“Yirga finds his way into Ethiopian standards, displays his flair for jazz over solo and ensemble pieces, and performs effortless homages to vintage soul, holding everything together with voracious talent that helps him savor each musical flavor. … While the Golden Age of Ethiopian music is in the past, a new one may be beginning.” - Fresh Air NPR
Continuing with our series of essential re-releases, the latest set of albums features more from deep catalogue artists Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Shahen-Shah), Papa Wemba (Molokai) and Sheila Chandra (Weaving My Ancestors’ Voices). There are Real World debuts from artists as diverse as Joseph Arthur (Big City Secrets), Daby Touré (Diam) and Adrian Sherwood (Never Trust A Hippy), and the fourth album from Afro Celt Sound System (Seed).
Eight Women of the World including Sheila Chandra, Susheela Raman, Estrella Morente and Yungchen Lhamo celebrate the themes of woman’s experience with the album Gifted, while Finnish avant-garde folk group, Värttinä, add their exhilarating concoction of wild female vocals.
Lastly – and in good time for Christmas – the holiday classic from The Blind Boys of Alabama (Go Tell It On The Mountain) with guests including Solomon Burke, George Clinton, Chrissie Hynde, Mavis Staples, Tom Waits, Aaron Neville, Richard Thompson, Michael Franti and more.
“We’ve had a great 2012 on the live circuit, with a first airing of the Kaleidophonica material on our Spring tour, followed by some excellent summer festivals involving all squeezing into an unfeasibly small car and then being unleashed onto lovely spacious stages with fantastic audiences and some of the best backstage hospitality ever” (Spiro)
Catch some of those highlights from Spiro at the Cambridge Folk Festival in July.
Spiro can be seen next at showcase (open to the public as well as delegates) for the Association of Festival Organisers in Nottingham on Saturday 17 November and in Glasgow as part of Celtic Connections on Thursday 31st January 2013 at St Andrews In The Square.
Find out why this extraordinary group are described as “Unsettling, exhilarating and highly impressive. … Fascinating and, I suspect, unique.” (fRoots)
Addis Through The Looking Glass is the second album from Dub Colossus. The follow up from their debut album sees another mighty cross-cultural blend of Ethiojazz, roots influences and dub reggae. The new album from this startlingly original collective picked up numerous critics choice awards in the UK.
Emotion, the second album on Real World from Congolese legend Papa Wemba, is acclaimed as being the brightest, most accessible album of his formidable career. Exile by Geoffrey Oryema from 1990, is another landmark release telling the struggles of this Ugandan singer-songwriter in a magical production by Brian Eno (featuring guest vocals from Peter Gabriel).
Charlie Winston makes a rare UK appearance at London’s Apple Store, Regent Street at 7pm on Thursday 11th October. City Showcase is a not-for-profit organisation showcasing new artists. The biggest event they organise is the central London festival presenting an wide range of musical talent. Charlie played a shop in Carnaby Street during City Showcase 2006. He is such a troubadour that he marched his entire audience up and down Carnaby Street, a total breach of the Westminster Council licence! But the crowd loved it of course. Charlie returns this year to the lofty space of the Apple Store - and the concert is free!
Today sees the release of Guzo, the debut solo album by young Ethiojazz piano prodigy and Dub Colossus band member, Samuel Yirga.
The Real World Gold series also kicks off today with two gems by American artists -- The Blind Boys of Alabama's first Grammy winner, Spirit of the Century (featuring David Lindley, John Hammond and Charlie Musselwhite) and alt-rock singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur's Come To Where I'm From - followed on October 2nd by Indo-UK songstress Sheila Chandra's retrospective collection, Moonsung.
Also set for October 2nd release is Go Tell It On The Mountain, the Grammy-winning Christmas album by The Blind Boys of Alabama, with performances by guest artists Tom Waits, Chrissie Hynde, Aaron Neville, Shelby Lynne, Michael Franti, George Clinton, Mavis Staples, and Richard Thompson, among others.
Later in the year, look out for two classic titles from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Mustt Mustt and Night Song, plus two great African releases - Uganda's Geoffrey Oryema with Exile, and Congolese star Papa Wemba's standout, Emotion.
Taken from their recent album, Portico Quartet, Steepless is the band’s first vocal collaboration and features the East London based Swedish singer, Cornelia. Features a new radio edit of Steepless done by the band themselves as well as a mix by London electronica artists Capac - the band’s favourite from over 200 entries to their Soundcloud remix competition in February. Also featured are two new mixes of the darkly hypnotic Laker Boo, one from Hyper Dub signed Rinse FM DJ Scratcha DVA bringing his unique take on UK bass music to the party and one from noted Berlin house producer and Berghain DJ Luca Lozano who takes the track to the dance floor with a deep house mix.