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Nathan Abshire & The Pinegrove Boys ->
Various Artists


AFRICA-MALI AMADOU & MARIAM Because 3106072 1990-1995 : Le Meilleur Des Annees Maliennes ● CD $22.98
16 tracks, 77 mins, essential
Simply magnificent music. The Malian blind husband and wife team of Amadou & Mariam have achieved great success this year thanks to a collaboration with world music cult favorite Manu Chao. But the duo has been performing together since the 1970s and prior to their first CD release in 1998 they released a series of five cassettes between 1989 and 1994 which had limited distribution throughout Africa. This CD presents some of the best of those recordings with a box set of their complete recordings from this period coming shortly. On most of these tracks they sing solo and as duets with the only accompaniment being Amadou Bagayako's wonderful guitar work. They are both superb singers with voices full of those lovely Islamic soars and swoops. Amadou's amplified and resonant electric guitar playing has elements of blues in it as well as the sound of the traditional kora weaving spidery lines of melody around the vocals. A number of the songs here like their exquisite Mon Amour and Se Te Djon Ye were recorded later in a setting with larger groups but these are the original raw versions. Truly superb and moving music. (FS)

AFRICA-MALI AMADOU & MARIAM Nonesuch 79912 Dimanche A Bamako ● CD $18.98
The latest from this superb duo from Mali was produced and features current world music cult favorite Manu Chao.

REGGAE BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS Trojan 80527 Soul Revolutionaries - The Early Jamaican Albums ● CD $34.98
4 discs, 45 tracks, essential
Early reggae in Jamaica was mainly a singles market, so it was rare for a band to put out an LP. The Wailers (the original group with Bob, Peter & Bunny) served up in miniature cardboard LP covers. "Best Of The Wailers" (10 tracks, 25 min) was their first LP, put out by their producer Leslie Kong on his Beverly's label in '70 & taken from his singles, put out against The Wailers' wishes (the young Kong soon mysteriously died of a heart attack after the Wailers put a curse on him!). "Soul Rebels" (12 tracks - 29 min) was the First LP recorded as an LP & the Wailer's First fruits with Lee Scratch Perry, released on Upsetter in '70. The final two discs were the first of a Perry experiment. The plan was to release both the songs AND the backing tracks of a dozen songs, with each LP having the Wailers tracks on side 1 & the "versions" on side 2. It happened, but not quite that way. "Soul Revolution" (inexplicitly called "Soul Revolution II" on the cover) has all 12 Wailers vocals (34 min). & includes early versions of such future classics as Kaya/ Duppy Conqueror & African Herbsman. The instrumental LP is also here, originally released in such low numbers that there only a blank white cover for it - here's it's got a black & pale green version of the "Soul Rev II" cover. (GM)

GYPSY STRADA Fremeaux & Associes 469 Gadje ● CD $15.98
16 tracks, 53 mins., highly recommended
Clarinetist/flautist Pierre Langevin and percussionist Pierre Tanguay are Qu‚bec-based musical adventurers who formed the Strada ensemble 19 years ago and have released CDs melding everything from medieval to post-modern influences. This CD is a suite of Gypsy songs, collected from various Gypsy traditions from Greece to Brittany. The sound is gorgeous and the emotions amazingly genuine, considering that none of the musicians (also playing bouzouki, oud, guitar, bagpipes, and vocal chords) were born into the cultures. Widely varied and engaging start to finish, this is a lovely romp across Gypsy Europe. (DC)

JEWISH/YIDDISH/KLEZMER VARIOUS ARTISTS Membran 222047 Yiddish Songs ● CD $34.98
4 CDs, 76 tracks, about 4 hours, highly recommended
Another fine collection from this obscure label; this time out its Yiddish songs from from incredibly creative and productive period between 1911-50. The booklet notes are in English, German, and Hebrew, and although the complete lack of session notes and specific recording dates and record labels is a mighty omission, it is difficult to imagine anyone complaining about the music. Among the wonders here are Second Avenue Square Dance by the Abe Ellstein Orchestra, Branas Hassene by the Dave Tarras Trio, Tantst, Tantst, Yidelekh by the Abe Schwartz Orchestra, Palestine Lidele by Joe Feldman, Yiddisher Charleston by The Gilt Edged Four, My Yiddish Home by Sophie Tucker, Good Luck by Lou Lockett's Orchestra, Zum Gali Gali by Yiddish Swingette, Shirt Tail Stomp by Benny Goodman, Sehr gut by Isa Kremer, Mazel In Liebe by the Alexander Olshanetzky Orchestra, and on and on. An incredible treasure of hard-to-find music with generally excellent sound quality. (JC)

CAJUN VARIOUS ARTISTS Proper BOX 91 Cajun Capers - Cajun Music, 1928-1954 ● CD $24.98
Wonderful four CD retrospective of Cajun music with 107 tracks recorded between 1928 and 1954 including some familiar names (Joseph Falcon, Leo Soileau, Amedie Ardoin, Nathan Abshire, Happy Fats, Harry Choates, Link Davis, etc.) as well as fine obscure artists like Dudley & James Fawvor, Bixy Guidry & Percy Babineaux, Joe Credeur & Albert Babineaux, The Dixie Ramblers, The Thibedeaux Boys, Papa Cairo & His Boys and others. There is some overlap in the earlier sides with the two JSP boxes of early cajun (7726 & 7749 - $28.98 each) though this also includes a lot of sides from the 40s and early 50s which are not covered by JSP. Includes 52 page booklet with notes, photos, label shots and discographical details.
NATHAN ABSHIRE: Crying Pinegrove Blues/ Pine Grove Blues/ NASON ABSHIRE & THE RAYNE-BO RAMBLERS: French Blues/ One-Step De Lacassine/ ALLEY BOYS OF ABBEVILLE: Tu Peus Pas Me Fair Ce/ AMEDE ARDOIN: Aimez-Moi Ce Soir/ La Valse Du Ballard/ One Step D'oberlin/ One Step Des Chameux/ Si Dur D'etre Seul/ Two Step D'elton/ Two Step De Eunice/ Oberlin/ AMADIE BREAUX: Ma Blonde Est Partie (Jolie Blonde)/ CLEMO BREAUX & JOSEPH F.FALCON: Le Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme/ BREAUX FRERES: La Valse D'utah/ VIN BRUCE: Dans La Louisianne/ Fille De La Ville/ HARRY CHOATES: Jole Blon/ Jolie Blon's Gone/ HARRY (JOLE BLON) CHOATES: Louisiana Boogie/ HARRY CHOATES & HIS MELODY BOYS: Hackberry Hop/ Poor Hobo/ HARY (JOLE BLON) CHOATES & HIS FIDDLE: Gra Mamou/ HARRY CHOATES WITH HAPPY FATS & THE RAYNE-BO R: Lake Charles Shuffle/ JOE CREDUER & ALBERT BABINEAUX: Ma Cherie/ LINK DAVIS: Big Mamou/ Cajun Love/ Kajalena/ THE DIXIE RAMBLERS: Barrom Blues/ OSCAR DOUCET & ALIUS SOILEAU: Oh Bebe/ BUDDY DUHON & HARRY CHOATES: Nobody Cares For Me/ Old Cow Blues/ JOSEPH FALCON: Lafayette/ THE FALCON TRIO: (My Old Used To Be) Mon Vieux D'autrefois/ DUDLEY & JAMES FAWVOR: T'est Petite A Ete T'est Meon/ THE FOUR ACES: Lake Charles Waltz/ COLUMBUS FRUGE: Saute Crapaud/ J.B. FUSILIER & HIS MERRYMAKERS: Chere Te Te/ CLARENCE "BON TON" GARLOW: Bon Ton Rula/ BIXY GUIDRY & PERCY BABINEAUX: Je Vais Jouer Celea Pour Toi/ CHUCK GUILLORY & HIS RHYTHM BOYS: You Just Wait And See/ DELIN T. GUILLORY & LEWIS LAFLEUR: Quelqu'un Est Jaloux/ THE HACKBERRY RAMBLERS: A Little Rendezvous In Honolulu/ Darbone's Creole Stomp/ Fais Pas Ca/ J'ai Pas Bien Fey/ Jolie Fille/ Just Once More/ Neath The Weeping Willow Tree/ On Top Of The World/ Rice City Stomp/ Vinton High Society/ HAPPY FATS & THE RAYNE-BO RAMBLERS: Gran Prairie/ La Veuve De La Coulee/ Le Response De Blues De Bosco/ Les Blues De Bosco/ Les Tete Fille Lafayette/ Nouveau Grande Gueydan/ Ta Oublis De Vernier/ The Old Ice Man/ JOE’S ACADIANS: Il Y A Pas La Claire De Lune/ JOLLY BOYS OF LAFAYETTE: Jolly Boys Breakdown/ DELMA LACHNEY & BLIND UNCLE GASPARD: Baoille/ ANGELAS LE JEUNNE: Bayou Pom Pom One Step/ CLIFF LE MAIRE & HIS MELODY BOYS: Along The Bayou/ FLOYD LEBLANC: Louisiana Stomp/ Orphan Waltz/ HORACE LEBLEAU & BAR-X RAMBLERS: Korea Blues/ IRY LEJEUNE: Evangeline Special/ Lacassine Special/ MARION MARCOTTE & HIS CAJUNS: La Nos A' Rosalia/ DENNIS MCGEE: Mon Chere Bebe Creole/ One Step De Chupic 1929/ One Step De Mamou/ Two Step De La Ville Platte/ MILLERS MERRYMAKERS: Lake Arthur Stomp/ Pine Island/ ARTELUS MISTRIC: Belle Of Pont Clare/ BERTMOST MONTET & JOSWELL DUPUIS: L'abandoner (The Abandoned Waltz)/ MOON MULLICAN: Jambalaya/ JIMMY NEWMAN: Cry Cry Darling/ Diggy Liggy Lo/ Wondering/ PAPA CAIRO: Big Texas 2/ THE RAYNE-BO RAMBLERS: Rayne Breakdown/ SHUK RICHARD & THE LOUISIANA ACES: Jolie Brun/ THE RIVERSIDE RAMBLERS: Wondering/ GENE RODRIGUE WITH THE BAYOU BOYS: Jole Fille/ THE SEGURA BROTHERS: A Mosquito Ate Up My Sweetheart/ FLOYD SHREVE & THE THREE ACES: Lonesome Blues/ RED SMITH WITH THE BAYOU BOYS: Country Boy's Dream/ SOILEAU & ROBIN: Easy Rider Blues/ LEO SOILEAU & MOISE: Le Blues De Nèg' Francais/ LEO SOILEAU & MAYUSE LAFLEUR: Your Father Put Me Out/ SOILEAU COUZENS: Sur Le Chemin Chez Moi/ LEO SOILEAU’S FOUR ACES: La Valse De Gueydan/ AL TERRY: H-A-D-A-C-O-L/ PAL THIBODEAUX: Port Arthur Boogie/ THE THIBODEAUX BOYS: La Two Step A Erby/ Tu Pen Pas Ma Retter De Revere/ LAWRENCE WALKER: Amou Two Step/ Lafayette Two Step/ JOE WERNER & THE RAMBLERS: Crap Shooter's Hop/ She's My Flapper She's My Baby/ JACK WYATT WITH THE BAYOU BOYS: Why Did You Let Me Love You

JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS Silverline 284516 Reggae Pulse - The Heartbeat Of Jamaica ● CD $17.98
CD/DVD 24 tracks, 73 min., highly recommended/essential
A wonderful collection of seminal recordings from Trojan Records issued between 1967-1977, this album offers a heavy helping of tracks produced by the legendary Leslie Kong, including Soul Shakedown Party by Bob Marley & The Wailers, Isrealites by Desmond Dekker, Rivers Of Babylon by The Melodians, Many Rivers To Cross by Jimmy Cliff, Pressure Drop by Toots And The Maytals, among others. A pair of Lee Scratch Perry-produced cuts (Hurt So Good by Susan Cadogan, Return Of Django by The Upsetters) also grace the digital grooves, as do Bob Marley's self-produced Lively Up Yourself and Trench Town Rock. The DVD side includes the entire album in 5.1 surround sound, and, more importantly, three bonus tracks: Danny Livingstone's Suzanne, Beware Of The Devil, Nicky Thomas' Love Of The Common People, and Jimmy Cliff's Come Into My Life. Essential listening. (JC)

MEXICAN-AMERICAN VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40516 Rolas De Aztlan - Songs Of The Chicano Movement ● CD $15.98
A collection of 19 songs recorded between 1966 and 1999 that helped fuel the Chicano Movement's quest for civil rights, economic justice and cultural respect. Includes important artists/ activists like Daniel Valdez, Los Lobos del Este de Los Angeles (later, Los Lobos), Agustin Lira and Teatro Campesino, Conjunto Aztlan and more. Includes 40 page booklet with notes, photos, information on the songs and lyric transcripts.

JAMAICA VARIOUS ARTISTS V2 Music 27201 Mento Madness ● CD $18.98
18 tracks, 52 min., highly recommended
"Mento is not calypso," booklet noters Steve Barrow and Paul Coote proclaim. One difference is in subtlety of expression. Where calypso tends towards the vulgar, mento shies away from explicit topics. (Solas Market is a song about buying bananas that might actually be about buying bananas!) Likewise, mento is more subtle musically as well. And yet, many of the groups here put the word "calypso" in their names or song titles to meet the marketing need created by the calypso craze of the 1950s, but the music remained mento. (Many considered mento to be a rural, lower-class type of music in contrast to the association calypso has with the city and its sophistication.) Traditional mento instruments include banjo and/or guitar, rumba box, bamboo fife, and maracas (and occasionally a "bamboo sax" and violin). Songs include Blu-Lu-Lup by Lord Fly with Dan Williams & his Orchestra, Country Gal by Harold Richardson with Charlie Binger & his Quintet, This Long Time Gal A Never See You by Monty Reynolds & the Silver Seas Orchestra, and many others. The booklet notes are informative, although difficult to follow since the pages are in the wrong order. Now you know. (JC)


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