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Cajun Country

Garth Cartwright tours around the bayous and dance halls of the Acadian parishes of Louisiana and discovers a wealth of music


Israeli Boycotts


Two musicians – Reem Kelani and Koby Israelite – voice their thoughts on this controversial subject


BT River of Music

The stories behind three very different musical acts who are preparing to take part in London's 2012 Cultural Olympiad extravaganza



Songlines editor-in-chief on the music he loved to hate, a unique form of Korean singing. Here he tells us why he's changed his mind...

israel – to boycott or not? two artists argue their case


34 Songlines 3






7 Welcome 9 Top of the World CD 10 M  y World: Roger Lloyd Pack 12 News 16 Damon Albarn's operatic offering 18 Obituaries/Homegrown: Lokkhi Terra 20 Grooves: Ewen Henderson, Ian Brennan, Nicolas Boulerice 21 World Music Chart 21 Cerys Matthews 23 Globe Rocker: Vinicio Capossela 24 Letters 25 Songlines Music Travel 27 Ulsan World Music Festival, South Korea Advertorial

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50 Beginner’s Guide to Alison Krauss

52 Festival Profile: Petronio Álvarez, Colombia 55 S ounding Out Buenos Aires 59 Postcard from Uruguay 63 Subscribe +GET A FREE CD 91 Gig Guide & TV/Radio Listings 96 You Should Have Been There 98 Backpage from... Western Sahara


july 2012 COMPETITIONS 13 Win London's Calling CD 23 W  in Vinicio Capossela CD 24 W  in Songlines goodie bag 88 Win The Artist DVD





13 88 World

The Americas

82 81 Asia

Middle East






Australasia & Pacific



Songlines 5





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“Kroncong is Bing Crosby, or Buena Vista, in South-East Asian style”

he Tong Tong Festival in The Hague was fortunate enough to get the singer Anggun (pictured) for their opening evening. Young, sexy and talented, she’s a big star at in Jakarta (where she was born), recorded her first album aged nine, and has become the best-known Indonesian singer in the West. Probably much more so having just represented France in Eurovision (she’s now a French citizen) – although only coming 22nd out of 26 with ‘Echo’. (France hasn’t won since 1977). Conspiracy theorists have suggested that her appearance at Tong Tong, the largest Indonesian Festival outside Indonesia, was a way of garnering valuable extra votes for France in the Netherlands. Festival organiser Arnaud Kokosky also joked that the new French president, Hollande, is obviously also going to be popular there! Holland, of course, was the colonial power in Indonesia until 1949 and there is a powerful colonial legacy. While Indonesian restaurants aren’t quite as ubiquitous in Holland as Indian restaurants in the UK, they are an important part of the culinary landscape. But that doesn’t prepare you for the array of saté bars, restaurants serving nasi goreng and many other delicious combinations of meat, vegetables and rice at the Tong Tong Festival. Or the main stage perfumed by the heady, intoxicating smell of tropical fruits – jackfruit, rambuttan, mangoes and, notably, durian. The most interesting legacy in Holland is what they call the Indo (or Indisch) people – the population of mixed ancestry in the Dutch East Indies. There are over 400,000 in Holland with strong cooking, literary and musical traditions. Our word ketchup derives from kecap, a sweet or sour soy sauce, in Indonesian and Malay. The quintessential Indo music is kroncong (pronounced keron-chong), an achingly nostalgic style blending Indonesian, Portuguese and Dutch ingredients in which lyrical songs are accompanied by ukuleles, guitar, violin, flute and percussion. Popularised by the growth of the film industry in the 1930s, it is warm, languid and sentimental – very appropriate for memories of the East Indies in the ‘good old days’. It’s Bing Crosby, or indeed Buena Vista, in SouthEast Asian style. One of the nice things about Tong Tong was seeing a young group from Indonesia playing what is widely seen as a disappearing form. Sadly, at the same time as all this, Holland is savagely cutting its support of world music. Amongst the many likely casualties is RASA in Utrecht, probably the best dedicated world music venue in Europe. It’s taken decades to build it up and it will be a disgrace if the Netherlands let it go. This month and next in London and elsewhere in the UK sees an unprecedented range of music from around the world. There’s a guide to lots of it this issue, and despite the economic gloom, we seem to be in for a rich musical summer.

on the SONGLINES stereo sophie The utterly charming He is #1 by the Malawi Mouse Boys

Jo An EP of Arthur Jeffes' latest project Sundog – catch it at BT River of Music

courtesy of jenni Herman Dune – The Static comes from my Broken Heart. Sigh

Ed The Very Best's latest MTMTMK is a real grower

SONGLINES DIGITAL Songlines B&W stereo Super high-quality downloads curated by Real World Studios

SONGLINES DIGITAL Look out for this symbol throughout the issue to see which free tracks are available for subscribers. For a free trial see Songlines 7



On your free CD – the editor’s selection of the top ten albums reviewed in this issue


Seu Jorge ‘Vizinha’

From Músicas Para Churrasco Vol 1 on Wrasse Records Music for barbeques – the Brazilian singer and actor comes up with the perfect feel-good summer soundtrack. See p71


Burkina Electric ‘Sankar Yaaré’

From Paspanga on Cantaloupe Music Lukas Ligeti teams up with Afro-funksters from Burkina Faso for a hipshaking, dance-making album. See p86


Arnaldo Antunes, Edgard Scandurra & Toumani Diabaté ‘Kaira’

From A Curva Da Cintura on Mais Um Discos Mali and Cuba come together in a joyful musical partnership. See p85


Damon Albarn ‘Cathedrals’

From Dr Dee on Parlophone Blur’s frontman creates an ambitious and haunting Elizabethan folk opera, inspired by alchemist John Dee. See p84


Ravi Shankar ‘Raga Kedara’

From The Living Room Sessions Part 1 on East Meets West Music An intimate session from the sitar maestro together with long-time tabla accompanist Tanmoy Bose. See p81

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2 3† 4

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The Campbells ‘Sios Dhan an Abhainn’

From the album Fonn on Watercolour Music BBC broadcaster Mary Ann Kennedy together with her family in a celebration of Gaelic singing. See p74


Ba Cissoko ‘Djeli Fatouma’

From Nimissa on Cristal Records A fresh and adventurous outing from the pioneering Guinean kora rock outfit, led by the kora player and songwriter Ba Cissoko. See p66


Fay Hield ‘The Weavers Daughter’

From Orfeo on Topic Records Poignant collection of traditional songs from the Yorkshire singer, augmented by a stellar cast of musicians. See p77


Nazaket Teymurova ‘Dastgah Kharidj Segah’


From Mugham on Felmay An excellent release of ancient Azeri mugham from one of the genre’s leading singers. See p82

From He is #1 on IRL A charming, unadulterated and heartwarming debut from a young group of Malawian singers. See p69

New to Songlines? Subscribe now and get a

Malawi Mouse Boys ‘Ndinasangalala’

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We’re giving away a choice of Seu Jorge, Damon Albarn’s Dr Dee or Antunes, Diabaté & Scandurra (to new subscribers only). See the flyer inside your covermount CD for details, visit or call +44 (0)20 7371 2777.

Songlines 9

† Fusionland


Turn over to see what’s on Roger lloyd Pack’s playlist »



Sophie Marie Atkinson chats to the talented, versatile actor about the inspiration behind his eclectic playlist tracks P H OTO L E E G R U B B

Also on your CD: five tracks chosen by Roger Lloyd Pack


I brahim Ferrer ‘Dos Almas’

From Mi Sueño on World Circuit “The Ibrahim Ferrer track stems from my time in Cuba... I just became completely absorbed by it. You hear it everywhere and can’t help but get up and dance.”


The Unthanks ‘Gan To The

Kye from Last on EMI

A big fan, Lloyd Pack has seen the beguiling Northumbriabased folk band three or four times.


The Secret Sisters ‘The One I Love Is Gone’

from The Secret Sisters on Decca “They are very current and seem to transcend genres, I don’t know how you’d term them really. They do beautiful folk harmonies.”


Rig-a-Jig-Jig and Friends ‘Wayford Bridge and Hindringham Long Dance Tunes’

from All at Sea “I came across them in Norfolk about a dozen years ago... Sometimes they let me join in with them on my melodica.”


The Tsinandali Choir ‘Makruli’

from Table Songs of Georgia on Real World Lloyd Pack was bowled over on a recent filming trip to Georgia by how embedded singing is in their culture. 10 Songlines


oger Lloyd Pack’s musical taste is as eclectic as his acting history: surely there can’t be many people who are as passionate about polyphonic singing as they are clued-up on their Cuban music; who can Lindy-hop as well as they can salsa. Best-known for playing Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, Lloyd Pack is in fact a classically trained actor who has appeared in everything from Dr Who and Fiddler on the Roof to Harry Potter and Tinker, Taylor, Solider, Spy. This summer he is returning to his thespian roots with run at The Globe alongside Mark Rylance in Richard III and Twelfth Night and when I spoke to him from Norfolk, where he spends half his time, he has just returned from filming in Georgia. Hence the Tsinandali Choir track on his playlist? “Yes. I was filming over there and that’s how I got to hear the Georgian singing. They were at it all the time. When there was a break in filming they would just all get together. I was really bowled over by how embedded it is in their culture.” Is this how he has garnered such diverse musical taste, through travelling with work? “Indeed. The Ibrahim Ferrer track stems from my time in Cuba. I was there acting in a posthumous Harold Pinter tribute at the Havana International Theatre Festival in 2011.” “I enjoyed the likes of Ry Cooder beforehand, I saw Buena Vista Social Club live in the UK actually,” he tells me. “They were what really turned me onto Cuban music. But when I was there doing the Pinter play, I just became completely absorbed by it. You hear it everywhere and can’t help but get up and dance.” Ah yes, the dancing. Lloyd Pack’s musical interests became known to Songlines when he was spotted, looking very dapper I might add, showing off his moves at a Meschiya Lake gig in Camden’s Dingwalls. Meschiya Lake – a former professional mud wrestler who journeyed from street singer in New Orleans to critically-acclaimed artist in a matter of years – shares her 1930s style with another of Lloyd Pack’s playlist choice, The Secret Sisters. “I think I saw them on Later… with Jools Holland. I’ve always loved the American country singers – Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Nancy Griffiths, and they continue in that line really. They are very current and seem to transcend genres, I don’t know how you’d term them really. They do beautiful folk harmonies. Like The Unthanks,” another playlist choice. “I’ve seen them live three or four times,” he tells of me the beguiling British folk band, whose other famous fans include Radiohead and Robert Wyatt. Does he get to many gigs? “Not as many as I’d

like. I just don’t get enough time to tour all the pubs or places where musicians are. But I’m always open to new sounds. I like being recommended new music by friends or my kids. My son is a DJ and has a great reggae and hip-hop collection. He introduced me to Amadou & Mariam actually.” “My Mrs and I Lindy-hop too. It’s a great way of keeping fit and listening to music at the same time. I salsa as well.” If dancing comes so naturally to him, I can only presume that playing does too? “I play the piano averagely, just for myself and the odd friend. And the melodica,” he adds nonchalantly, as if everyone plays the melodica. “A friend of mine just gave me it. I’d never heard of one before, I didn’t know they existed but they’re great to have. I just take it around with me. Rig-a-Jig-Jig let me play with them sometimes. Rig-a-Jig-Jig, who also feature on his playlist, are a Norfolk-based company of ad hoc players. “I came across them about a dozen years ago,” he explains. “On the last Friday of every month they come to my village up here. They always play from the same set list of, I don’t know, 50 East Anglian old folk songs – polkas and waltzes mainly. “Next week I’m off to the west coast of Ireland for a break. I’ve wanted to go all my life but haven’t managed. I’ll be frequenting the pubs, seeing if there’s any music going on and maybe joining in.” The initial selection that Lloyd Pack sent me was rich in folk music – the Unthanks track, ‘Gan to the Kye’, was whittled down from a long-list that included the likes of Irish singer Dolores Keane, The McGarrigles, the Waterson/Carthys. “The first folk music I heard was probably the likes of the Kingston Trio and Pete Seeger, then Joan Baez and Dylan. But English folk in the 60s wasn’t as strong, it wasn’t cool and didn’t have a following. “We were all into jazz and rock’n’roll; Buddy Holly and Lonnie Donegan. But then came Emmylou and then the Carthys and Watersons. I suppose it was them that first got me into it, English folk, and now it’s really taken off hasn’t it? With the likes of Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn. “He’s going to be performing with me, by the way, Johnny Flynn. He’s in Twelfth Night and Richard III. The bastard is so talented.” Says the RADA-trained, piano and melodica playing, salsa-dancing, Lindy-hopper who is about to take on The Globe… THEATRE Roger Lloyd Pack appears in Richard III and Twelfth Night at The Globe Theatre., 020 7401 9919 July 2012

‘‘I play the piano averagely... And the melodica,” he adds nonchalantly, as if everyone plays the melodica

Songlines 11




alison krauss

Doug DeLoach takes a look at the incredible career of America’s leading lady of bluegrass and her band Union Station


f you were to ask Joe Public to name the American recording artist with the most Grammy Awards lined up on the mantelpiece, there is a good chance the answer would not be Alison Krauss. And, yet, this past February, after accepting two more trophies during the 54th edition of the annual awards ceremony, Krauss moved ahead of Quincy Jones to become the most Grammyhonoured living artist of all time. The only person with more miniature gilded gramophones than Krauss (28) is the late, legendary orchestra conductor Sir Georg Solti (d 1997) whose final tally of 31 is in danger of being eclipsed sooner than later

50 Songlines

by the 41-year-old fiddler and singersongwriter from Illinois. In less than three decades, Krauss has garnered official accolades for just about everything a professional musician can do from solo performances and recordings with her band, Union Station, to producing albums for others (eg This Side, Nickel Creek’s 2002 release). In addition to the long list of music awards, there’s one achievement by which the pop culture bona fides of every musician in the last 20-something years must be ranked – this past February, Krauss and Union Station were the featured guests performing the theme song for the 500th

episode of The Simpsons. Krauss was born in Decatur, Illinois, and grew up in nearby Champaign. In elementary school, she studied chorus, strings and marching band, while playing mostly classical music on violin. The curious youngster eventually grew bored with the prescribed regimen in favour of more local influences, particularly manifested in the bluegrass and country bands in the area. Named state fiddling champion at age 12, Krauss made her recording debut in 1985, and two years later signed with Rounder Records aged 16. Throughout her career, Krauss, who lists Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC

July 2012

Krauss succeeds in deftly handling the legacy of authentic bluegrass within the context of 21st century Americana

and Journey among her favourite bands, has managed to blithely endure bluegrass purists who have accused her of subverting tradition and effectively ignore demands from certain powers-that-be to stick to one stylistic path or another. Her extended association with Rounder has produced several milestones including 2007’s Raising Sand, which features the unlikeliest duet of Krauss paired with Robert Plant. To everyone’s amazement, the T-Bone Burnett-produced album sold more than one million copies and boosted Krauss’ Grammy stash by five. 1995 was the breakthrough year for Krauss with the release of Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection, which included nine songs recorded between 1987 and 1994, plus four previously unreleased tracks. One of those, ‘Baby, Now That I’ve Found You’, originally a Top 40 radio hit for The Foundations (in 1968), earned for Krauss a Grammy for Best Country & Western Vocal Performance. Following the success of A Collection, Krauss dutifully fulfilled her contract with Rounder, which called for alternating solo recordings and albums with her band, Union Station: Jerry Douglas (Dobro, lap steel, vocals), Dan Tyminski (guitar, mandolin, lead vocal), Ron Block (banjo, guitar) and Barry Bales (bass, vocals). In succession came So Long So Wrong (1997) and Forget About It (1999), the latter, a solo effort, followed by Union Station releases including New Favorite (2001), Alison Krauss and Union Station – Live (2002) and Lonely Runs Both Ways (2004). The year 2000 brought the release of the soundtrack for the Coen Brothers’ film O, Brother, Where Art Thou? which won multiple Academy Awards and elevated bluegrass to a hitherto unthinkable level of popular appeal. Inspired by the movie’s success, a concert tour and TV/DVD production, Down from the Mountain, was launched featuring Krauss and fellow soundtrack compatriots including Ralph Stanley, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and John Hartford. In recent years, Krauss has released another compilation, A Hundred Miles or

More: A Collection (2007), and Paper Airplane (2011). The latter album showcases Krauss and her steadfast Union Station cohorts in a style predominantly reminiscent of the band’s earlier, rootsier efforts, notwithstanding the lingering presence of non-traditional stylistic elements. Krauss attracts into her orbit fans that otherwise might have passed by the esoteric gravitational pull of ‘bluegrass’ or ‘country’ by exercising thoughtful, imaginative judgement when selecting material and by subsuming a prodigious talent in the service of collaborative support of her personal, and sometimes painfully introspective, vision. For all the pop diva adornments and arguably dubious and occasional transgressions into musical tropes, the thrust of Krauss’ oeuvre is more exploratory, progressive and expansive than preservative, conservative and derivative. Although her crossover appeal is usually couched in terms of melding bluegrass, country, gospel and rock, another creature resembling a seriously cool jazz chanteuse resides in those magical vocal chords. For evidence, check out Krauss’ mossy rendering of Johnny Mercer’s ‘This Time the Dream’s On Me’ from the soundtrack to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Perhaps it was this rather tenuous jazz connection that led Krauss and her band being programmed at the 2011 London Jazz Festival, where they performed four sold-out concerts at the Royal Festival Hall. Overall, it’s easy to see how people might criticise some of Krauss’ music for being overly sentimental or serving a commoditised role. Regardless, way more often than not, she succeeds in deftly handling the legacy of authentic bluegrass and country music within the context of 21st century Americana.   DATE Alison Krauss and Union Station are touring the UK July 13-15 podcast Hear music from Krauss and Union Station on the podcast


Too Late to Cry (Rounder, 1987) You’ll want this one not because it’s her first, but because Krauss’ Rounder debut, recorded when she was 16, is one of the best bluegrass records from an era when the genre was beginning to vector beyond the college radio and festival circuits. Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection (Rounder, 1995) This is the album that catapulted Krauss into the mainstream, thanks largely to covers of ‘Baby, Now That I’ve Found You’ (The Foundations), ‘Oh, Atlanta’ (Bad Company) and the Beatles’ ‘I Will’. Listeners also get a taste of Krauss’ splendid rendering of old-time gospel music on the Red Foley classic, ‘When God Dips His Pen of Love in My Heart’. Paper Airplane (Rounder, 2011) As I wrote in #76, this collection of 11 tracks, comprising the first Union Station release since 2004’s Lonely Runs Both Ways, incorporates all of the qualities that have made Krauss & co the poster group for the 21st century bluegrass revival.

BEST compilation

Live (Rounder, 2002) This is the best representation of what Krauss and Union Station are all about. Twentyfive tracks on two CDs that will take you on a journey through bluegrass roots and country soul to twanged-up pop and gospel-infused exaltations. It includes the best version of ‘I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow’ you’re ever going to hear outside of an up-close-andpersonal experience.

IF YOU LIKE alison krauss, THEN TRY…

Sarah Jarosz Sarah Jarosz Follow Me Down (Sugar Hill, 2011) Similar formula: child prodigy, on mandolin and banjo, with an angelic voice. At 12, jams onstage with Ricky Skaggs and David Grisman – and wows ’em. Courted by record companies, at 20, she’s already released two albums and toured the world. Jarosz appears with Krauss on the fantastic Transatlantic Sessions (Series 5).

Songlines 51





Petronio Álvarez colombia

William Lloyd-George immerses himself into a festival celebrating and promoting the country’s Afro-Colombian community and its music


ocals will warn you that the Petronio Álvarez festival is one of the wildest in the world. It only takes a few minutes inside Cali’s football stadium, to understand the true depth of their advice. “Rumba, rumba, rumba,” the crowd screams, rammed together on the makeshift dance floor. Pumping salsa beats, wide smiles, and a welcoming atmosphere. This is Afro-Colombia. While Colombia has slowly been edging its way back onto the tourist map, only a tiny chunk of the country actually receives foreign visitors. Leave the comfort zone of the top destinations, and there’s large swathes of unexplored land. I chose to visit one of the most unvisited, yet unmissable regions in Colombia – the Pacific Coast, which is largely populated by Afro-

52 Songlines

Colombian communities. The Petronio Álvarez, the world’s largest Afro-Latino festival, is a great way to begin a trip to the Pacific region and learn about the rich culture and history of this forgotten land. Every year, over 50,000 Colombians descend on Cali to enjoy a weekend of some of the best Afro-Latin music South America has to offer. The four-day festival invites over 60 groups from across the country to come and compete for awards given to the best bands. Many are from some of the poorest, most neglected and isolated regions in Colombia. With few other major events promoting Afro-Colombian music, the festival has become increasingly important for preserving and promoting the somewhat endangered culture.

Tightly squeezed in the gyrating crowd, right at the front of the stage, the energy is infectious. Groups dance in unison, with ‘leaders’ at the front dictating everyone’s next dance moves. Many wearing straw hats, they wave white handkerchiefs in the air. People share bottles of the local brew, Viche, and sing along to their favourite songs. Fifty thousand people attended this year, compared with just 4,000 four years ago. Amid the chaos, calmly stands Noency Mosfuera Martinez. Dressed in a long multicoloured dress, adorned with symbols of Africa, she oozes pride for her origin and culture. “Without this festival Afro-Colombians would be forgotten by the world,” she says, smiling, as sweat drips off her forehead, accumulated during hours of dancing. In 2002, Martinez’s hometown suffered a massacre when paramilitaries took control of the town and the FARC, leftwing guerillas, began to fire rockets indiscriminately. One hit the church where hundreds of civilians were hiding. One hundred and nineteen civilians were killed, 98 injured. “The whole town fled straight away, many moved to local cities, we lost everything over night,” Martinez tells me. Together with her band, Bongo de Bojayá, Martinez travelled for over two days by boat to reach the festival and compete for the awards. “We came to the festival because we want to tell the world about what happened in our town,” says Martinez, whose lyrics tell the story of the

July 2012

“Rumba, rumba, rumba!” The festival takes place in a football stadium in Cali and is a four-day dancer’s paradise

information ● The festival takes place in the city of Santiago de Cali, located in the south-west of Colombia, in its Pacific coastal region. ● Cali is the third largest city in the country with a population of 2.5 million. ● Over the course of four days, 50,000 people attend the festival, which has become a byword for Afro-Colombian culture, with over 60 groups from all over the country meeting to compete and share their regional styles.

massacre. “We also want to encourage all Afro-Colombian communities to protect their land and culture.” Afro-Colombian communities are some of the most susceptible to displacement in Colombia. Their traditional homelands are often located in remote mountainous regions, which act as ideal hiding places for armed groups fighting over natural resources and drug-trafficking routes. The massive displacement numbers have worried Afro-Colombian leaders who fear they are losing their traditional culture. According to Juana Álvarez, an organiser and daughter of composer Petronio Álvarez, the first nationally recognised Afro-Colombian musician, whom the festival is named after, the purpose of the festival is to protect AfroColombian culture. “Our people had their culture taken away from them for so long, now we want to get it back.” Throughout the first evening, various people suggest I join them at the ‘Street of Sin’ when the festival closes for the night. As the final band finish, and the crowds start to shuffle out, strangers quickly begin to make plans for me to visit this mysterious place. It is hard to really prepare yourself for the ‘Street of Sin.’ Think Notting Hill meets Rio and then turn it up a notch. It is a long street full of huge speakers booming heavy reggaeton, salsa, and modern Afro-Colombian music. All the energy accumulated at the festival explodes here.

As a city, Cali has very little in the way of tourist attractions, but those who do venture down here normally end up staying longer than expected. The warmth

“It would be easy for our style of music to die out but the festival keeps it alive” and friendliness of the people is one of the first trappings for any visitor hoping to briefly skip through. And with some of the best salsa parties in Colombia, visitors may quickly become nocturnal. During the day one can take a tour of the artisan market, which has products from throughout the region. To escape the heat visit the Cali river, where locals come to swim and picnic. Alongside the festival there are also conferences held during the day, in which experts, professors and musicians discuss Afro-Colombian culture. Workshops are also held teaching attendees how to make traditional instruments, and learn storytelling. “We hope this will encourage the younger generations to pass on our traditional ways,” drummer Marcus Silva tells me as I make a rather poor attempt at building a drum. While there are countless options for delicious local food around the city, saving oneself for a dinner outside the stadium is wise. Every night, dozens of stalls line up

selling traditional Afro-Colombian food, and teaching those interested how to make it. For a few pounds you can grab a large fresh fish, with fried plantains and rice. Back at the festival, Jorge Eliecer Llanos, the lead singer of traditional band Son Del Tuno says he believes that without the festival, music from his region would never be heard. Having travelled 17 hours by boat to reach the festival, he says one of the best things is the cultural exchange with other communities he would never know about.  “We live isolated, far from anyone else, it would be easy for our style of music to die out but the festival keeps it alive,” says Llanos. “We have been invited to play in Bogotá and other towns, allowing us to preserve a national interest in our particular style of music.” The closing night of the festival is by far the most rowdy. The crowds, all with their favourite bands, are somewhat tense as they wait for the judges’ final decision. Every year famous bands play on the last night, to try and gain popularity for the festival. “It helps bring attention to our music,” Ruth Marien the director of one competing band, Semblanzas del Río Guapi tells me. “Before the festival, Afro-Colombian music was not even played on the local radio. But the festival is slowly helping it to regain popularity and we hope people from all over the world come and see it for themselves.”

a FEAST OF MUSIC Songlines Music Travel has a wide range of trips to overseas festivals on offer, including the Guča Festival in Serbia and Borneo’s Rainforest World Music Festival. See p25 or www.songlinesmusic

online Dates The next edition of the festival takes place at the end of August

Songlines 53












The best world music albums of the last six months

Music Buyer’s Guide Welcome to the Songlines Buyer’s Guide, a handy reminder of the best world music releases of the last six months. The CDs here have been reviewed in the last four issues of the magazine and each received a coveted ‘Top of the World’ accolade AFRICA





Baloji Kinshasa Succursale

Batida Batida

Tcheka Dor de Mar

Pine Leaf Boys Back Home

Crammed Discs



Baloji’s infectious album paints a vivid picture of a ravaged country.

Angolan-Portugese DJ Mpula creates what may well be a game-changing 21st century African dance album.

A wonderful, reflective record of shifting moods, sweet melodies and subtle rhythms.

Gilles Peterson Presents…. Havana Cultura – The Search Continues

Reviewed in issue #84

Reviewed in issue #81

Reviewed in issue #81

Brownswood Recordings

The DJ returns to the revolutionary isle with flair, polish and a sense of promise fulfilled.

Valcour Records

Wilson Savoy and the Boys show off a varied crop, cultivated by their musical ancestors. Reviewed in issue #81

Reviewed in issue #81



The Band Courtbouillon The Band Courtbouillon

The Klezmatics Live at Town Hall

Valcour Records

A joyous celebration of a remarkable band.

Pioneers of the Cajun revival come together, with ‘instant classic’ written all over it.

Fréa Records

Reviewed in issue #83




La Bottine Souriante Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée

Duotone Ropes

Lepistö & Lehti Radio Moskova

ECC Records

Aito Records

Borealis Records

Duotone deliver a magical sophomore effort from start to finish.

Two highly-gifted Finnish musicians continue their already impressive musical journey.

A highly energetic album from the Québécois big band. Reviewed in issue #82

Reviewed in issue #83

Reviewed in issue #81

Reviewed in issue #84

60 Songlines

July 2012
















The Other Europeans  Splendor 

Cˇacˇi Vorba Secret Marriage

Kartik Seshadri Sublime Ragas

Ethnomusic Records


Dulsori Binari: Well Wishing Music

Ahmad Al Khatib & Youssef Hbeisch Sabîl

An outstanding array of klezmer and lautari musicians assemble.

A second TOTW selection for the Polish band’s exploration of Eastern European Gypsy sounds.

ARC Music

Kartik Seshadri has very rapidly emerged as one of the world’s best sitar players.

Reviewed in issue #82

Reviewed in issue #81

South Korea’s most electrifying live drumming act bring traditional melodic instruments into the mix.

Soundings Records

Reviewed in issue #82

Reviewed in issue #84


Institut du Monde Arabe

An inventive international debut for the Palestinian oud and percussion virtuosos. Reviewed in issue #83





BBB (Balkan Beat Box) Give

The Chieftains Voice of Ages

Crammed Discs

Hear Music/Decca

Various Artists World Routes: On The Road 

Balkan and hip-hop flavoured club music captures the mood of the world today perfectly.

Ireland’s veteran folk legends toast 50 years together in collaboration with a younger crop of admirers.

Soumik Datta & Bernard Schimpelsberger Circle of Sound Baithak

Two rising stars take a breathtaking trip through India and Europe.

A collection of unique recordings to celebrate the tenth anniversary of BBC’s World Routes programme.

Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile The Goat Rodeo Sessions

Reviewed in issue #84

Reviewed in issue #81

Reviewed in issue #83

Reviewed in issue #84



Sony Classical

An exceptional Songlines award-winning album from Yo-Yo and friends. Reviewed in issue #81

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Songlines 61


*UK only. Full retail price for a year (8 issues) is £39.60; One-year subscription £29.75 UK, £36.00 EU, £44.00 ROW. ‡£9.75 for print subscribers. †Subject to availability. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. ˆThis issue’s tracks are available from June 6 2012 to July 17 2012

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e Kasse Mady Diabaté Manden Djeli Kan The great Malian singer steps centre stage. A Top of the World in #60

r Iness Mezel

t Los De Abajo Actitud Calle Progressive ideologies set to festive, beat-driven salsa and rock. Reviewed in #73

u Femi Kuti Africa for Africa Thrilling sax and raw Nigerian Afro-beat on one of Femi’s best albums. A Top of the World in #73

iGoran Bregovi´c

o Souad Massi O Houria A variety of languages and emotions from the Algerian singersongwriter. Reviewed in #73

Beyond The Trance Mezel’s edgier take on the North African Berber-infused sound. A Top of the World in #75

Welcome to Bregovi´c A compilation of the best from the 2010 Songlines Music Award winner. Reviewed in #62

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3 Transglobal Underground ‘Emotional Yoyo’ from Moonshout on Mule Satellite Records. See feature on p44

1 The Hut People

‘Horseshoe Harbour’ from Picnic on Fellside Recordings. See review on p75

2 The Long Notes ‘Stromboli’ from In the Shadow of Stromboli on Hobgoblin Records. See review on p76

4 Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys ‘Dancing Without Understanding’ from Grand Isle on Mamou Playboys Records. See feature on p33

5 Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp ‘We Make a Good Gumbo’ from The Rough Guide to Cajun & Zydeco on WMN. See feature on p33

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#84 June 2012

#83 April/May 2012

#82 March 2012

#81 Jan/Feb 2012

Amadou & Mariam, Global Festival Guide, Songlines Music Awards 2012 winners... Top of the World #84 CD feat Simon Russell Beale’s playlist + Back2Black CD

Seth Lakeman, Youssou N’Dour, Narasirato, Juan de Marcos, Madagascar All Stars... Top of the World #83 CD feat Huey Morgan’s playlist + Sounds of South Asia CD

Music & Social Change; Rodrigo & Gabriela; Martyn Bennett; Carolina Chocolate Drops... Top of the World #82 CD feat Mike Harding’s playlist + Brazil New Series CD

The New Latin Wave; Best of 2011; Yo-Yo Ma; Baloji; Mercedes Sosa... Top of the World #81 CD feat Jonathan Dimbleby’s playlist + Music From Norway CD

#79 October 2011

Tinariwen & Touareg guitars; Juju; Jackie Oates; Fatoumata Diawara; Sezen Aksu; South Sudan... Top of the World #79 CD feat Ravi Shankar’s playlist

Songlines 63

Songlines Magazine Sample Edition #85