Dirtwire – Ondar EPOndar EP is the latest recording by San Francisco Bay Area-based electro-acoustic duo Dirtwire. The EP honors the musical legacy of Tuvan throat-singing maestro Kongar-ol Ondar (1962–2013), with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit Ondar’s legacy in Tuva.
The Ondar EP derived from an unplanned encounter in 2013 when Dirtwire’s Evan Fraser (Hamsa Lila and Stellamara) was invited to play mouth harp with Ondar — the “Groovin’ Tuvan” — during a private performance in Marin, California. Ondar’s vocals were recorded by David Satori (Beats Antique) in a home studio later that night. “Taiga,” the EP’s key track, is an ode to Bai-laa Taigam, an expansive steppe land in the singer’s home region of Tuva, Russia. Throughout the EP, the melodious interplay of acoustic and electronic music often makes it difficult to tell where Ondar’s otherworldly voice leaves off and Dirtwire’s ambient textures begin.
“It was a great honor and a privilege to get to collaborate with such a musical legend of the Earth,” says Fraser of his experience working with Ondar. “You can picture the natural beauty of his native Tuva as you hear him sing. Ondar will be missed and remembered forever.”
The Six Degrees of Brazil Volume 2 (Six Degrees Records) compilation is now available in the United States and Canada. This digital only release focuses on the musical diversity of Brazil.
From its very earliest days, Six Degrees Records has embraced the new music of Brazil, helping to launch the international careers of Bebel Gilberto, Céu, BossaCucaNova and, most recently, Dom La Nena.
Six Degrees of Brazil Volume 2 features a generous representation of Six Degrees Records Brazilian artists. The compilation includes modern samba and bossa nova represented by BossaCucaNova, electro-Bahian grooves and dreamy ambient sounds.
The label’s best sellers also appear in Six Degrees of Brazil Volume 2: Bebel Gilberto, Céu and Dom La Nena as well as the label’s latest signing, young Brazilian star, Silva.
Six Degrees of Brazil, Vol 2 – Artist/Track Listing:
1) Dom La Nena: Batuque (Jeremy Sole & Atropolis Remix)
2) Da Cruz: Boom Boom Boom
3) Curumin: Afoxoque
4) Bossacucanova: Balança (Não Pode Parar!) (Adam Popowitz Mix)
5) Zuco 103: Nuca Mais (Dj Patife Remix)
6) Céu: Ave Cruz
7) Bebel Gilberto: Bring Back The Love (Shrift Mix)
My Big Chance Tomorrow (Mountain Fever Records) is the title of the new album from skilled bluegrass singer and bass player, Edgar Loudermilk. My Big Chance Tomorrow showcases Loudermilk’s vibrant bass playing and vocal talent. The single ‘Shady Green’ was released to radio in late spring.
“This release showcases Edgar’s great writing (he penned all 15 tracks) and in it the variety of what he is capable of is evident. Edgar is a master songwriter as well as a great singer and we won’t even talk about what a nice guy he is!” says Mountain Fever Records founder, Mark Hodges.
Loudermilk is considered one of the best young players and voices in the current bluegrass scene. Influenced greatly by his father and grandfather, Edgar absorbed bluegrass by learning to play bass to the legendary record, “Bluegrass Album Band Volume 1” record. He wrote all twelve songs on his first album titled Roads Travelled and all 15 songs on My Big Chance Tomorrow.
The song “Shady Green” was conceived while coming back from Canada traveling with the band Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out. “We were in some really big mountains and I thought that the pioneers and early settlers had a chore just to make it through those mountains with mules, wagons, and their families. That thought led me to writing the song,” says Loudermilk. “We are excited with the release of this new album in which we wrote all 15 tracks with only one co-write. I’m excited to bring out more of my music in hopes of it being received well. We have many featured guests on the album such as; Wayne Benson, Jeff Autry, John Cowan, Junior Sisk, Shawn Lane, Buddy Melton, Scott Vestal, and many more.”
Surrounded by music at an early age, he was only nine when he began playing bass in his family’s band. Loudermilk was also exposed to the great music of some of his famous relatives, The Louvin Brothers. He continued to play in his family’s band until joining Carolina Crossfire. The band had quite a following and it wasn’t long before he decided to try his hand at on a larger professional scale, a decision that has made him a staple for elite artists in bluegrass music.
Loudermilk previously toured with award winning bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent, followed by a gig as bass player and tenor singer in Marty Raybon’s (then newly formed group) Full Circle. He would back up Marty Raybon for almost five years.
In 2006, Loudermilk took over the bass playing and singing duties and became the newest member of IIIrd Tyme Out, replacing longtime bass player Ray Deaton in July, 2007.
Hagere, the debut release by Ethiopian phenomenon Samuel Yirga, is now available in North America for the very first time. Hagere, showcases the young pianist’s extraordinary playing. The EP was first released in England in 2011.
Samuel Yirga is based in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. He is the piano player with Nick “Dubulah” Page’s UK-Ethiopian fusion collective, Dub Colossus. Although he left music school relatively recently, he has developed at a fast pace, both as a player and composer. This digital EP follows up his widely acclaimed first full album Guzo that was released last fall.
Tracks include Yeh Bati Koyita, a solo piano piece. The title means “A Time in Bati” – Bati is a town in northern Ethiopia, and also the name of the musical scale Samuel plays. The tune has classical and jazz influences.
Abet Abet is a traditional love song that includes the raw and melodic notes of the Ethiopian one-stringed fiddle, the mesenqo. Sammy is accompanied by some of Ethiopia’s best young traditional instrumentalists: Missale Legesse (kebero), Endris Hassan (mesenqo), Frew Mengiste (bass), Yonas Yimam (percussion), Tewodros Alula (trumpet), Yishak Dawit (trombone), Alklilu W/Yohannes (tenor sax), Abiyou Solomon (engineer).
Habasha Diaspora (Addis Piano Mix) is a mellow tune with muted horns and the gentle tones of Samuel’s piano playing. Lineup: Ben Somers (tenor and baritone saxes/flute), Dubulah (guitars, programming), Jonathan Radcliffe (trumpet, flugelhorn), Nick Van Gelder (drums, cuica), Paul Chivers (congas, percussion kit), Robert Dowell (trombone), Winston Blisset (bass)
Ambassel In Box Revisited is a beautiful solo piano piece, recorded in The Wooden Room at Real World Studios.
Evergreene Music announced the release of Balkan Arts 701: Bulgarian Folk Dances, the first installment of the Balkan Arts Series, a joint venture between Evergreene Music and The Center for Traditional Music and Dance, which is based in New York City.
The collection will be available as restored digital EPs or as collectible “new-old stock” 7-inch records. The Balkan Arts Series features authentic performances by local master musicians. Each release is adorned with photographs, detailed audio commentary and liner notes, as well as a 12-page digital booklet.
True to the original spirit of the Balkan Arts Series, Evergreene Music will be releasing all 13 individual EPs in sequence. The series was kicked off on January 29th 2013 with an EP of Bulgarian folk dances. It will be followed by three EPs from East Serbia in February, Greek rarities from Macedonia and Thrace in the spring, and wrapping up the series with music from Romania and Bulgaria in the summer of 2013.
These historical sides were recorded in the 1960s and 70s and have never before been available to the general public. Each release is produced by Martin Koenig, an ethnographer and authoritative voice in Balkan culture. Koenig is the original founder and director of New York’s Balkan Arts Center (today the Center for Traditional Music and Dance).
Between 1966 and 1979 Koenig made a dozen trips to the Balkans. Working in villages throughout the different areas of the Balkans, Koenig filmed, recorded, and photographed a culture and way of village life that has since been lost forever-transformed by the social and economic pressures of industrial technology, Soviet influence, and Western globalization. Previously, Koenig produced two recordings for Nonesuch’s celebrated Explorer Series, and his Bulgarian recording of “Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin” was included on the Voyager Spacecraft’s golden record.
“The Balkan Arts recordings are all old-time music and have the same power as the music from Appalachia-the Doc Watson’s and the like,” explains Koenig. “And I truly believe that we, the West, now have more of an ability to absorb and appreciate this music than we did in the 60s and 70s. Even my 18-year-old son and his friends now respond to it. With so little of this music around anymore, anything that’s this real needs to be cherished.”
Initially self-released via Koenig’s own Balkan Arts imprint, the original records were rediscovered at the Center for Traditional Music and Dance’s headquarters during an early meeting with Evergreene Music’s Label Manager, Mark Roberts. “I was taking a break from listening to the Center’s extensive audio archives and wandered around their office to stretch my legs,” recalls Roberts. “Perched on crammed shelves near the entrance, I noticed a large number of cardboard boxes filled with vinyl of some sorts. It turned out the records had been stored there for decades and, aside from their somewhat yellowed and brittle sleeves, were in absolutely pristine condition. After digging out the Center’s record player and listening to a handful of the records, I knew I had found an exceptional treasure.”
Evergreene Music worked with New York’s Magic Shop studio and vinyl specialist Jessica Thompson to create new masters from these historical vinyl pieces.
Bhangra brass band Red Baraat has announced the release of a new album titled Shruggy Ji, scheduled for release on January 22, 2013. The world music band also confirmed a series of new U.S. tour dates including shows at Slim’s in San Francisco and the Bootleg Theatre in Los Angeles.
Red Baraat recently gave a wild performance for a packed house as the band shared a bill with Antibalas at Brooklyn’s Masonic Temple on December 14th, which was Red Baraat’s last New York show until a February 1 headlining CD-release show at Bowery Ballroom.
The group features members of Afrobeat innovators Antibalas and veterans of the New York global jazz scene. They use improvisation to unite Northern India and Pakistan’s favorite drum with sousaphone, when not laying down some Bollywood classics in their energetic and upbeat live shows. Previous recordings include Chaal Baby and Bootleg Bhangra.
Red Baraat U.S. Tour Dates:
1/24 – Washington DC – 9:30 Club
1/25 – Baltimore, MD – 8×10
1/26 – Philadelphia, PA – Annenberg Center
2/1 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
2/2 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair
2/7-12 – New Orleans, LA – Mardi Gras Events – TBA
2/14 – San Francisco, CA – Slims
2/15 – Phoenix, AZ – Scottsdale Center for the Arts
2/16 – Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theatre
2/22 – Duluth, MN – College of St. Scholastica
2/23 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Arts Center
2/24 – Evanston, IL – Space
2/27 – Louisville, KY – Headliners
2/28 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In
3/1 – Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle
3/2- Atlanta, GA – Georgia State University
3/12-17 – Austin, TX – SXSW
3/21 – Live Oak, FL – Springfest
3/22 – Tampa, FL – TBA
3/23 – Miami, FL – South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center
Two years after Lobi Traoré’s death, the record label Kanaga System Krush will release the famed Bwati Kono on heavyweight vinyl in October. The Malian guitarist and singer was captured live during spectacular sets at Bamako clubs before his untimely death in 2010.
“He had a very heavy electric style which was a radical departure from most Malian music,” explains producer and long-time Malian music researcher Aja Salvatore. “When he passed, lots of people realized what a groundbreaker he was. I am so happy I got to see him live, when he was at the top of his game.”
Thanks to production guidance on his early recordings from revered Malian blue guitarist Ali Farka Touré, Traoré became a well-respected musician. He caught the ears and performed with artists as diverse as Bonnie Raitt, Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) and Jackson Browne.
“What I love about Lobi’s playing is how hypnotic, bluesy, and emotional it is—absolutely his own style, but in direct line with the deep, modal Delta blues I love,” Bonnie Raitt commented. “He was a rising star, carrying on the soulful, improvisational style of Ali Farka Touré and John Lee Hooker.”
Traoré developed a sound reinvigorating electric modal blues with the kind of African improvisational phrasing that gave the style its flavor to begin with.
“One of the great things about this recording, something that makes it great for listening on vinyl is that you get a feel for what Lobi sounded like live. He played electric, gritty stuff, with lots of feedback,” explains Salvatore. “Other recordings cleaned up his guitar, which disguised some of his greatness.”
To reflect Lobi’s musical world and artistic vision, Kanaga System Krush commissioned delicate yet strikingly intense cover art by Northern California paper artist, Tahiti Pearson, and reordered the tracks, to provide a more satisfying and new vinyl listening experience. Volume 1 of 2, this release features six tracks from the original album, to be followed by Volume 2, which will include several unreleased and bonus songs.
In celebration of the August 21st release of the 20th anniversary edition of their influential album Kiko, Los Lobos have announced a North American tour with Neil Young & Crazy Horse, as well as a series of live Kiko concerts, where the band will perform the album in its entirety.
“We are honored and proud to have been asked to join Neil Young & Crazy Horse on their latest tour” said saxophonist and keyboardist Steve Berlin. “Neil has always been one of our heroes, and we are ecstatic to get to play and hang out with him for the next few months.”
The album Kiko Live is being released on various formats, including CD, DVD and a 2-disc Blu-ray/CD set from Shout! Factory on August 21st. Kiko Live captures their February 24, 2006, performance at the House of Blues in San Diego, California, where the band performed the critically acclaimed release in its entirety, during a string of shows devoted to the album. Never before released or broadcast, Kiko Live also contains interviews with the band and others involved in the making of the studio album.
The Kiko 20th Anniversary Edition is newly remastered, and features bonus material including demo versions of album tracks and live recordings, and new liner notes written by Los Angeles journalist and longtime friend of the band, Luis Torres.
Released in 1992, Kiko was embraced by fans and hailed by critics as the band’s defining moment, the album that put Los Lobos back on the innovation track. Kiko was produced by Mitchell Froom, who received a Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year for his work on the album, and who had previously collaborated with the band on La Bamba. Los Lobos took home an MTV Music Video Award for Breakthrough Video for “Kiko and the Lavender Moon” in 1993.
Starting in November 2012 and continuing through 2013, Los Lobos will celebrate 40 years together, an enormous achievement in a world where bands rise and fall in the blink of an eye. Los Lobos’ lineup has remained uninterrupted since 1984, when Steve Berlin joined original members Louie Pérez, David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, and Conrad Lozano, each of whom had been there since the beginning in 1973.
“There’s this thing that still happens, this musical thing,” says Pérez. “But if you took everything away, even the music, you’d still end up with four guys who were friends and hung out and grew up in the same neighborhood. And you can’t take that friendship away from us.”
Los Lobos Tour Dates
* Dates with Neil Young & Crazy Horse
** Kiko performances
August 3 Albuquerque, NM Hard Rock Casino-The Pavilion
August 9 Kitchener, ON Kitchner Blues Festival
August 11 Beaverton, OR THPRD’s Summer Celebration
August 12 Port Townsend, WA McCurdy Pavilion
August 18 Davenport, IA River Roots Live Festival
August 25 Nederland, CO NedFest
August 26 Telluride, CO The Ride Festival
August 30 Santa Barbara New Noise Santa Barbara Festival
September 8 Santa Fe, NM Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino
September 14 Winterhaven, CA Quechan Casino Resort
September 22 Hollister, CA Pepper Tree Ranch
September 23 Santa Maria, CA Cruzin’ For Life
**Sept. 27 Foxborough, MA Showcase Live
**Sept. 28 Tarrytown, NY Tarrytown Music Hall
**Sept.30 Glenside, PA Keswick Theatre
**Oct. 1 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
*Oct. 3 Windsor, ON WFCU Centre
*Oct. 5 Kingston, ON K-Rock Centre
*Oct. 6 London, ON The John Labatt Centre
*Oct. 8 Cleveland, OH Wolstein Center / Cleveland St. Univ.
*Oct. 9 Pittsburgh, PA Petersen Events Center
*Oct. 11 Chicago, IL United Center
*Oct. 14 Tulsa, OK Tulsa Convention Center Arena
*Oct. 17 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl
*Nov. 9 Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
*Nov. 10 Seattle, WA KeyArena At Seattle Center
*Nov. 11 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
*Nov. 13 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
*Nov. 14 Saskatoon, SK Credit Union Centre
*Nov. 16 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
*Nov. 19 – 20 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Three of Iran and Azerbaijan’s most talented musicians join for a very special album titled From Shiraz To Baku (Arc Music EUCD2388), which celebrates the union of their two cultures through music.
Hamid Motebassem (Iran) on setar, Pejman Hadadi (Iran) on tombak and percussion, and Imamyar Hasanov (Azerbaijan) on kamancha, are all skilled performers of their respective instruments. On the album From Shiraz To Baku they present exquisite compositions and improvisations demonstrating the similarities between the two traditions.
“For me this recording is divine music, suggesting the melodic and harmonic links between the dawn of new life and the graceful impressions of love and faith, with beauty as a result, “ says Imamyar Hasanov. “The listeners’ hearts will be renewed with a mystical beauty.”
Iconic world music label Real World Records announced a new initiative called Real World Gold. The project focuses on reissues of essential recordings that have been unavailable for a number of years. The series will deliver the reissued albums in batches of ten. The first installment of the series, scheduled for release in Europe on May 21st, ranges from recordings by crucial Real World artists (musicians like the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Afro Celt Sound System, Sheila Chandra and the Blind Boys of Alabama) to those of lesser celebrated partnerships, such as Lama Gyurme and Jean-Philippe Rykiel.
“There are some wonderful albums in the catalog that still haven’t gone out as far in the world as we’d like them to,” says Real World Records founder Peter Gabriel. “I think there’s a different generation being exposed to world music now. We hope this will be an opportunity for the older listener to check out this music – rediscover old gems – and maybe first time discoveries for the younger folk!”