On April 3 (Europe) and April 18 (USA) Yungchen Lhamo will release 'Ama', her third album for Real World Records, and again brings her unique voice to songs infused with the quiet spiritual power of Tibetan Buddhism, but with a decidedly 21st century global feel. Trumpet, strings, African kora, Middle Eastern percussion and the even, sweet tones of a National Steel guitar are delicately woven around Yungchens magical voice. With guest appearances by the British singer Joy Askew and the incomparable Annie Lennox, Ama becomes that rare destination where East really does happily meet West. No translators, or politicians, required.
Celebrating the launch of Ama Yungchen Lhamo will be performing on Friday May 5 at Lerner Hall at Columbia University, NYC. Expect a list of celebrity guests and supporters of Tibet House (the charity for Tibetan exiles). More news to follow of this special event and details of the beautiful 'Ama'.
Guo Yue appeared on BBC 5 Live's Simon Mayo show on Thursday 23 February with stories of his childhood in Beijing during Mao's Cultural Revolution. You can listen again to the interview and his live performance of a beautiful flute piece from his new CD 'Music Food and Love' at the link below.
"Charlie Musselwhite turns it back up to 11"
You can read a new interview with wonderful blues harmonica legend as he discusses his forthcoming album 'Delta Hardware' in an article by Paul Davis.
Simon Emmerson and Martin Russell from Afro Celt Sound System have provided music for a unique hit movie which explores the lingering effects of Lebonano's civil war. Far from being a gloomy film of politics and violence however, 'Bosta' (Autobus) is an uplifting musical!
Written, Produced & Directed by PHILIPPE ARACTINGI
As the film's press release explains:
"BOSTA" (the Autobus) is a film that is set in Lebanon with some of the most popular actors,dancers, choreographers in the Arab world.
It is the first post-war Lebanese musical with contemporary Middle Eastern, and more precisely Lebanese rhythms, such as the Dabke dance, which is at the foreground of the Lebanese national folklore.
It is also the first Lebanese film to be entirely funded by private Lebanese investors. This represents a breakthrough in terms of production because Lebanese films, like in most countries in transition, rely mainly on western cultural funds.
Through a financial establishment, participation shares were issued allowing the private and business sectors in Lebanon and the Arab world to invest in the movie.
The music of Bosta has also been a great challenge. It has made it possible to join efforts between local composers (Ali el Khatib) and the Afro Celt Sound System, a British group from Peter Gabriel's label "Real World". Such collaboration is the first in the local cinema production scene.
As you may know Lebanon is passing through crucial changes and the present news show the urge to adjust the image one has of Lebanon. There is a call for freedom and change.
This film is a timely film that deals with the contemporary Lebanese society in a creative way and gives a positive outlook to the future away from the stereotypical image of war and terrorism.
Charlie features on two tracks of the exclusive bonus disc of Ben Harper's forthcoming album 'Both Sides of the Gun'. You can hear him on 'Gather Round The Stone' and 'Dressed in Black'. You can get hold of this special edition on Ben Harper's website.
Mississippi-born Charlie Mussewhite returns to his home state roots with DELTA HARDWARE, a 10 song collection that captures the raw sound and emotions of electrified blues at its best. This marks his second album on Real World Records following the critically acclaimed 'Sanctuary'. It will be released in early May this year. His most energized recording in years finds Charlie recapturing the hard-edged sound that first brought him to the sixties blues/rock scene with recordings like his classic 1963 debut STAND BACK!. In his earliest days as a musician Charlie regularly played with the likes of Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters who, like Charlie, had also migrated to Chicago from the rural south, and their aggressive 'urbanized' approach to country blues left an impression on Charlie that is clearly felt in the gritty approach of this new release.
The songs on Delta Hardware were mostly written by Charlie over the last few years and cover a powerful range of blues topics -- from poverty and loneliness to partying and love gone wrong. The songs hang together well because the music and the lyrics ignore sentimentality in order to convey a brutal frankness. In recording with his own touring band for the first time in almost 20 years, Charlie has found a group of musicians, led by guitarist Chris 'The Kid' Andersen, that could stand behind his honest readings of these songs. The resulting chemistry makes for a very organic, yet electrified, album that rocks and rolls from the first note.
In spite of their mature years the wonderful Blind Boys seem to be as energetic as ever! Here is their latest message to the fans! "We almost hate to leave 2005 behind after winning our 4th straight Grammy award last year, but we are looking forward to a great 2006. We're off to a wonderful start with our most recent CD, Atom Bomb, being named to a host of 2005 year-end Top Ten lists and receiving a Gospel Music Association (GMA) Music Award nomination for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year. The GMA awards will be held at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on April 5, so wish us luck! We have also been working on two musical collaboration and you can hear us on the forthcoming new albums by Susan Tedeschi and Randy Travis."
Meanwhile, the Blind Boys will be touring as always - taking Canada, the West and the Midwest by storm. A highlight of our tours will be two special shows on March 5 & 12 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra will be conducted by Henry Panion, who has done the same for other top artists such as Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. Another key date is a benefit concert on March 23 in downtown San Francisco at the beautiful and historic Grace Cathedral. This show is a fundraiser for the Boomer Coalition, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of CVD (cardiovascular disease) among baby-boomers. Special pre-sale tickets are available now on the website below.
Check out the full listing of Blind Boys live dates at the tour section of the Real World Records website.
As China is now on the list of 'most desired' holiday destinations, you need a guide as authentic as Guo Yue when you arrive in Beijing. To read about the genuine taste of this fast changing city - which are the best restaurants and where you can find the tastiest experiences - you need to catch up with The Guardian newspaper's Travel Supplement. If you missed the original article you can still catch it online!