the title and Lewis will also talk about how this latest CD is cinematic in nature and how they recorded it differently than past Combo albums.
For the rest of the hour, I’ll feature some classic French music from Brigitte Bardot and Frances Gall and I’ll play a track by Arthur H. who Lewis also played with. Lewis also played with the legendary Manu Dibango--and continues to play with him when he can.
In hour two, we’ll dive into new music from Michael Franti & Spearhead. Franti is about to release a self-directed documentary called “Stay Human.” He’ll also drop a CD related to film, called "Stay Human Vol. 2."
Speaking of new music, I’ll have another new song from the fantastic Brazilian rock band Fantomaticos, who continue to put out singles to a forthcoming album. Each one I’ve heard and played so far leads me to believe that this is going to be a great CD.
In my often referred “New to Me” slot I’ll play a track off the latest CD by the Malian singer/songwriter and guitarist Rokia Traore. Her album “Ne So” came out in 2016, so I’m a tad late to the game with her latest, but it’s still a great sounding CD that I’ll be playing more from in the next few weeks.
Peppered throughout the hour will be songs from Peter Tosh, Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra, Nina Miranda, Tom Ze, Quetzal, Diamente Electrico and Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles. This last band is an all female Mariachi band, which on the surface you may think that it’s no big deal. However, traditionally Mariachi bands have been strictly an all-male club.
Rounding the show will be two 2-Tone tracks. This genre is actually an offshoot of Ska and it ushered in a whole new wave of Ska bands who mixed in elements of Reggae, Dub and most importantly punk music. It got its start in England with the band Specials AKA, who started their own label and helped launch other Ska bands such as The Selector, Madness and The Beat (who are also known as The English Beat for American audiences). I love reading liner notes.
The World Music Show airs Saturday night at 8pm on WCVE Music: 93.1 & 107.3FM. Or you can stream it online via this website. Also on this site you can see live, streaming track listings for what I’m playing. And just for fun, follow me on Twitter @wcveworldmusic or on Facebook at The World Music Show on WCVE.