Smithsonian Folkways Tradiciones/Traditions has released a new album Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú. The title of the recording is Serrano de Corazón (Highlander at Heart).
Huapango arribeño is a distinct regional tradition of Mexican music with colonial roots, long-lasting but sheltered in its mountainous homeland in the central states of Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, and Querétaro.
Remarkable folk poet Guillermo Velázquez and his Leones de la Sierra de Xichú deliver the songs with their violins, guitarra quinta huapanguera, jarana, and percussive dancing. Serrano de Corazón (Highlander at Heart) evokes the spirit of all-night topadas, competitive duels between poets and their musicians for the delight of all. The album includes a 40-page bilingual booklet with photos.
Composer and muician Jordi Savall has a new album titled Granada 1013-1526 (Alia Vox AVSA 9915). The recording features his regular ensemble Hespèrion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya.
Granada 1013-1526 explores 500 years of Medieval Spanish history in a region where there frequent encounters between the three monotheistic religions.
Post-tropicalista Brazilian band Graveola have a new album titled Camaleão Borboleta (Chameleon Butterfly). The new recording features socially conscious lyrics concerning the power of the internet, native Brazilian-Indian struggles and issues around marijuana legalization.
Graveola’s musical style is hard to define. They construct a hybrid mix using elements of tropicalia, samba, rock brasileiro, and Brazilian folk rhythms along with reggae and salsa to develop unexpected new hybrids they describe as “psychedelic maracatu”, “shamanic funaná”, “weird salsa”, “schizo-rock-fake-reggae” and “melancholic internet love ballad.” The band released Eu Preciso De Um Liquidificador in 2013.
Cameroonian bassist and singer-songwriter Richard Bona has a new album titled Heritage, scheduled for release on September 16 in the United States. To promote the album he will be touring the United States in September 2016.
Heritage, Bona’s eighth, is the first with the Afro-Cuban band Mandekan Cubano. This recording follows the roots of Afro-Cuban music back to its origins in the Mandekan Empire of the 15th century and earlier. The music explores the alchemy of African rhythms in Cuba.
Trail of Tales (Borealis Records) is the new album by Canadian roots music band The Bills. The band is known for its music of traditional music with contemporary folk music and global beats.
The Bills made the album in scenic Mayne Island, an artists’ community just off the coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
The Bills lineup includes Marc Atkinson on mandolin, guitar, percussion, vocals; Adrian Dolanon- fiddle, accordion, piano, vocals; Chris Frye on guitar, vocals; Richard Moody on violin, viola, mandolin, vocals; and Scott White 0n upright bass, vocals.
Italian musician Roberto Tombesi has a new album titled In ‘sta via. Tombesi is one of catalysts of the Italian folk revival. He founded Calicanto, revitalized the music of Venetian and northern Adriatic traditions and disseminated Italian folk music internationally.
In ‘sta via is Roberto Tombesi’s first solo album, entirely dedicated to melodeon and the Venetian traditional dances collected and propagated in a lifetime of research and concerts.
The album includes 32 traditional dances, from the Dolomites to Venice lagoon areas, with new arrangements meant for dancing and listening enjoyment with refined and elegant simplicity.
World Circuit Records has released the classic album ‘Moussolou‘ by Malian world music star Oumou Sangaré.
Originally released by World Circuit in 1991 the critically acclaimed album has been re-issued on deluxe 180 gram heavyweight vinyl together with a beautiful 10 page booklet and download card. The CD is enclosed in a ‘hardback’ style case with a 32 page booklet.
In February 1989 Oumou Sangaré, a twenty one year old singer from Bamako, Mali, travelled to the JBZ studio in Abidjan, Ivory Coast to record her debut cassette. The album came out the following year and caused a sensation, selling hundreds of thousands of copies.
Oumou will be touring as part of the Les Amazones D’afrique tour this summer:
June 29, 2016 – Festival Métis – Saint-Denis
August 5, 2016 – Festival du Bout du Monde – Brest
Jamaican roots reggae band Raging Fyah has a new studio album titled Everlasting (Dub Rockers). The five-piece Kingston collective recently toured the United States with Stick Figure.
Raging Fyah is performing at the 7th annual California Roots Music & Arts Festival on Sunday, May 29 before heading out for their European tour. Later, Raging Fyah will return to the United States in July with twenty dates throughout the East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast with key headlining shows and a supporting slot with Jamaican roots revivalist Protoje on select dates.
Most of Raging Fyah’s musicians met at Edna Manley College of Visual & Performing Arts in Kingston before officially forming in 2006. The band includes Kumar Bent on lead vocals, Courtland White on guitar, Anthony Watson on drums, Demar Gayle on keyboards, and Delroy “Pele” Hamilton on bass.
Sicilian-born reggae vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist Alborosie has a new album titled Freedom and Fyah. Alborosie has spent over a decade living in Jamaica. He presents revolutionary songs with deep, heavy roots rhythms that have become his trademark.
Alborosie has produced a series of bestselling albums since his 2008 debut Soul Pirate.
Freedom and Fyah has a very intense dub influence, with signs of dub-step and electronic music in some of the tracks. Lyrically, he covers topics such as love, revenge, politics and other social commentary.
Diatonic accordion virtuoso and composer Kepa Junkera has announced the release of his new album titled Maletak. The album will be available June 3rd.
Kepa explains his concept as follows: “I’m so glad I kept the Triki suitcases!. I had stored them in the attic but they have acquired a special meaning for this project. They inspire me and tell me stories that they only know. The suitcases are the first to travel, they store the excitement generated right before you open them and discover what they contain, the essence of my days, the sonic reason for my travels, the worn nomad instrument waiting impatiently for its best moment.
I wanted to unite luggage and animals in impossible scenery that resonates deeply with my soul. We are in an ancestral landscape that feels close and ours. The Flysch reminds me of the folds of the triki and the ocean moves and roars just like the bellows that breathes in the air and marks the rhythm. Nature, animals, luggage, Sorginak … A journey after all, full of melodies and poetry. Enjoy this mixture and feel the power of nature, the arcane and the unusual.”
The Spanish regions of Galicia, Aragon, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Castilla y Leon are stages of this musical journey. Kepa is joined once more by the all-female ensemble Sorginak.
The guest vocalists include: Sorginak, Ion Elustondo, Beloki, Imanol Urkizu and Xabi Solano from the Basque Country. Eliseo Parra and Gritsanda from Castilla and Leon. Amadeu Guillem Rosell and Ballaz from Catalonia. Beatriz Bernard, Rocio Sapiña and Lourdes Escusol from Aragon. Xabier Diaz and Adufeiras de Salitre from Galicia.
Also featured is an impressive cast of musicians: Daniel Do Pando, Ibon Koteron, Oreka TX, Jose Luis Monton, Josete Ordoñez, Antonio Serrano, Diego Galaz, Germán Diaz and Pedro Lamas.
The CD will be released in a 24-page booklet with photographs by Igotz Ziarreta and Santi Yaniz and 10 cards which are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle created by Rober Garay and Alberto Palomera.
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