Accra, Ghana

Amazing stuff, great bass playing, wonderful rhythms!

Hedzoleh Soundz were one of the first and most original ‘Afro’ bands from 1970s Ghana playing an unusual mix of traditional music from across the country tinged with western rock. They were residents at the notorious Napoleon nightclub where they met South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela in late 1973. The music for the ‘Hedzoleh’ album would later be used by Masekela as the backbone to his afo-jazz classic, “Masekela – Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz”.

Masekela met Hedzoleh Soundz through an introduction from Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti. In the early 70s, he had been thinking of recording with West African musicians as he was tiring of the American jazz scene and Hedzoleh fitted the bill perfectly. All but two of the compositions on Masekela’s album were written by Hedzoleh so it could be argued that Masekela’s classic was in fact Hedzoleh’s album with Masekela acting as the guest!

Managed and created by the enigmatic producer Faisal Helwani, Hedzoleh were originally formed in 1972 and consisted of musicians from rock and pop backgrounds plus individuals from the Ghanaian Arts Council’s traditional music troupe. By 1972, the group had recorded only two 45s on the tiny Bibini label in Ghana, and had a minor hit with the song Rekpete. The original leader of the band Lash Laryea (formerly of the afro-rock band The Aliens), had just quit so Stanley Todd, the bass player and vocalist from ‘El Pollos’ band, stepped in and it was at this point that they recorded their self titled LP at the EMI Nigeria studio.

The original trumpetless Hedzoleh sound hasn’t had a chance to be heard for nearly 40 years…until now.

1. Rekpete 3:33
2. Mee Bee (When) 3:35
3. Yei Baa Gbe Wo 5:09
4. Kaa Ye Oyai (Don't Be In A Hurry) 3:43
5. Omusu Da Fe M'Musu 4:58
6. Hedzoleh! 7:03
7. Hearts Ne Kotoko 4:42
8. Mo Osu Obu Naa 3:17

USA

Recorded between 1922 and 1959, this set of tunes is an outstanding encapsulation of the immigrant experience in the US. The songs are sung in the languages of virtually every major national group that arrived in the New World.

An outstanding encapsulation of the immigrant experience. Raise a glass to the obsessive compulsive, music lover. On a trip to Rockford, Illinois, archivist Christoph Wagner was led to room after room of teetering boxes, stacks and sheer mountains of old 78s. `Here in these catacombs`, he writes, `the whole ethnic underground of America was deposited.` From them came 'Stranded in the USA', an indispensable, broad-ranging, exhaustively researched view of the immigrant experience. Recorded between 1922 and 1959, the songs are sung in the languages of virtually every major national group that arrived in the New World. At turns playful and plaintive, they bemoan the sorrows of leaving home, of lost hopes and tenacious dreams, of despair and optimism, and they tell of discrimination and opportunity, city slickers and country bumpkins, romantic conquests and the inevitable clash of cultures. This is social history from the ground up: two- and three-minute distillations of the human spirit served up by th likes of Irish orchestras, fado musicians, Scandinavian folk groups, Puerto Rican conjuntos, calypso singers, Greek bouzoukis and Balkan strings - to name but a few examples. A labour of love-cum-audio documentary, Stranded is enhanced by extensive notes containing biographical data, musician rosters, photos, illustrations and partial song translations - plus two substantial essays by Wagner that place the music and the time into crystalline perspective. Librarians, ethnomusicologists, archivists, music lovers - take note. Stranded is a goldmine that provides education and entertainment in equal measure. It deserves an award. Trikont. 2005.

This fascinating collection was put together by archivist Christopher Wagner, who assembled these vintage 78 rpms recorded between 1922 and 1959 by all manner of emigrant musicians -- each addressing the hopes, dreams, fears and confusions of starting a new life in a new world -- into an amazing statement on diversity. Some 50 million people migrated from Europe to America in the 19th century, with millions more coming from the Far East, the West Indies, and points in between, all putting to the test the melting pot theory of American democracy, a theory that is, in many ways, still being tested. Consisting of selections by Irish string bands, Scandinavian folk ensembles, ragged street corner calypso orchestras, conjunto bands and so much more, Stranded in the USA holds a mirror to a vital period in U.S. history, and also sheds light on a nascent recording industry trying anything and everything to reach pocket audiences, a process that is difficult to imagine in a contemporary setting full of corporate multimedia giants more intent on selling culture than reflecting or serving it. This truly is the sound of America singing. Kudos to Trikont Records, a German label, for recognizing the importance of these tracks. -AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett

1. Pat White - I'm Leaving Tipperary 2:52
2. Hiski Salomaa - Lannen Lokari 3:08
3. Braca Kapudji Tamburitza Orchestra - Ponoc Kad Dodje 2:24
4. Rita Abatzi - M' Ekapses Ameriki 3:01
5. The Bamboo Orchestra With Wilmouth Houdini - Poor But Ambitious 3:07
6. Antonio Menano - Fano Do Emigrante 3:10
7. Gene Wisniewski - Dziewczyna Z Chicago 2:31
8. Frank Quinn - An Irish Farewell 2:51
9. Larry Alpert And The Eriv Yentiff Players - Galitziana Ball 2:54
10. Gaytan Y Cantu - La Discriminacion 2:40
11. Howie Bowe & His Little German Band - Little German Ball 2:15
12. I.D. Beck & Congregation Of The Mt Olivet Regular Baptist Church - Poor Pilgrim Of Sorrow 4:03
13. Leonardo Dia - Li Fimmini Cu Lu Lipstick 3:18
14. Little Oscar Gang - Ole 3:19
15. Milan Verni's Tamburitza Orchestra - U Daljini 3:07
16. Dimitris Perdicopoulos - O Gero Amerikanos 3:11
17. Arthur Kylander - Siirtolaisen Ensi Vastuksia 3:01
18. Conjunto Tipico Ladi - Un Jibaro En Nueva York 3:24
19. Wladyslaw Polak - Dzieci W Krateczki 3:06
20. Pawlo Humeniuk - Urkainska Weselia W Ameryci 3:53
21. Morris Goldstein - Die Griene Cusiene 2:53
22. Alfredo Bascetta - Lacrime 'E Cundannate 2:56
23. Arthur Kylander - Oi! Kuinka Engeliksi Mielin 2:58
24. Hans In Der Gand - Heimwehlied Der Schweiz-Amerikaner 3:07
25. Lydia Schaschko - Gruise An Die Daheimgebliebenen 0:38
26. Schaschko Family - Herrlich, Herrlich 0:45

Angola

Histórias da Casa Velha is a collection of songs released in Angola, mainly during the years leading to independence in 1975. In the 1960s and 1970s, Carlos Lamartine was one of the leading voices in the struggle against the Portuguese, and this collection highlights the difficulties and victories of the liberation movements he was a part of.

Lamartine plays semba, a typically Angolan genre rooted in traditional carnival rhythms, such as kilapanga, rebita, kazukuta and kabetula. In semba, much of the rhythm is not carried by drums, but instead by guitars, allowing the music to develop more complex chords, some of them borrowed from the Portuguese's rich melodic heritage.

Semba and Brazilian samba share common roots, however neither derives from the other: both appeared as they are today at the beginning of the 20th century, at a time when there was extremely limited exchange between Brazil and Angola. However both words come from the Kimbundu language, and both are rooted in the rhythms of present day Angola and the Democratic Congo.

This collection reflects the originality and rhythmic diversity of Angolan music, as well as its social and political roots in pre-independence Angola. Behind every one of these songs, there is a tragedy, and the tacit acceptance of a troubled history. But beyond traditional fatalism, these songs also display hope and Angola's then continuous fight for freedom. Times have changed, particularly in Angola, yet this music and its message remain timeless and universal.

Carlos Lamartine began his career when he joined pianist Sousa Júnior's band from 1956 to 1958. Along with Bonga, he then co-founded the Kissuela band. After the group dissolved, he briefly joined Os Mulogues do Ritmo as tambourine player and backup singer. By 1965, Lamartine was a lead singer playing with Luanda's finest orchestras. In 1970, he became lead singer for Os Aguias Reais, a group considered one of the best of that era.

From 1973 to 1977, he again performed as an individual singer, backed up by famed orchestra Os Merengues, led by Carlitos Vieira Días, son of Carlos Vieira Días, founder of Ngola Ritmos, the group that paved the way for political semba in the 1950s.

Histórias da Casa Velha has been released in Angola, with support from the Angolan ministry of culture. It is available worldwide for the first time, in this remastered version.

1. Jesus Diala Ya Kidi 4:04
2. Bassoka 3:23
3. Ene 3:45
4. O Dipanda Wondo Tula Kia 3:04
5. Pala Ku Nu Abesa O Muxima 3:48
6. Kuale N'go Valodo 2:17
7. Etu Tuana N'gola Tua Solo Kia 3:37
8. Faco-Te Este Apelo, Camarada 2:59
9. N'zambi, N'zambi 3:57
10. Muji Imoxi Ix'moxi 3:48
11. Guia Para A Libertacpo De -frica 2:28
12. Zuatenu Milele Ia Xikelela 3:05
13. N'gola Kiluanji 3:38
14. Ngana, Ngana (Fuma Ia Diala Ngongo) 2:51
15. Acorda Lumumba 3:05
16. Ene Ando Builee 4:05
17. Ene Adia Ioso 3:07
18. Vengi Bualaie 2:10
19. Kubonga 3:57
20. Kimbemba 4:57

Jamaica

Classic Twinkle dub set.

The Twinkle Brothers were formed in the early 60’s in Falmouth, Trelawney, Jamaica. Their first success was when they won the Trelawney Mento Festival in 1962. For six consecutive years they won at their parish level. In 1968 they won two gold medals in the all island competition; Norman Grant for best solo and the Twinkle Brothers for best group.

Norman said about these years “We won at our parish level from ’62 right up on to ’68 we won two gold medals. In the all island. I won as a solo artist and also as a group, as Twinkle Brothers. So there was two gold medals in yunno the whole Island. In ’69 we won again and in 1970 we took part in the festival song contest. It was like Toots & Maytals »What a Bam Bam«. Desmond Dekker and the Aces. We came third that year. »Boom Shacka Lacka« won. Hopeton Lewis. But yunno, as I say. Within the whole things was also like election. With the festival song It was politics. Where you from? From when we did the shows everybody love us. But when we came to the voting it was political. But it was still good for us because we made our name now. Proving that we where in a different style and category of our own. (from an interview with Norman Grant done by Joakim Kalcidis the 26th of July, 2006.)

In 1970 the Twinkle Brothers started recording for Bunny Lee and released a couple of acclaimed singles, the first being the festival song »You Can Do It Too«. They did approximately 14 tracks for Bunny Lee with songs such as »Not Who You Know«, »Miss Labba Labba«, »Sweet Young Thing Like You«, »Best Is Yet To Come« and Normans solo effort »Miss World«. Bunny Lee also helped the Twinkle Brothers in getting a session with Lee »Scratch« Perry for whom they did a couple of tracks of which only one got released, »Reggae For Days«.

During the years 1973 and 1974 they worked with Phil Pratt doing the songs »Friends«, »No Big Thing« and »Do You Own Thing«. In 1975 their debut album, »Rasta Pon Top«, was released and shortly after in ’75 Norman Grant joined the Sonny Bradshaw Band (with Dean Fraser) in a tour to Guatemala, Mexico.

It was also in the mid 70’s that Norman Grant opened up his record store in Falmouth.

By 1976 their second album, »Do Your Own Thing« (also got released in 1977 as »Miss Labba Labba«) was released. It further showed the roots Norman Grants vocals had in soul music. The following year they got signed to Virgin Frontline and released the album »Love«. The odd choice of releasing it as a 10″ LP raised quite a few peoples eye brows in the record stores but it soon got released as a 12″ release with a couple of more songs added to the playlist, but now on Normans own Twinkle imprint. The second album on Virgin Frontline was »Praise Jah« (1979). Shortly after this the Twinkle Brothers, the Gladiators and U-Roy got transfered to Virgin Records as Frontline got terminated. They released the album »Countrymen« in 1980. It was their last release with Virgin.

After the Twinkle Brothers got dropped by Virgin Frontline (that had by now decimated their reggae output tremendously) Norman Grant focused mainly releasing music on his own Twinkle label that now had moved its headquarters to the UK.

In 1980 when Jacob Miller passed away Norman Grant joined Inner Circle upon arriving from an American tour. He toured with Inner Circle for a short while but no recordings where done with Norman on the vocals. He was soon back with the Twinkle Brothers.

The late 70’s also saw Norman Grant working together with Jah Shaka, cutting dubplates for him and soon also releasing proper records. They released two albums with Jah Shaka the first one being »The Right Way« (1984) and the second one being »Rasta Surface« (1991). The album »Underground« (1982) also featured productions by Jah Shaka. It was the Twinkle Riddim Section that backed Shaka on his recording »Revelation 18«.

In 1986 the Twinkle Brothers went to Poland where they recorded material with the folk group Trebunia Tutki. Out of the recordings from that period the album »Higher Heights« (1988) was released. The album was a major success on the world music charts and was several weeks at the number one spot on the list. Some more albums, both vocal and dub counterparts, followed from the polish sessions.

The Twinkle brothers has to date released over 60 albums, the last two being »Give the Sufferer A Chance« and »The Youthful Warrior«.

1. Jahovah In Dub Majesty 3:58
2. Dub Assassinator (In A Murder Style) 4:07
3. Magnetic Enforcer 3:27
4. Nations Liquidator 4:25
5. Escape From Hell 3:54
6. Dub Examiner 3:48
7. Kingdom Dub 3:20
8. Give Rasta Dub(4:02
9. One World Wide Dub 4:05
10. War Zone 3:27
11. Mountains Of Dub 3:41
12. Devaluation Dub 3:52
13. Dance Hall Invasion 3:52
14. Road To Damascus 3:46
15. Under World Dub 3:07
16. Dubbing For Peace 4:04
17. Tamborine Dub 3:16
18. Escape Of The Assassin 3:55
19. Gully Banking Dub 3:20
20. Burden Bearer Dub 4:01

Notes
This compilation is composed of the albums "Dub Massacre: The Twinkle Brothers Inna Murder Style", released in 1983 and "Dub Massacre 2: The Twinkle Brothers Killer Selections", released in 1984.

India

Kadri is the man who introduced the saxophone to South Indian music; the album was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs and is his first CD to be released outside the traditional Indian market.

"...Rivetingly registers his deep and powerful virtuosity, with stunning violin, drum and metal Jew's harp accompaniment, and the tanpura's role taken by an electronic drone." -The Wire

Saxophone Supreme Indeed!
This is 100% traditional South Indian (Carnatic) music. Although the sax is the main instrument it in no way sounds like it's European or American incarnations. This collection of ragas was recorded live-in-studio in 1997 in London while Mr. Gopalnath was on tour - the tasteful accompaniment by Ms Kanyakumari on violin and percussionists Mr's Sainatha and Rajasekar on mridangam and morsing respectively, are equally virtuosic. This is modern Indian music at it's best - lively and playful but also deeply rooted in tradition. Extensive liner notes about the musicians, their instruments and musical heritage as well as details about each track are a nice plus. Highly recommended for fans of both traditional Indian and just plain intoxicating music! -applewoodon 

They say great music brings tears to your eyes. I did get tears alright, but this is the first time I was in tears one second and smiling the next second. Kadri's improvisations are heavenly. I have never heard improvisations that have the breadth and depth of Kadri's. The sax, violin, mridangam, and morsing complement each other wonderfully. The morsing in Ragam Talam Pallavi was another heavenly delight. -Princeton

Insanely good!!
Don't judge this album by its cover or its dull title. The music is amazing. I listened to it on repeat when I first got it. Kadri is famous in India, maybe not as well known outside India? If you like western sax or Indian music, you will enjoy this album. -PSon 

Sax Appeal From The Subcontinent
In recent years, many Indian musicians have brought western instruments into play within the context of Indian classical music, with great success. Brij Bhushan Kabri, Debashis Bhattacharya, and V.M.Bhatt have popularised guitar ( Bhatt actually plays the mohan vina, a gutar with sympathetic extra strings added). The electric mandolin virtuoso,U.Srinivas has several fine recordings available as of this writing. So, I guess it was only a matter of time before the saxophone made the journey. And it could hardly have a better champion than Kadri Gopalnath. Gem Tones ( the honorary title "Kalaimamani" means "Big Gem of the Arts") consists of six ragas. These are not the northern type, with the long, unfolding and meditative alap at the beginning that we're more used to as played by Ravi Shankar et al. These are from the more active,southern variety Carnatic style. It sounds far less odd than it might seem, the sax, if anything, making it even more accessible to western tastes. Gopalnath is joined hereby two percussionists andVadya Lahari's primo violinist Ms. A. Kanyakumari, a perfect foil.Vadya Lahari is, perhaps, my favorite ensemble from India, though only one CD of theirs is available here. If you ever come across it, snatch it up, you won't be sorry. A lot of the music here is played "jugalbandi" style with the two primary instruments playing largely in unison, but departing from time to time in complimentary fashion ( think of the "twin guitars" of the Allman Bros., but don't think rock n' roll). The double-headed mridangam is lovingly played by M.R. Sainatha, and the morsing likewise by Bangalore Rajasekar. The program is made up of rather ancient classic ragas and placed in order as if the disc was a concert.Production chores are deftly handled by the redoubtable Ben Mandelson, who really ought to be knighted for the scads of fine ethnic recordings he's introduced over the years. A winner all around. -Meathook Williamson

Virtuoso sax playing
NOt a fusion record, Gem Tomes displays the deep relationships betweemn Indian classical music and modern improvisational jazz. The players follow a style of playing the 'head' and imporvising about the theme that is common to both forms. Here, the saxophone of Kadri Gopalnath makes these affiinities even more clear; Indian melody, when played on the sax, sounds extraordinarily familiar to the Western ear, but when paralelled by Indian classical violin, it is obviously part of the indian tradition. Amazing and refreshing listening. -Mark in Santa Monica

1. Vinayakuni Ninnu 8:34
2. Nada Tanumanisham 7:42
3. Ra Ra Rajeevalochana 27:57
4. Ragam - Tanam - Pallavi 26:04
5. Om Shambo Shiva Shambo 3:50
6. Kangalidyatako 2:55

USA

A beautiful excavation of the Library of Congress recordings – one that pulls together a great range of depression-era songs that really capture the changing culture and continuing struggles of the time. There's a range of different styles at play here, but the overall focus is on acoustic music – with strong folk and string-based instrumentation on most numbers – and especially strong, charismatic singers who can really burst out, even though the recording conditions weren't always optimal. Most artists are very obscure – recorded in the field by Alan and John Lomax, and other members of their team.

''Lost Train Blues features 22 selections from the vast holdings of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, 13 of them have never been issued before. The record includes work songs, ballads, blues, political and union songs, guitar, banjo and fiddle music and Native American vocal music. These recordings were made between 1933 and 1950 and represent the birth of the folk music collections at the Library of Congress, now the largest repository of folk and enthographic holdings in the world. The record demonstrates the groundbreaking work of Alan Lomax and his father John Lomax, but also places them with the context of other important early field workers. The deluxe record includes liner notes by Alan Lomax archive curator Nathan Salsburg, as well as a 14 page booklet with photographs and original research about each song, artist and folklorist. The cover features an original lithograph by artist Jeff Tocci. Each selection has been retransferred from original discs and tapes at the Library of Congress and has been carefully remastered by sound engineer Don Fierro making for the best possible audio fidelity."

All credit goes to Exy!

1. Clyde "Kingfish" Smith - WPA Song 0:40
2. Jesse Wadley - Longest Train I Ever Saw 4:07
3. Dawson Henson - The Moonshiner 2:51
4. Wilson "Stavin' Chain" Jones - Stavin' Chain 1:15
5. Jess Morris - Unfortunate Dog Or Stony Point 0:39
6. Carl Lathrop - Leather Breeches 0:33
7. Fred Perry And Glenn Carver - Lost Train Blues 1:29
8. James "Blind Jim" Howard - The Hard-Working Miner (Only A Miner) 2:10
9. Jesse Wadley - St. James Infirmary 2:02
10. Ruby And Oliver Hughes - Lamp Lighting Time In The Valley 2:10
11. Helen, Luella And Juanita Hallmark - Cherokee Christian Hymn 1:13
12. Boys Chorus Of The Santa Fe Indian School - My One-Eyed Ford 1:10
13. Camp Morris And Group - Captain Haney Blues 2:35
14. James Sneed, J. F. Duffy And Alvin Sanders - Southern Rag 0:57
15. Elmo And Bill Newcomer - Turkey In The Straw 3:25
16. Elmo Newcomer - Rye Whiskey 3:28
17. Hattie Ellis And "Cowboy" Jack Ramsey - Desert Blues 2:22
18. Rowena Knight, Mary Anne Knight, Thelma Hawthorne And Jerusha Hawthorne  (Performer – Liberty High School Quartet) - Hard Times 1:23
19. Tillman Cadle - I Don't Want Your Millions Mister 1:45
20. J.W. Russell - Battle In The Horseshoe 2:01
21. Hammer Clarence Banks, Bob Bentley, Charley Blake, Harold Vosburg - Travelin' To That New Buryin' Ground 1:36
22. Buster 'Buzz' Ezell - Roosevelt And Hitler 3:20

Cuba

Recorded in a good studio in London on their first trip ever outside of Cuba (in 1989!), this is Cuba's most famous rumba group. (The classic sides, recorded for Puchito in 1952, are out of print now.) -AllMusic Review by Ned Sublette

An Overview of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas 

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas (los moon-yih-KEE-tos day mah-TAN-sas) 
Los Muñequitos de Matanzas are an Afro-Cuban folkloric music group that specializes in playing rumbas. Founded in late 1952 as a neighborhood ensemble of musicians, percussionists, and dancers, they are arguably the foremost practitioners of the Cuban rumba. The group first performed in the United States in 1992 and had three subsequent tours, all to rave reviews. Literally translated, Los Muñequitos means “Sunday cartoons,” and Matanzas is the name of the area where the group was formed. Matanzas means “slaughter,” for this was a region where livestock was processed and shipped abroad to other countries.

Rumba (ROOM-buh) 
The word “rumba” is derived from Castillian Spanish and eventually became the word used to describe the complex rhythms and dances which were born in the latter half of the 19th century in Cuba. Although these dances and rhythms had powerful African influences, they also had Spanish elements which make this genre of music a uniquely Cuban creation. The rumba began in areas where there were high concentrations of slaves and ex-slaves, generally the towns or colonies that were near the docks and the sugar cane plantations where most of the workers lived. For a long time, the rumba was considered music for only the lower classes of the people. Now it is enjoyed by all types of people. Rumbas are usually performed in the context of a celebration and rarely for sad situations. The shape of rumba music holds true for most Afro-Cuban music. One or more performers sing a long lyrical vocal melody above a simple drum pattern. Then suddenly, on a cue from the leader, the rhythm tightens up, and the chorus joins in. The quinto (lead drum) improvises to the dancers’ movements and the singer’s emotions.

Claves (CLAH-vays) 
The rumba is played based on a rhythmic pattern called clave that is usually played on an instrument called claves. Claves are two cylindrical wooden sticks that are held, one in each hand, and struck together to make a wooden sound. The pattern they make is called the clave  — which means “key” — to which all the other rhythms relate.

Rumba Drums 
Along with the claves, rumba is also primarily played with three conga drums. The largest and lowest-sounding drum is called the tumbadora (tuhm-buh-DORE-uh). The medium and mid-range tone drum is the conga. The solo, or lead drum, which typically follows the dancers’ footsteps, is the quinto (KEEN-toh), a high pitched drum. Also, a wooden box or a piece of bamboo called the cata or seis por ocho (say-s pore OH-cho) is played with sticks. There are also various percussive instruments including a metal shaker and wooden boxes called cajones (kai-OH-nays). These boxes were used by the slaves during an era when they were not allowed to play drums. The slaves found that by turning these wooden boxes (used to pack fish for shipment to Spain) upside down they were able to reproduce the sounds of drums fairly well, and thus they were used during rumbas. These instruments in any combination can be used in the rumbas.

Traditional Performance 
Los Muñequitos de Matanzas are considered traditional performers and are specialists in folkloric dance traditions, Yoruba, Palo, Kongo-Angolan, Arará, rumba, son, and compara. Los Muñequitos are part of a “core” group of performers who set the standards of folkloric dance — “core” meaning the source of living tradition. The core artists are often studied by professional and amateur dancers as the authorities of tradition.  Members of traditional groups represent generations of experts in rumba singing, drumming, and dancing. Very often, whole families are in a group. Traditional rumba ends with the setting of the sun, or, if there is little audience involvement, after four or five songs. On days when the crowd is small, family members dance and sing and encourage the beginners to perform in public. Sometimes, traditional performances even continue all night.

Musical Cuba 
Cuba is a melting pot of many different cultures and musical backgrounds and has created one of the most vibrant and influential dance and music cultures in the world. Cuba gave the world rumba, the mambo, the chachá, and the habañera: dances that have traveled all over the new world, the old world, and back to their roots in Africa thanks to the strong influence of Cuban music on West African bands. The musicality of Cuban rhythms, part of daily life, reflects a culture of survival, resistance and ritual in the sugar cane plantations. Nowhere in the Caribbean is the African influence on music so pronounced.

History of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas

In early October 1952, a group of young men were relaxing in the “El Gallo” bar in the barrio of La Marina (lah mah-REE-nuh) in the city of Matanzas. They were listening to a son (SOHN - a popular Cuban song style) on the bar’s Victrola.

Inspired by the rhythms and the contagious melody, the young men began to play percussively on the bar, on the glasses and on the bottles, accompanying the record with their own rhythm. The other patrons of the bar, together with passers-by, stopped to listen, and the young musicians, to their astonishment, received their first applause.

In the whirl of enthusiasm someone said, “Why don’t we form a group and play on Sundays and holidays at the fiestas (parties) and dances in the barrio (neighborhood)?” Someone else knew of a musician who had the experience to put a group together: Florencio Calle Peraza (“Catalino”), who lived in their neighborhood. They met with Catalino and discussed what each person would do, how the group would dress, what their genre would be (rumba), and the name of the group: Guaguancó Matancero. They would interpret the rumba of Matanzas; Columbia, the rural rumba only danced by men, which used knives and machetes; and guaguancó, the contemporary urban rumba originally from Havana and Matanzas.

Once the group was in shape with the necessary instruments, they began to perform at religious and non-religious activities in the barrios of Simpson and La Marina, extending to all the city and later to the rest of the province of Matanzas.

In 1953 they visited Havana, playing at fiestas that were taking place in different barrios. They appeared on radio and television and recorded their first 78 rpm record with “Los Bedos” (lohs BAY-dohs) on one side and “Los Muñequitos de la Calle” (lohs moo-nyuh-KEE-tohs day lah CAI-yay) on the other. The latter number told in its lyrics the antics of comic-strip characters that appeared on Saturdays and Sundays in the newspapers. This number was such a hit that the population of Havana and Matanzas stopped calling them Guaguancó Matancero and from then on referred to them as Los Muñequitos de Matanzas (meaning “Sunday cartoons from Matanzas”), the name by which they are now known around the world.

The musicians and dancers of Los Muñequitos are recognized by Cubans and throughout the world as members of one of the most vital ensembles to sustain and popularize the roots of Cuban culture. People say, “Without rumba, there is no Cuba, and without Cuba, there is no rumba.” Since 1989, Los Muñequitos has included Yoruban music and stories from the Yoruba tribe in Eastern Africa in their stage repertoire. The group presents examples of contemporary and traditional forms of Afro-Cuban heritage.

Los Muñequitos are not simply preserving a past tradition of rumba; the members are choreographers and composers who continue to create new work, including recent explorations and collaborations with other genres such as tap dance.

1. Oyelos De Nuevo [guaganco] 4:11
2. Lo Que Dice El Abakua [abakua] 3:55
3. Fundamento Dilanga [columbia] 6:45
4. El Marino [yambu] 5:39
5. Llora Como Lloré [guaganco] with guest singer Carlos Embale 2:35
6. Mi Arere [guaganco] 6:48
7. Notas Musicales [guaganco] 3:07
8. Iya Mi Le (Madre Mira Mi Casa) [canto lucumi] 7:57
9. Cantar Maravilloso [guaganco] 4:51
10. Arague [guaganco] 6:19
11. A Los Embales [guaganco] with guest singer Carlos Embale 3:35

Comet Roars Across Africa

Cutting-edge Paris label Comet wasn't entirely responsible for the ongoing fascination with club-friendly African grooves, but it's done more to bring the continent to dance floors in the last few years than anyone else.

The imprint, run by crate-diggers Eric Trochet and Manu Boubli, initially began as a weekly club night where they met musicians like legendary Fela Kuti drummer and afrobeat co-creator Tony Allen.

As a label, Comet launched afrobeat into the future with Allen's dub-damaged Black Voices disc, but they were also concerned with the past. A trio of excellent compilations -- Racubah!, Ouelele and Bilongo -- bring together impossible-to-find tracks that have turned out dance floors and illustrated that African funk goes well beyond Fela's JB-inspired stomp.

"The compilations are a bridge between where we come from and where we want to go with people like Tony," Boubli offers from Paris. "People have been looking for these kinds of records for years, and we please them but also open-minded people beyond the typical jazz-funk crowd."

Ouelele-style archival compilations will continue for as long as Boubli's record library can hold out, but the focus around the Comet offices these days is on new recordings.

A handful of new-school afro records are due out this summer, all of which continue Comet's mandate of pushing rhythms of the past into the future.

On the way is Psycho On Da Bus, featuring tracks Allen recorded during his stay in Toronto last summer, as well as a record by Allenko Brotherhood Ensemble, an Allen collaboration with producers like IG Culture, Cinematic Orchestra and production trio Troublemakers.

"Allenko is a kind of future-sound-of-afrobeat project," Boubli explains. "We recorded several of Tony's drum patterns and handed them out to producers from around the world, and they gave us their version of afrobeat.

"We tried to find people we love and respect, but not particularly people involved in the afrobeat scene. These are people who can bring something new to the music, which is what making music for the future means."

Vintage-1970s and early-1980s sides from artists who practice an African-based fusion of jazz and funk with Latin and cosmopolitan grooves

Oh oh, such a beautiful compilation if you are into african rhythms. Highlight of this compilation is Roland Brival's 'Creole Gypsy'; great creole latin soul! Other artists feat. on this comp. are Tony Allen, Ice, Mombasa, The Tempos, Mamba Percussions, Harry Mosco, Mulatu Astatke, Manu Dibango, Orchestra Tembo, Edja Kungali & Ray Stephen Oche.

From Lagos to Paris, from New-York to Berlin, the sound of africa has moved from place to place, mixing urban sounds to the original roots rhythms. Racubah! is atrip through time and space, a fine selection of ultre-rare and unavailable tracks, a tribute to modern african music. Afrobeat, afro jazz, afro cuban or afrofunk, this album includes tracksfor the dancefloor and some for your living room, so enjoy and listen to the magic of the african groove.

Racubah!
1. Tony Allen - Afro-Disco-Beat 11:56
2. Ice - Racubah! 3:24
3. Mombasa - Nairobi 7:30
4. The Tempos - Save Me 3:27
5. Mamba Percussions - Rythmotom 1 4:45
6. Harry Mosco - I Feel Funky 4:06
7. Mulatu Astatke And His Ethiopian Quintet - Soul Power 5:18
8. Manu Dibango - Wilderness 3:10
9. Orchestre Tembo - Yebo Edi Pachanga 3:07
10. Edja Kungali - Jungle Dance 6:24
11. Roland Brival - Creole Gypsy 7:35
12. Ray Stephen Oche - Odeiyolaoo 3:46

The Funk goes native on this heavy back-to-Africa collection of rare Afro-grooves from around the globe. Ouelele is an eclectic mixture of African and African-derived music from 12 different artists who deliver some of the heaviest rhythms known to man. Nothing hits harder than the hardcore Afrobeat of Smahila & The S.B’s epic “African Movement,” a 19-minute Fela Kuti derived groove that keeps you spellbound with its endless energy. Soul-jazz meets South Africa in Letta M’Bulu’s swinging cover of Hugh Masekela’s “What’s Wrong With Groovin’.” All the intensity of free-jazz is channeled into the percussion heavy groove of Philip Cohran & The African Heritage Ensemble’s “Unity,” a tribal-funk jam built around a hypnotically droning violin line and a wall of drums.

Henri Guedon’s “Volcano” is a highly danceable obscurity that skillfully combines jazzy flutes and horns with raw Afro-Latin percussion and pure funk bass. Argentine native Fernando Gelbard opens up 1974’s “Alevacolariea” with an African-inspired chant sung over a lone hand drum, before kicking into a Fender Rhodes led vamp that blends the best elements of early Fusion with the soul of ancient Africa. Nigerian percussionist Ginger Johnson & His African Messengers deliver a truck-load of solid rhythmic uplift with “I Jool Omo,” a jazzy gem from their highly collectible 1967 lp, “African Party.” New York City-based Antibalas unleash a brand new and heavy Afrobeat classic, “World War IV,” an unadulterated blast of prime African funk in the tradition of “Black President” Fela Kuti.

The album closes with Batsumi’s exotic slice of South African jazz-mysticism, “Lishonile,” a 9-minute track swirling with impassioned flute and sax solos. Without a dull moment or weak track, Ouelele is definitely worth owning. And, if you find yourself Jonesing for more rare and obscure Afro-rhythms, check out Comet Records’ earlier collection, Racubah!

Ouelele
1. Letta Mbulu - What's Wrong With Groovin' 2:50
2. Philip Cohran & The Artistic Heritage Ensemble - Unity 7:56
3. Henri Guédon - Vulcano 5:52
4. Fernando Gelbard - Alevacolariea 5:23
5. Smahila & The S.B.'s - African Movement 18:30
6. Marius Cultier - Ouelele 4:22
7. Ginger Johnson & His African Messengers - I Jool Omo 4:06
8. Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra - World War IV 4:17
9. J.M. Tim & Foty - Douala By Night 3:06
10. Manu Dibango - Senga 3:02
11. Ghetto Blaster - Na Waya 5:49
12. Batsumi - Lishonile 8:59

Following Racubah! and Ouelele, here's Bilongo, the third volume of our modern Afro rhythms collection. Once again, we've been working hard hunting around for some obscure African and Antillan rare grooves and, believe me, good records are getting really scarce! However, we manage to make Bilongo at least as good as their predecessors, with our usual blend of Antillan jazz, Latin grooves, Afrobeat and Afro funk. Features: Eko (Cameroon born composer-singer-keyboardist Eko made several records in France in the mid-seventies), Kelenkye Band (produced in Ghana in the mid-70's), Richard Raux & Hamsa (French saxophonist Richard Raux produces in 1975 an afro jazz LP with the Hamsa collective), Henri Guedon (a classic vibra-led Latin jazz cut that moves from traditional Cuban groove to particular Antillan arrangements), Georges-Edouard Nouel (awesome 1975 version of a track made famous by Harry Belafonte in the 60's), Ephraim Nzeka (discofied version of Fela'ss classic 'Zombie' by Nigerian singer Ephraim), Alfred Panou & Art Ensemble Of Chicago (probably the rarest track of the compilation, taken from an original 7'' from the cult French label Saravah, and introduces Alfred Panou's poetry over an hypnotic groove provided by the Art Ensemble Of Chicago), Les Dum (originally composed for the French version of Tarzan TV cartoon (!)), Michel Sardaby (all-time classic of Antillan pianist Michel Sardaby), Roots Foundation (A Nigerian band that recorded this afro-funk anthem in 1981), Julian Bahula (another great piece of jazz to come out of South-Afrika!), Louis Xavier (a groovy almost-Afrobeat track with catchy bass-line and heavy horns arrangements), Sergio Otanazetra (we choose to close this collection with this track that melt jazz chords, Brazilian percussions and African vocals).

The third installment in the French label Comet's Modern Afro Rhythms series, Bilongo, like the earlier entries (Racubah! and Ouelele), compiles vintage-1970s and early-1980s sides from artists who practice an African-based fusion of jazz and funk with Latin and cosmopolitan grooves. The two lead tracks here really set the train rolling, with Eko's "Kilimanjaro My Home," and the Kelenkye Band's "Jungle Music" taking slightly different paths to the same river of funk. The third cut, Richard Raux and Hamsa's "A Coltrane," is simply stunning, and is the clear standout on an album of strong pieces. Ephraim Nezka's almost-disco version of Fela Kuti's classic "Zombie" is another high point here. Comet really should do a box set of the three titles in this delightful series, but until then, pick them up individually, because all three carry rare and wonderful tracks that shouldn't be missed. -AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett

Bilongo
1. Eko - Kilimandjaro My Home 7:33
2. Kelenkye Band - Jungle Music 5:36
3. Richard Raux & Hamsa - A Coltrane 3:04
4. Henri Guedon - Bilongo 3:17
5. Georges-Edouard Nouel - Meci Bon Dieu 4:03
6. Ephraim Nzeka - Zombie 4:40
7. Alfred Panou & Art Ensemble Of Chicago - Je Suis Un Sauvage 4:14
8. Les Dum's - La Danse Des Grands Singes Nus 3:11
9. Michel Sardaby - Welcome New Warmth 4:17
10. Roots Foundation - Make It Funky 3:25
11. Julian Bahula's Jazz Afrika - Woza Cindi 7:59
12. Louis Xavier - Steps 4:11
13. Sergio Otanazetra - Gislaine 4:11

Manu Boubli

Sierra Leone

West African folk meets US house. Fantastic new electronic afro project from Kondi Band – a collaboration between Sierra Leonean 'kondi' (thumb piano) musician Sorie Kondi and DJ/producer Chief Boima, who himself has Sierra Leonean roots.

"The album follows the release of 2016’s Belle Wahallah EP, which spawned a #1 Spotify Viral Chart hit in the form of the track “Yeanoh (Powe Handa Blingabe)”,” as well as The Freetown Tapes, a free collection of Kondi’s solo work in the early 2000’s, mixed by Chief Boima.

According to Boima, the new album “forges a direct link between techno born in the black cities of the American Mid-West, where I grew up, and roots African music. Sorie Kondi may be playing an acoustic folk instrument from Sierra Leone, but he thinks about music as if he were a techno producer.”  It’s acoustic dance music that creates a sound as full and dynamic as any club track and, through Boima’s intricate production, the album subtly and skilfully integrates contemporary electronic sounds, keeping the simplicity and space in Sorie’s music.”

Transatlantic dialogue takes a new twist on this collaboration between a Sierra Leonean thumb pianist and a North American DJ. It’s a heartening story. Sorie Kondi is a blind street musician from Freetown, a one-man band with few assets beyond a string of cassette releases and a website, which is where DJ Chief Boima came across him. A remix of Sorie’s Without Money, No Family ensued and led to this collaboration. Boima’s touch is light, adding discreet beats to Sorie’s tumbling melodies and rich voice, finding parallels between West African folk and US house. The songs are tough social cameos, the mood infectious. A winner. -Neil Spencer

1. Yeanoh (Powe Handa Blingabe) 5:28
2. Belle Wahalla 5:28
3. Thank You Mama 4:54
4. Titi Dem Too Service 5:21
5. Don Don Mi Money 5:45
6. Thogolingo Dembi Na 3:53
7. You Wan Married? 4:18
8. Geibai Gpanga Ne Gna 4:40
9. Kondi Instrumental 2:44
10. Without Money, No Family (Chief Boima Remix) 5:36
11. Thogolobea (Lv Remix) 4:15
12. Y’alimamy (Chief Boima Remix) 5:29

Guinea

Under the leadership of Balla Onivogui, Jardin de Guinée was one of the most prolific creators of modern Guinean music in the era of cultural flowering that followed Guinea's independence in 1958. Supported by the national arts initiative called Authenticity, Jardin de Guinée recorded this classic at the Syliphone studio in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, in 1967.

Biography
In 1960 the first Guinean national orchestra, Syli Orchestre National, split into two bands, Orchestre du jardin de Guinée led by Balla Onivogui and Orchestre de la Paillote led by Keletigui Traoré. Later on Orchestre du jardin de Guinée would become Balla et ses Balladins.

The very first world music album I bought was from Guinea (out on Cd recently; Orchestre Paillote, volume 1 - 1960) because I immediately fell in love with that wonderful, exotic "reverbbbbb" guitar sound. -Great trumps/saxes as well, and a very enjoyable record while tossing & turning the vegetarian barbecue burgers in your own back-jardin. -Boer Poel

1 of 4 albums in a series that represents a unique moment in African music. Faithfully recreated from the best original sources.

60 years ago West Africa was bursting with energy as first Ghana, and then in 1958 Guinea, gained their independence. In the case of Guinea her birth was sudden and dramatic as France, the then colonial power, withdrew within one month of the vote for independence, famously taking ‘everything including the lightbulbs’.

Guinea had to start from scratch, not least in her approach to the arts which the new state wanted to modernise while still remaining true to tradition. This policy was called authenticité. Music was its focus, Syliphone its record label and Guinean music soon became a shining example for other emerging African nations. It even attracted artists and activists such as Miriam Makeba and her then husband, ex-Black Panther, Stokely Carmichael who, harrassed by the CIA, moved to Guinea in 1968.

Under authenticité, musicians were employed by the state, given instruments and encouraged to create a new but traditionally-rooted music. A whole system of regional and national bands was established, with regular competitions to establish precedence. It’s also worth noting that from the Guinean perspective, this “tradition” included Latin music, the African roots of which were considered so obvious as to be beyond debate.

Very quickly, three bands rose to the top: Orchestre Paillote, later to become Keletigui et ses Tambourinis; Orchestre du Jardin de Guinée, later to become Balla et ses Balladins; and perhaps the strongest of them all, Bembeya Jazz. In each case our selection features their first full-length album recordings, faithfully recreated as originally presented, sequenced and released in 1967.

Nine years later, in 1976, the situation was not so positive. Guinea’s economy was struggling and political dissent had arisen. It is against this background that the 4th album in our series, ‘Musiques sans paroles’ was recorded and released. Entirely instrumental, it features a variety of groups, including Miriam Makeba’s sometime backing band, the Quintette Guinéenne, and remains remarkably fresh today with e.g. Tam-tam sax referencing the free jazz sounds of Pharoah Sanders or Albert Ayler, while in Flute parlant, showcasing the traditional flute of the Fula people.

1. N'Na Saba 4:22
2. Conakry 2:52
3. Bandian 3:39
4. Diaraby 3:25
5. Toure 3:02
6. Fruitaguinee 2:44
7. Soumbouyaya 3:03
8. Belebele 3:37
9. Salimou 3:25
10. Kaira 3:36
11. J.R.D.A. 3:33
12. Sakhodou 3:13

Credits
Directed By [Sous La Direction De] – Onivogui Balla
Musician [Membres De L'Orchestre] – Camara Abdou, Diabate Sekou, Diawara Saukoumba, Gueye Doudou, Kante Manfila, Kouruma Bamba, Pivi Moriba, Thiam Amadou

Mozambique

Recorded in 1989 but issued years later, this is a really splendid collection of music ranging from traditional musical bow through large voices-and-percussion groups and wonderful Makua fiddle via Shangaan rural guitar and accordion to an a cappella group performing a form of mbube brought back from South Africa by migrant workers. -John Storm Roberts, Original Music

The first of 2 various artist compilations from the field recordings made in Mozambique in 1989 by the GlobeStyle mobile recording team. 15 years of brutal war in this country has ensured that little of the remarkable music made there has ever been heard by the outside world. The GlobeStyle sound recordists travelled the length of the country from Pemba in the north to the intense heat of Tete (rated as the world's 3rd hottest place) in the south west by the Zambeze. The incredible range of music they recorded encompasses womens' choral sounds, heavy percussion, a kind of 'down home blues' and what can only be described as a cross between free jazz and trance music. A natural follow-up to GlobeStyle's journey down the lesser known music of other parts of East Africa - Madagascar and Zanzibar - Mozambique 1 is an ethno-beat sampler's paradise of sounds. Informative sleevenotes by GlobeStyle's world music expert Ben Mandelson, including personal insights into the Mozambique field recording experience.

1. Grupo Xitende Da Orquestra De Timbila - Magalango 2:11
2. Grupo Ngalanga Da Unidade - Mutcico/Munguenisso 3:57
3. Grupo Estrela Vermelha Do Ilha De Mocambique - Enhipiti Equissirua 6:12
4. Joao Mate - Mama Na Wa Mina Anga Monanga Meticala 1:51
5. Grupo Estrela Vermelha - Unabadera Uhema 4:42
6. Grupo Cultura N'kissa - N'kissa #1 6:35
7. Machipiga Mafiso - Ndiribe Nyumba 12:07
8. Kava Unga Geti ' Alberto Machavel - Tira Hikhumbula Mondlane 4:31
9. Conjunto Ndzumbe De Bairro Inhagoia - Utemdene 3:12
10. Grupo Chigovia De Jardim Zoologico - Ntabuya Mundzuku 1:06
11. Grupo Beira Mar - Essifa Zonhipiti 3:15
12. Grupo Nyanga De Moixange - Chihire 7:34
13. Baile Kaniwah - Konvarava Kovela 2:11
14. Makwaela - Saudamos O Grupo Ladysmith Black Mambazo 3:32
15. Afonco Balate - Nisalili Aussiwanini 4:39

Jamaica

The brilliant debut album from the Lone Ranger, riding classic studio one rhythms to full effect.

"The roots of '80s dancehall can be found in Lone Ranger's influence on the likes of Yellowman and Eek-A-Mouse and you will hear on this disc signature tags you may have thought originated with them." -The Beat

About the Artist
Lone Ranger is an original Studio One DJ and sound-sytem veteran, he was part of the first DJ combination ever recorded (with Welton Irie). The Ranger is still riding the riddim with his incredible gimmicks and style... Rib it, Flash It!

On the Other Side of Dub is one of reggae's essential dee-jay albums, and Lone Ranger is one of the founding fathers of the dancehall dee-jay business. Ranger recorded big hits for Studio One and was one of the artists responsible for the label's renaissance in the early eighties. On the Other Side of Dub contains nine top deejay performances as well as eight Studio One dubs. Also included is the extended mix of "Keep on Coming a de Dance", one of the Ranger's signature toasts.

This album is taken from the rare original stereo master which has never before appeared on CD and includes bonus tracks "The Answer," "Tribute to Marley," and "Screw Gone a North Coast."

Studio One is the label that discovered, and in many cases, helped create legacies for artists who became international legends, from Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer of the Wailers to the Heptones, Burning Spear, Marcia Griffiths and Freddie McGregor. Even more amazing is the sheer volume of great recordings which were produced at Studio One by owner Clement S. Dodd, a true legend himself. He produced thousands of records resulting in hundreds of Jamaican hits which, in turn, inspired thousands of "versions" - adaptations of musical arrangements or blatant riddim track samples - over the years. In song after song, thirty-five year old riddims charge through the charts as if they were brand new. There are virtually unlimited examples of this practice - not only of charting with a Studio One cover version, but of succeeding simply because a song incorporates a recognizable Dodd-produced riddim. If there weren’t so many masterful riddims and bass lines in the Studio One catalog for others to use, the magic of today’s dancehall might not exist. Clement Dodd passed away in 2004, doing what he loved, working in his Brentford Road (Kingston) studio. He was awarded Jamaica’s Order of Distinction, was inducted into the Reggae Hall Of Fame, and Brentford Road was renamed Studio One Boulevard; yet nothing speaks more eloquently of his contributions than the music of Studio One. 

The Lone Ranger was born Anthony Waldron and spent a good portion of his childhood in the U.K., later moving to Kingston. He first recorded in tandem with Welton Irie at Coxsone Dodd's famed Studio One, but soon went solo, toasting over the riddim tracks of past Studio One hits from the rocksteady and roots reggae eras. He also became the top DJ for the Virgo Hi Fi Sound System, resulting in its being voted the top sound system in Jamaica in 1980. The Lone Ranger's breakout hit was "Love Bump", a 1981 Coxsone Dodd produced version of the riddim from Slim Smith's "Rougher Yet". His signature song, however, was Barnabas Collins, an ode to the vampire main character of the TV series 'Dark Shadows'. The track was recorded for the Thrillseekers label, but Coxsone recorded the tune in Studio One style and fashion as well. Borrowing his stage name from the popular TV Western hero of the same name, the Lone Ranger was one of Jamaica's most influential early dancehall DJs. He helped pioneer a newly rhythmic, on-the-beat rhyming style that led DJ toasting into the modern age, and punctuated his lyrics with bizarre exclamations and sound effects ("bim" and "ribbit" were his favorites) that made him perhaps the most imaginative stylist of his time. 

Lone Ranger's wicked "On The Other Side Of Dub" (originally released in 1981) is one of reggae's essential deejay albums. The Ranger was one of the founding fathers of what became known as the dancehall style. Indeed, his toast to Coxsone's production of Slim Smith's "Never Let Go", "The Answer", gave the riddim the name by which it is still known in the dancehall world. Lone Ranger recorded big hits for Studio One and was one of the artists responsible for the label's renaissance in the early eighties. This Heartbeat Deluxe Edition of "On The Other Side Of Dub" includes the original album in its entirety and thus features riddims such as Ernest Wilson's "Why Oh Why", Jackie Mittoo & Sound Dimension's "The Thing", The Royals' "Pick Up The Pieces", Dub Specialist's "Roots Style", and the Brentford Road cut to "The Drifter". Bonus tracks are Barnabas Collins, The Answer, Screw Gone A North Coast, and Tribute To Bob Marley, (recorded after Bob's death in Miami over the riddim of Johnny Osbourne's "Water More Than Flour"), and their respective dub versions. Also added is the extended mix of Keep On Coming A The Dance, one of the Ranger's signature toasts, riding the immortal "Heavenless" riddim. 

This album, taken from the rare original stereo master which has never before appeared on CD, contains nine top deejay performances as well as eight wicked Studio One dubs. Another Studio One essential! -reggae-vibes

him a da best in the business
though the rythms on "on the other side of dub", are not fully realized dance hall, they do follow the template: redo some classic hits (in this case, studio one tracks) and add some updated lyrics. but don't be detracted; this album will shake your sound system. the lone ranger set the standard for jamaican djs heading into the 1980s. his lyrics sound fresh and inspired, and, over the rocking studio one tracks, help create an album that uniquely captures the transistion between the roots and dancehall styles. "barnabas collins" alone is worth the price of admission. the only potential downside is the straightforwardness of the dubs. but, hey, studio one rythms can always stand alone. -sam votsison

1. Noah In The Ark (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 3:04
2. Aprentice Dentist (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 2:21
3. Quarter Pound Ishen (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 3:27
4. The Answer (Original Stereo Mix) 3:06
5. Natty Dread On The Go (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 2:40
6. Screw Gone A North Coast (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 2:45
7. Tribute To Marley (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 3:12
8. Barnabas Collins (Remastered From Original Master) 3;03
9. Keep On Coming A The Dance (Extended Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 6:14
10. Where Eagles Dwell (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 3:05
11. Dentist Dub (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 2:02
12. Collie Rock (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 3:28
13. Dub Is The Answer (Alternate Sterio Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 2:45
14. Dub A Natty Dread (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 2:26
15. Dub Gone A North Coast (Original Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 2:47
16. Tribute To Marley Version (Alternate Stereo Mix) (Previously Unreleased On CD) 2:59
17. Grave Yard Skank 2:32

Louisiana

This long-awaited Essential Collection of Lawrence Walker & the Wandering Aces includes all of his essential recordings: his earliest Khoury/Lyric recordings, the Swallow singles, and his last studio recordings, the La Louisianne Recordings of 1961. Released in November 2010, 22 tracks.

Along with Iry LeJeune and Nathan Abshire, Lawrence Walker played an integral part in Cajun music’s accordion revival in the early ’50s. He was such a smooth, precise player that he was crowned “King of the Accordion Players” with his only real competition coming from Aldus Roger in the latter part of the decade. This 22-track collection underscores Walker’s mammoth contributions; many of his French-sung originals (“Reno Waltz,” “Evangeline Waltz,” “’Tits Yeux Noirs”) featured here are regularly played by today’s practitioners.

The collection spans a 17-year period (1951-1968), culling tracks from Floyd Soileau’s infant VeePee label (four), George Khoury’s Khoury/Lyric labels (12) and Carol Rachou’s La Louisianne Records (six). One thing that’s evident throughout is Walker’s preference for a balanced arrangement, meaning that melody rides and solos are shared equitably between lead instruments. Overall, the sound quality is remarkable for recordings of this vintage considering the unsophisticated studio environment (a radio station was used for four tunes) and that some Khoury tracks were resurrected from 78 rpm recordings rather than master tapes.

Besides being a traditionalist in the classic Cajun sense, Walker was also a progressive, experimental spirit. Some of it was out of necessity when the onslaught of rock ’n’ roll caused Cajun dance crowds to dwindle. Walker countered with English-sung Cajun rock/rockabilly tunes (“Keep Your Hands Off of It,” “Lena Mae”) that weren’t immediately embraced but fare better today in a hip, retro sense. Rock influences in Cajun music wouldn’t become wildly popular until Coteau and Wayne Toups emerged in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, but Lawrence Walker got there first. -Dan Willging

A Cajun Master Finally Gets His Due
Lawrence Walker was an important musician and bandleader in the field of Cajun music. He, along with Nathan Abshire, Aldus Roger, and Austin Pitre, was responsible for moving the accordion from the early style of playing to the dancehall sound of the post war era. Walker also was an extremely talented songwriter who contributed such classics as "Johnny Can't Dance" and "Tit Yeaux Noir" (both included here) to the reportoire. Walker did two pre-war sessions that have been released elsewhere (on JSP and CMF). This cd collects what must be the bulk (if not all) of his post war recordings for Swallow, LaLouisianne, and the Khoury labels. Walker did not record under the best conditions so some of the cuts are a little rough to listen to. But never mind, here we have a genius at work. If you enjoy good waltz and two step, done Cajun style, you will enjoy this cd. -Kevin Fontenot

Great collection for an underrated musician!
This set has most of the post-World War II recordings of Lawrence Walker. I think anyone who enjoys Cajun music will appreciate these songs due to the tightness of the bands and the marvelous playing and singing. Walker could really write and deliver a song! Unlucky Waltz is just unforgettable with it's line "C'est ça la valse j'veux Dick me joue, that's the waltz I want Dick to play for me," knowing that he is referring to Dick Richard, the man playing steel guitar on the song!

The few post-World War II official recordings that are missing from this collection are from the Khoury label: 607b Ton Papa Ta Mama M'a Jeté Dehor, 616b Bosco Stomp, 617b Lafayette Two Step, 648a Waltz of Regret, and 648b Brunette Two Step. (Lafayette Two Step and Brunette Two Step are remakes of Joe Falcon and Cleoma Breaux's Allons à Lafayette and Les Fille à Nonc Helaire, and Ton Papa M'a Jeté Dehor comes from the repertoire of Mayeuse Lafleur and Leo Soileau. Bosco Stomp, a remake of Delin T. Guillory and Lewis Lafleur's Quelq'un est Jaloux, is a well-loved standard showpiece, common to the repertoire of Walker's contemporary and rival, Octa Clark. Bosco Stomp can be heard on Arhoolie lp Cajun Honky Tonk, cd 427. I believe Walker also recorded Mamou Two Step later again for La Louisianne because the version on my La Louisianne lp sounds better and more up to date (A Tribute to the Late Great Lawrence Walker on La Louisianne).

The liner notes by producer Floyd Soileau fill in the blanks in our sketchy knowledge of when and where these songs were recorded. Especially welcome are the singles from the La Louisianne (sic) label recorded in 1961. These were unavailable before on CD, lost to more than a generation of Cajun music fans and upcoming musicians, but still well known among the dancers in the dancehalls of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas.

On some cuts, the band (Wandering Aces) has a great steel guitar, some scorching fiddle and a tight drum. On others you hear a string bass and twin fiddles playing in a modern style. All very enjoyable! Thanks for putting this out after such a long wait! -Neal F. Pomeaon

1. Les Bons Temps Rouler 2:42
2. Ossun Two Step 2:39
3. Midnight Waltz 2:39
4. Walker Special 2:37
5. 'Tits Yeux Noirs 3:00
6. Ch‚re Alice 3:01
7. Unlucky Waltz 2:54
8. Lena Mae 2:34
9. Reno Waltz 3:14
10. Allons Rock And Roll 3:08
11. Tous Les Deux Pour La Même 2:47
12. Johnny Can't Dance 3:10
13. Creole Waltz 3:10
14. Wandering Aces Special 2:29
15. La Valse Qui M'Fait Du Mal 2:38
16. Keep Your Hands Off Of It 2:51
17. Country Waltz 3:01
18. Waltz Of Sorrow 3:11
19. Little Bitty Girl 3:08
20. Evangeline Waltz 3:04
21. Madame Sosthene 2:52
22. Mamou Two Step 3:02

Guinea

Released in 1967, Orchestre Paillote later become known as Keletigui et ses Tambourinis. Beautiful, tranquil melodies and vocals weave in and out of 60s African jazzy rhythms with latin and caribbean influences making their way back to the motherland.

Whether it was with songs about incest and suicide, or through those praising a local fruit-juice company or even, due to a typographical error, with the marvelously titled “Kiss My Noose” (it should have been “Kiss My Nose”), Keletigui et ses Tambourinis were at the heart of Guinea’s state-sponsored musical explosion in the 1960s and 70s. They faithfully upheld the principles of authenticité espoused by Sekou Touré, first president of the newly independent nation, when he announced on the radio: “If one can’t play the music of one’s own country, then one should stop playing altogether”.

That instruction, however, did not apply to the music of Cuba or to jazz. On the one hand, in a Cold War world, Castro and Cuba were allies and on the other, both musics were played by black musicians, descendants of Africans and therefore considered as part of a greater African family. The resulting mix placed Guinea at the forefront of musical experimentation and helped set the scene for African music today.

More gold from Guinea
Classic recordings from the Syliphone label in Guinea. Like most releases on Syliphone this one is gem from start to finish. Some of the songs have been reissued on the sterns compilation: keletigui et ses Tambourinis, the Syliphone Years but the overlap is only a couple of tracks. If you can find it for a reasonable price get it, the vinyl is scarce. -grasshopper 

The best from Guinee 
Funny, I bought this album in the early 60's quite young/ spontaneously by the cover (=not the same as the Cd version), -great horns, Fender guitar sounds & all! I've been collecting world music ever since, but Orchestre Paillote really was my first love. Exotic record, happy sad lonely uplifting. -Boer Poel 

1. Diaraby 5:10
2. Mariama 3:25
3. Nadia 3:30
4. Mone Magnin 3:45
5. La Guinee Moussolou 6:05
6. Nankoura 4:29
7. Wouyamagnin 4:28
8. Orchestre Paillote 4:24
9. Bandian 4:10
10. N'Djiguinira 4:55

Credits
Directed By – Traore Kélétigui
Performer [Membres De L' Orchestre ] – Camara David, Camara Kerfalla, Diuobate M' Bemba, Toure Djogui, Dombouya Bigné, Kante Manfila Dabadou, Conde Linké, Sylla Kaba

Trinidad

It's the weekend, let's have some fun! ~Andyrama

A unique and appealing mixture of many cultures, Trinidad is perhaps the most interesting and vibrant island in the West Indies. Calypso was born here, as was the Steel band and the Limbo. The Calimbo Steel band incorporates the best of all three, featuring the outstanding talent of Trinidad. The leader, Andre De Labastide, and Roland Harvey play the high-pitched "Ping Pong" Steel drums; Carl "Gerald" Lawrence is featured on "tenor booms"; Kenneth Lawrence on "alto" and George Lancaster on "bass." Glenfield Leslie is heard on drums, while Henry Pachot doubles on vocals and tumbas. Bernardo Noriega doubles as a vocalist and with the maracas; the famous Nanai is the guitarist. Chuck Wood is the vocal balladeer, with Bonnie Casey providing vocal harmonies. Captured for the first time in perfect high-fidelity recording, the Calimbo Steel band brings you—"The Heart of Trinidad." —GENE NORMAN

The Standard Oil Company, Texaco, and the rest of the petroleum giants never realized it at the time, but they may now claim credit for a new musical rage, which originated in Trinidad during the war when the natives grew restless over the scarcity of musical instruments. The islanders began making music out of anything that was handy, and if there was one thing the beaches offered in abundance, it was oil drums. Empty ones, of course.

In due course, the Caribbean music-makers developed instruments out of the steel drums that would yield several different notes. Until recently, about 14 was the maximum. Just enough to play most calypsos, rhumbas, sambas and other basic Latin-American numbers.

Recently a topnotch steel band known as the Calimbos (calypso, limbo, get it?), managed to spread its range to 23 notes, considered a record among the islanders. And the Calimbos boast that they can play anything—even classical music.

The Calimbos just wound up six weeks at the El Mirador in Palm Springs, Calif., where they jammed the South Pacific Room night after night. Before coming to the United States, they toured South America—Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Peru—and worked their way north through Central America and Mexico. Everywhere, they were a smash hit. Naturally, the limbo dance—in which the dancer worms his or her way under a constantly lowering crossbar between two uprights—is most popular with crowds. —ALONZO (BOB) CHILDERS, Entertainment Editor/SAN GABRIEL VALLEY DAILY TRIBUNE

Vinyl rip and scans by Andyrama

A1 Limbo 2:30
A2 Mambo #5 2:16
A3 Yellow Bird 3:12
A4 Bedbug 2:50
A5 Ciribiribin 2:41
A6 Jamaica Farewell 3:05
A7 Blue Danube 3:14

B1 Ice Man 2:14
B2 El Taconazo 2:15
B3 Land Of The Sea And Sun 3:23
B4 El Merecumbe 3:00
B5 South Of The Border 4:10
B6 Island In The Sun 3:10
B7 When The Saints Go Marching In 3:04

Versatile master of the acoustic guitar

One-time Pelt noise-maker turns to finger-picking and loses himself in the traditions of blues, ragtime, and folk. 

Artist Biography by Steve Leggett
An inventive and self-taught player on acoustic six-string, 12-string, and lap steel guitar, Jack Rose was considered part of the so-called Takoma revivalist movement that echoes the often Eastern-tinged acoustic guitar experiments of John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and others, although Rose got his start as a musician in an entirely different direction, first as a rock and punk-inspired electric guitarist in the Richmond, VA, drone trio Pelt. Pelt released a series of albums beginning in 1995, but while officially remaining a member of the band, Rose began a solo career as an acoustic guitarist with Hung Far Low (a self-released CD-R) in 2001, following it with Red Horse, White Mule on Eclipse Records that same year; Dr. Ragtime (another CD-R issue) and Opium Musick (on Eclipse) in 2002; Raag Manifestos (the LP appeared from Eclipse with the CD assigned to VHF Records) in 2004; Kensington Blues (Eclipse/VHF) in 2005; and Heraldic Beasts, the live Skullfuck/Bestio Tergum Degero, and Jack Rose & the Black Twig Pickers (all on Eclipse) in 2006. Beautiful Happiness reissued Red Horse, White Mule and Opium Musick together as Two Originals Of in 2004 and paired Dr. Ragtime & Pals and Jack Rose & the Black Twig Pickers -- the first two parts of what he humorously referred to as his "Ditch Trilogy" -- for another combined reissue in 2008. Rose's burgeoning career was cut short when died on Friday, December 4, 2009, of a heart attack. He was 38 years old. In February 2010, the last part of that trilogy, Luck in the Valley, was released by Thrill Jockey. Scant weeks later, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth released a Rose tribute album, 12 String Meditations for Jack Rose.

By 2008 Jack Rose had successfully transformed himself from former indie rocker in the group Pelt to guitar picker of undeniable dexterity. DR. RAGTIME & HIS PALS, which pairs Rose with friends such as Glenn Jones and Harmonica Dan, will cement his status as a freak-roots legend. Packaged with the new tracks of DR. RAGTIME is a reissue of JACK ROSE, which features a few of the DR. RAGTIME tracks performed solo. -AllMusic Review by Pat Sullivan

Ever since 2002's Red Horse, White Mule, Jack Rose has released a record every year - on limited-edition vinyl with compact discs to follow. A reissue of albums five and six, this double CD is an excellent introduction to his fierce, lyrical instrumentals. Combining finger-picking with heavy drones, Rose evokes the free spirit of late Sixties guitar pioneers such as John Fahey, Robbie Basho and Peter Walker.

Like Fahey, Jack Rose harks back to a fantasy of the old weird America. Just as the cover features an old snap of a guitarist and a fiddle player relaxing in the Twenties American countryside - before the slump, before the atom bomb and the military-industrial complex - so the first album here, Dr Ragtime & Pals, effectively alternates rollicking rag instrumentals with moodier lap steel pieces such as 'Song For the Owl'.

The swoop and fall of the steel guitar is more prominent on Self Titled, a record of seven instrumentals that continues the more open-ended nature of previous Rose LPs such as Opium Musick and Kensington Blues. There are echoes of early Ry Cooder and Robbie Basho's modal loquacity. It ends with a wrenching version of the old spiritual that Cooder played in Performance, 'Dark is the Night'.

Despite the weight of references, Jack Rose is no pasticheur: the attack and drive in his playing gives the old traditions new vigour. These CDs rock. And then there is the question of context: the way that his work sits with the recent rediscovering of America's pre-rock music - the reissues of Harry Smith's Anthology, Bob Dylan's radio shows, John Fahey's great compilations of American Primitives. The baby boomers didn't invent everything.

But it's 2008, not 1928. Invoking the past always raises the spectre of the present. In harking back to an idealised American age - a powerful, if problematic concept - Rose is attempting some reconnection with a simpler time in the history of his nation, before it got itself into this dreadful 21st-century mess. Can innocence and optimism be regained, or is it too late? The spirits are still in the house. -Jon Savage

Dr Ragtime & Pals
1-1 Miss May's Place 3:59
     Guitar, Guitar [12-string] – Glenn Jones
     Recorded By, Mixed By – Jim Ayre
     Written-By – Rose
1-2 Revolt 2:38
     Recorded By, Mixed By, Banjo – Mike Gangloff
     Washboard – Sean Bowles
     Written-By – Rose
1-3 Song For The Owl 2:12
     Recorded By, Mixed By – Jim Ayre
     Written-By – Rose
1-4 Bells 2:53
     Guitar – Micah Smaldone
     Recorded By, Mixed By – Jim Ayre
     Written-By – Rose
1-5 Knoxville Blues 4:46
     Recorded By, Mixed By, Banjo – Mike Gangloff
     Washboard – Sean Bowles
     Written-By – Sam McGhee
1-6 Fishtown Flower 3:17
     Recorded By, Mixed By – Jim Ayre
     Written-By – Rose
1-7 Dusty Grass 4:08
     Recorded By, Mixed By – Jim Ayre
     Written-By – Rose
1-8 Soft Steel Piston 2:15
     Guitar – Micah Smaldone
     Recorded By, Mixed By – Jim Ayre
     Written-By – Sylvester Weaver
1-9 Linden Ave Stomp 3:22
     Recorded By, Mixed By – Jim Ayre
     Written-By – Rose
     Written-By, Guitar, Guitar [12-string] – Jones
1-10 Blessed Be The Name Of The Lord 3:30
      Recorded By, Mixed By, Banjo – Mike Gangloff
      Washboard – Sean Bowles
      Written-By – Traditional
1-11 Walkin' Blues 2:53
      Harmonica – Harmonica Dan
      Recorded By, Mixed By – Jim Ayre
      Written-By – Traditional
1-12 Buckdancer's Choice 3:04
      Recorded By, Mixed By, Banjo – Mike Gangloff
      Washboard – Sean Bowles
      Written-By – Sam McGhee

Self Titled
2-1 Levee 3:10
     Mastered By – James Plotkin
     Recorded By – Mike Chaffin
     Written-By – Rose
2-2 Revolt 3:00
     Mastered By – James Plotkin
     Recorded By – Mike Chaffin
     Written-By – Rose
2-3 St. Louis Blues 4:21
     Mastered By – James Plotkin
     Recorded By – Mike Chaffin
     Written-By – Traditional
2-4 Miss Mary's Place 2:50
     Mastered By – James Plotkin
     Recorded By – Mike Chaffin
     Written-By – Rose
2-5 Gage Blues 3:55
     Mastered By – James Plotkin
     Recorded By – Mike Gibbons
     Written-By – Rose
2-6 Spirits In The House 12:58
     Mastered By – James Plotkin
     Written-By – Rose
2-7 Dark Was The Night 3:54
     Mastered By – James Plotkin
     Written-By – Traditional

Notes
CD2 of this set, 'Self-Titled', is a reissue of Jack Rose's 2006 'Untitled' album on aRCHIVE (archive28).

Dr. Ragtime And His Pals:
Recorded February - July 2007
Tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 recorded Philadelphia, PA
Tracks 2, 5, 10, 12 recorded Ironto, VA

Self-Titled:
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 recorded September 18 2006, Tunckannock, PA
Track 5 recorded September 26 2006 at Lemur House, Philadelphia, PA
Tracks 6, 7 recorded circa 2005 at Big Jar Books, Philadelphia, PA

Housed in a custom designed and fabricated off-set printed card cover with j-card style obi. Limited edition of 1000.

Seeking inspiration from John Fahey's Takoma Records, Rose attempts to drag ragtime into the 21st century.

By the time of his fourth full-length, KENSINGTON BLUES, Jack Rose’s mastery of the acoustic fretboard needed very little introduction. Across the album's eight tracks, this one time John Fahey acolyte even challenges his teacher by pushing the limits of what one set of human fingers can accomplish. Rose creates dense layers of arpeggio, melody, and drone with an arsenal that includes a 12-string guitar and his famous Weissenborn lap guitar. Essential. -AllMusic Review by Pat Sullivan

The (apocryphal) outline of Jack Rose's game runs something like this: Ragtime and "jass" were bequeathed to him by the last words of Dr. Chattanooga Red, a mysterious mentor who allegedly told Rose to "not let the ragtime die, and to bring it into the 21st century"-- twin missions that produced Rose's 2003 homage to his teacher, Opium Musick. True or not (not), it's a nice story, and the myth does seem operative-- Rose often plays as if the health of ragtime rests on his shoulders alone.

Maybe it does. John Fahey and Takoma Records are gone, and Rose's modern compatriots (Ben Chasney, Kevin Barker, Sir Richard Bishop, etc.) are increasingly seduced by the East, by psychedelics, and by a "freak-folk" that owes less to American Primitive than it might claim. Although Rose is no stranger to the raga form-- or to the near 20-minute composition (2004's Raag Manifestoes had both of these in spades)-- his tools are firmly those of the past. While the new century's novel folk has already seen significant definition, Rose is largely alone in talking new century ideas with the old language.

Thus, Kensington Blues is derivative and at the same time nearly brilliant. The styles Rose employs are diverse: twelve-string virtuoso shows, a slide guitar that alludes as much to the sitar as to the blues, solid traditional Takoma ragtime and folk. Out from latter comes a Fahey cover, "Sunflower River Blues", which (not surprisingly) works as the soil from which the rest of the record grows. The original was predicated on Fahey's impeccable timing; Rose's take amplifies the feeling and melody, and then runs with it. Hence the stunning "Kensington Blues", a song full of clarity and syncopation, elegant and well composed. Two others, "Rappahanock River Rag" and "Flirtin' with the Undertaker", are less weighty, more jaunty deliveries of Rose's signature modern ragtime.

But Rose is more than a traditionalist, and the other tracks on Kensington Blues veer sharply into newer territory. "Cathedral et Chartres" uses twelve strings to abstract the melodic clarity so abundant elsewhere on the record, speeding it up and then sending it into a droning, buzzing finale. This idea is fully worked out in his closer, "Calais to Dover", in which Rose transfigures the raga into a kind of Dream Music, deep listening project, vibrating his way past individual notes and sequences and arriving at something more akin to pure tone and texture. The minimalist affinity is no coincidence: Rose's folk is not the least bit free, even as he explores freak sonic terrain, and control is his technique, no matter how many notes he stacks. -Zach Baron

1. Kensington Blues 3:35
2. Cross The North Fork 7:26
3. Cathedral Et Chartres 5:10
4. Rappahanock River Rag (For William Moore) 2:46
5. Sunflower River Blues 3:22
     Written-By – John Fahey
6. Now That I´m A Man Full Grown II 9:54
7. Flirtin´ With The Undertaker 2:25
8. Calais To Dover 10:19

Luck in the Valley is the 10th album from Jack Rose. The album continues the exploration of pre-war American music with a set of brand new material featuring The Black Twig Pickers, Glenn Jones, Harmonica Dan and Hans Chew along with a handful of solo pieces. This recording set out to capture the energy and feel of the classic three-track shack recordings by the Wray Brothers & Mordicai Jones. Luck in the Valley was written and recorded over a period of 9 months and finds Rose employing new themes and techniques.

Luck in the Valley is the third part of guitarist Jack Rose's self-deprecatingly and humorously referenced “Ditch Trilogy,” which began with Dr. Ragtime & Pals in 2008 and continued with Jack Rose & the Black Twig Pickers in 2009. It was finished shortly before his untimely death in December of 2009. Like the previous two recordings, this set explores prewar American music, from blues and folk styles to rags and early bluegrass. Rose uses the Pickers -- Glenn Jones, Harmonica Dan, and Hans Chew -- on most of this set, and performs solo as well. Rose was in an unusually creative period (even for him) recording this, learning and introducing new techniques into his playing, and it’s all readily apparent here. The title refers to code used for procurement in the red-light district in old St. Louis; it’s a humorous reference he grabbed from a record’s liner notes. The opening track, “Blues for Percy Danforth,” is named for the famous hardwood bones player. It begins in classical Indian raga style, with an unusual tuning and plenty of drone notes before Rose kicks it into gear a bit with his newer fingerpicking style that is fluid and spacious, but also direct, finding its way toward the middle strings as the point of a return path. He’s accompanied skeletally by a jaw harp and harmonica. The title track is a meld of rag, droning blues, and a breakdown. “Lick Mountain Ramble” is full-on Eastern-sounding bluegrass with fiddles, mouth harp, and percussion replacing banjos and mandolins. Rose rides through modes flipping the rhythms with his strumming and quick fingerpicking runs. There are three covers on the set as well: a languid, late-night barrelhouse version of W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues”; a sprightly reading of Blind Blake's rag “West Coast Blues,” with beautiful interaction between guitar and banjo; and the moving, jumping country gospel blues “Everybody Ought to Pray Sometimes” by Dennis Crumpton and Robert Summers. This set was a fine step forward for Rose, but after the record ends, the listener is left with the painful awareness of what his loss means to music fans in general and folk music fans in particular. -AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

1. Blues For Percy Danforth 7:36
      Harmonica – Issak Howell
      Jew's Harp [Jaw Harp] – Mike Gangloff
      Tambura [Tampura] – Nathan Bowles
      Written-By – Jack Rose
2. Lick Mountain Ramble 2:27
      Fiddle – Mike Gangloff
      Guitar – Issak Howell
      Written-By – Jack Rose
3. Woodpiles On The Side Of The Road 3:10
      Written-By – Jack Rose
4. When Tailgate Drops, The Bullshit Stops 2:28
      Harmonica – Harmonica Dan
      Piano [Tack Piano] – Hans Chew
      Written-By – Jack Rose
5. Moon In The Gutter 3:04
      Banjo – Glenn Jones
      Written-By – Jack Rose
6. Luck In The Valley 2:20
     Guitar – Issak Howell
     Jew's Harp [Jaw Harp] – Mike Gangloff
     Written-By – Jack Rose
7. Saint Louis Blues 4:31
      Harmonica – Harmonica Dan
      Piano [Tack Piano] – Hans Chew
      Written-By – W.C. Handy
8. Tree In The Valley 6:08
      Written-By – Jack Rose
9. Everybody Ought To Pray Sometime 2:24
      Banjo – Mike Gangloff
      Harmonica – Issak Howell
      Written-By – Crumpton, Summers
10. West Coast Blues 2:32
         Banjo – Issak Howell
         Jew's Harp [Jaw Harp] – Mike Gangloff
        Written-By – Blind Blake

Archive