April 27, 2016

Gabriella Ghirmandi | Ethiopia: Celebrating Emperor Tewodros II

ARTIST: Gabriella Ghirmandi
TITLE: Ethiopia: Celebrating Emperor Tewodros II
Gabriella Ghirmandi is an Italian-Ethiopian singer who’s probably better known as a fiction writer and a performer of oral narratives which frequently incorporate music. This is her first album, and it’s just stunning.

Tanbou Toujou Lou: Meringue, Kompa Kreyol, Vodou Jazz & Electric Folklore From Haiti 1960-1981

ARTIST: various artists
TITLE: Tanbou Toujou Lou: Meringue, Kompa Kreyol, Vodou Jazz & Electric Folklore From Haiti 1960-1981
LABEL: Ostinato
There’s an upswing of interest in vintage Haitian music these days, with crate-diggers unearthing material that rivals West Africa’s best, and old and new bands like RAM and Lakou Mizik introducing themselves to a world music audience.

April 26, 2016

Program April 27, 2016

After two weeks of live bands (thank you, Rumput & Friends and Lobo Marino) and fundraising (thanks as well to everyone who donated in WRIR's Spring 2016 fund drive), we're back to our usual format this week on Global A Go-Go.

I'm featuring a fabulous new compilation of Haitian music from the 60s, 70s and 80s called Tanbou Toujou Lou (that's a photo from the album's booket above) that will be released in June, in a set of music from Haiti and elsewhere in the Caribbean.

Also this week: a tribute to a great soulman who died unexpectedly this week (no, not the one you're thinking of), contemporary music from the Ethiopian diaspora, and the swank sounds of Brazilian samba-soul.

April 25, 2016

Charts April 24, 2016

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 YENI NOSTALJI | "Hem Bal Hem Aci" | demo
2 FELA RANSOME KUTI AND HIS KOOLA LOBITOS | Highlife-Jazz And Afro-Soul (1963-1969) | Knitting Factory
3 BAMBA WASSOULOU GROOVE | Farima | Label Bleu
4 FANFARE CIOCARLIA | Onwards To Mars! | Asphalt Tango
5 AZIZA BRAHIM | Abbar El Hamada | Glitterbeat
6 KARIKATURA | Speak Now | Ropeadope
7 ALMA AFROBEAT ENSEMBLE | It's Time | Slow Walk Music
8 SYSTEMA SOLAR | Systema Solar | Nacional
9 LOS TERRIFICOS | Go South: Vaya Pa'l Sur | Peace And Rhythm
10 LAKOU MIZIK | Wa Di Yo | Cumbancha Discovery

April 20, 2016

Program April 20, 2016

Richmond Independent Radio's Spring 2016 Fund Drive is underway; it continues through Tuesday April 26.  Our objective is to raise $35,000 in this spring's drive, which will keep WRIR doing everything it does for Richmond and our listener base, 24/7 for the next six months.

We'd appreciate your support in keeping community radio strong in Richmond -- WRIR is celebrating its eleventh anniversary this year, and you all know about eleven:


​You can make a donation in one of three ways:
  1. By visiting our secure online donation site at http://bitly.com/Donate2Wrir
  2. By calling 804-622-9747
  3. Or by visiting us in person at 1621-B W. Broad Street (2nd floor)
As always, I have something special lined up for my listeners during the fund drive.  I'll be joined in WRIR's Studio C on Wednesday between 3 and 5 PM by Lobo Marino, the remarkable Richmond-based duo of Laney Sullivan and Jameson Price whose elegantly eerie chant-like voices soar over drone-vibing world-fused folk music built primarily on harmonium, bass drum and various other unique instruments.  Their music is unique, impossible to describe, and it makes you feel good all over.  If you haven't heard them yet, you're in for a treat.

And I have two special incentives to motivate you to donate.  In honor of 4/20, there will be a $420 challenge during Global A Go-Go -- the first $420 that's contributed during my program, starting on Wednesday at 3 PM, will be matched by a generous (and humorous) anonymous donor.

If that challenge is met, all contributors during my show at the $50 member level (or $10 per month level) or higher will be entered into a drawing for a free house concert by Lobo Marino.  That's right, Jameson and Laney will come to your home, anywhere in the state of Virginia, and play a private show for you and your friends.  Or how about for your yoga class?

Don't forget to tune in, on the airwaves at 97.3 FM or online at http://wrir.org/listen.  Thank you for your support in the past, and thank you for considering making a donation during WRIR's Spring 2016 Fund Drive!

Follow me below the fold, if you'd like, for a little more inspiration ...

April 18, 2016

Charts April 17, 2016

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 FELA RANSOME KUTI AND HIS KOOLA LOBITOS | Highlife-Jazz And Afro-Soul (1963-1969) |  Knitting Factory
2 SYSTEMA SOLAR | Systema Solar | Nacional
3 GEPE | Estilo Libre | Quemasucabeza
4 SIDESTEPPER | Supernatural Love | Real World
5 VARIOUS ARTISTS | The Rough Guide To South African Jazz (Second Edition) | World Music Network
6 AZIZA BRAHIM | Abbar El Hamada | Glitterbeat
7 MARTA REN AND THE GROOVELVETS | Stop Look Listen! | Record Kicks
8 BAMBA WASSOULOU GROOVE | Farima | Label Bleu
9 BOMBINO | Azel | Partisan
10 FANFARE CIOCARLIA | Onwards To Mars! | Asphalt Tango

April 15, 2016

Debo Band | Ere Gobez

ARTIST: Debo Band
TITLE: Ere Gobez
The ten year old Boston-based Debo Band is back with their third recording of Ethiopian-influenced music, and they’re rocking harder than ever.

Karikatura | Speak Now

ARTIST: Karikatura
TITLE: Speak Now
LABEL: Ropeadope
Karikatura is a band that sounds like an amalgam of the music you’d hear if you spent a day walking around New York City neighborhoods: it’s Afrobeat, cumbia, klezmer, hip hop and more rolled up into one young, energetic, politically engaged quintet.

Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos | Highlife-Jazz & Afro-Soul (1963-69)

ARTIST: Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos
TITLE: Highlife-Jazz & Afro-Soul (1963-69)
LABEL: Knitting Factory
Before he was radicalized, converted to the church of James Brown and ended up inventing Afrobeat, Fela Kuti played jazz and highlife.

April 12, 2016

Program April 13, 2016

Photograph by Ash Daniel
Rumput (pictured above) & Friends will be my guests on Global A Go-Go this week -- they'll be performing live in WRIR's Studio C starting at about 4:00 PM on our live broadcast.

Orkes Kroncong Rumput is Richmond's first, only, and therefore best Indo-Appalachian string band.  They play a style of music called kroncong, the result of local traditions and aesthetics rubbing up against the activities of the countries that have exercised political and economic sway over Indonesia since the 16th century: Portugal, the Netherlands, China and Japan.  And as Virginians, they can't avoid being influenced by string band traditions that are all around us in the Appalachian and Piedmont regions.

April 11, 2016

Charts April 10, 2016

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 SYSTEMA SOLAR | Systema Solar | Nacional
2 BAMBA WASSOULOU GROOVE | Farima | Label Bleu
3 FANFARE CIOCARLIA | Onwards To Mars! | Asphalt Tango
4 ADNAN OTHMAN | Bershukor: A Retrospective Of Hits By A Malaysian Pop Yeh Yeh Legend | Sublime Frequencies
5 LOS TERRIFICOS | Go South: Vaya Pa'l Sur | Peace And Rhythm
7 LA MAMBANEGRA | La Galeria | self-released
8 KARIKATURA | Speak Now | Ropeadope
9 DEBO BAND | Ere Gobez | FPE
10 SIDESTEPPER | Supernatural Love | Real World

April 6, 2016

Alma Afrobeat Ensemble | It's Time

ARTIST: Alma Afrobeat Ensemble
TITLE: It’s Time
LABEL: Slow Walk Music
Guitarist Aaron Feder started Alma Afrobeat Ensemble in Chicago in 2003; he moved to Barcelona in 2006 and put together a new band there.

Bamba Wassoulou Groove | Farima

ARTIST: Bamba Wassoulou Groove
TITLE: Farima
LABEL: Label Bleu
Super Djata Band was one of the great Malian combos of the 70s and 80s: their funky, hard-rocking sound, driven by brilliant lead guitarist Zani Diabate, gave first-world listeners accustomed to classic Mande artists like Salif Keita a totally different perspective on the country’s music.

Systema Solar | Systema Solar

ARTIST: Systema Solar
TITLE: Systema Solar
LABEL: Nacional
For the last ten years, Systema Solar has been one of the most exciting cultural projects in Colombia. More than a band, they’re a musical-visual collective working in 21st century modes (live electronics, rap, scratching, video projection), inspired by a broad range of Colombian musical traditions.

April 5, 2016

Program April 6, 2016

Legendary Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekurya died on Monday at age 81.  Mekurya turned the war-like shellela vocal style into instrumental music, attacking his horn like an Amharic Albert Ayler.  He played in many of the great bands of Ethiopia's golden age (Police Orchestra, Haile Selassie I Theatre Orchestra) with the best of the era's singers (Tlahoun Gessesse, Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Eshete).

In his retirement, he took up recording and touring with Dutch punk band The Ex (pictured above), which brought his music to a new audience and a new level -- their collaboration is truly one for the ages.  I'll play a couple of Mekurya's best on this week's program.

Also this week: rock 'n' roll from the bush, Wassoulou style; my in-studio guests on the next two weeks' programs: Rumput and Lobo Marino; and the latest Latin dance remixes.

One other thing: I'll be giving away tickets to see Marc Ribot play live on Friday night with the film "Shadows Choose Their Horrors," part of the James River Film Festival.  Tune in and win!