September 29, 2015

Program September 30, 2015

Ceu (pictured above) is a Brazilian singer-songwriter whose first three albums have earned her four Grammy nominations and a slew of fans, both at home and around the world.

Her new live album is the rock 'n' roll record I've been waiting for her to make.  You'll hear a cut from it, and music from some of her Brazilian peers, this week on Global A Go-Go.

Also this week: crazy rhythms of West Africa; dancehall and ska, including a great new track from Macka B; and Grupo Fantasma's new single plus more Latin rock.

September 28, 2015

Ceu | Live

LABEL: Six Degrees
After three well-received studio albums, here’s a live set from this popular young Brazilian singer-songwriter. Those three albums earned Ceu four Grammy nominations, but they didn’t quite do it for me – a little too mannered and precious for my taste. This one is just the opposite.

October 2015 Concert Calendar

October's Global A Go-Go picks:
  1. The big one in October is always the Richmond Folk Festival, free to all Friday October 9 through Sunday October 11 on Richmond's historic downtown waterfront; world music artists to watch this year include Georgian chorus Zedashe (pictured above), Afro-Colombian ensemble Grupo Rebolu and DC-based Ethio-jazz combo Feedel Band
  2. There's a big Folk Festival after-party at Capital Ale House on Sunday October 11 featuring Bio Ritmo, the aforementioned Zedashe, Capoeira Resistencia and possibly some special guests
  3. The amazing Czech singer-violinist Iva Bittova plays DC's Atlas Performing Arts Center on Thursday October 22
  4. A cool world music double-bill at the Camel on Monday October 26, with Richmond's one-of-a-kind Indo-Appalachian string band Rumput and Fado Nosso, RVA's homegrown fado combo
Have an event you'd like me to include, or a suggestion for the concert calendar?  Just drop me a line at globalagogoradio [at] gmail [dot] com, or leave me a message right here.

Click "Read more" to see the entire October calendar.

Charts September 27, 2015

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 TERAKAFT | Alone (Ténére) | Out|Here
2 LURA | Heranca | Lusafrica
4 RIM KWAKU OBENG | Rim Arrives / International Funk | BBE
5 SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA | Resistance | Strut
6 ZEDASHE | Our Earth And Water | Living Roots
8 QUARTER STREET | Quarter Street | HopeStreet
9 DABY TOURE | Amonafi | Cumbancha
10 EZZA | "Alkher" [Single] | Ma Case

September 22, 2015

Program September 23, 2015

Richmond has a lot of visitors this week, and maybe a few of them will be tuning in to WRIR and checking out Global A Go-Go.  So I've been thinking about what I'd want to tell them about my home town.

We've got a pretty great music scene here for all sorts of sounds: punk and metal, bluegrass and old-time, indie rock and indie hip-hop, jazz and classical, roots rock and singer-songwriters.  If you live here and you don't know have at least one friend who's a musician, you're probably just lame.  Or lying.

Of course, my thing is world music, and we've got some amazing, imaginative, skilled and experienced world music acts here in Richmond.  (None more experienced than Hotel X, pictured above in their original 1992 incarnation.)  I'll feature four of them on this week's program.

Also this week: some songs from behind the former Iron Curtain, that rockin' Central African guitar sound, and what's new in desert blues.

September 21, 2015

Charts September 20, 2015

Photo by Philippe Lafreniere
WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA | Resistance | Strut
2 VARIOUS ARTISTS | The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Cumbia | World Music Network
3 BOMBA ESTEREO | Amanecer | Sony Music Latin
4 QWANQWA | Volume Two | FPE
5 VARIOUS ARTISTS | Big Box Of Afrosound | Vampisoul
6 DENGUE FEVER | The Deepest Lake | Tuk Tuk
8 HECTOR GUERRA | Gracias Por Existir | Pachamama Dreams
9 HAILU MERGIA | "Hailu" / "Yegle Nesh" [Single] | Philophon
10 AMARA TOURE | 1973-1980 | Analog Africa

September 15, 2015

Program September 16, 2015

Photo by Jean-Claude Batista
Well, it was a great music weekend for yours truly last weekend. I got to see legendary singer Mahmoud Ahmed play to an adoring nearly-all-Ethiopian audience, plus one of my favorite contemporary bands, Cambodian-American rockers Dengue Fever, on the next night.

And somewhere in between I heard two of the best albums I've come across so far in 2015: Resistance by Ottawa, Canada's Souljazz Orchestra (pictured above) and Volume Two by Qwanqwa, a remarkable Ethiopian-American quartet.

You'll hear The Souljazz Orchestra play Afrobeat and Caribbean cadence on this week's show, and Qwanqwa will anchor an Ethiopian set that'll also feature Mahmoud Ahmed, naturally.  And I'll work in some chicha and cumbia as well, just for good measure.

Qwanqwa | Volume 2

ARTIST: Qwanqwa
TITLE: Volume 2
“Ethio-jazz” usually refers to the music of Mulatu Astatke, Getetachew Mekurya and the other innovators of 1970’s Ethiopia who combined their country’s pentatonic scales with Western instruments, harmonies and improvisational strategies. The Addis Ababa-based quartet Qwanqwa (Amharic for “language”), on their second album, provide a new angle on Ethio-jazz.

The Souljazz Orchestra | Resistance

ARTIST: The Souljazz Orchestra
TITLE: Resistance
LABEL: Strut
If there’s one band in the world that best captures the Global A Go-Go esthetic, it might be The Souljazz Orchestra. The sextet from Ottawa, Canada has its roots in Afrobeat, incorporates an ever-increasing assortment of global influences, improvises like a jazz band, wears its left-wing politics on its sleeve, and never fails to make you wanna dance.

September 14, 2015

Charts September 13, 2015

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 LURA | Heranca | Lusafrica
2 ORQUESTA EL MACABEO | "Eutanasia" / "En La Luna" | Vampisoul
3 SK KAKRABA | Songs Of Paapieye | Awesome Tapes From Africa
4 QUARTER STREET | Quarter Street | HopeStreet
5 TROMBORANGA | Golpe Con Melodia | self-released
6 AMADOU BALAKE | In Conclusion | Sterns
8 WESTERN STANDARD TIME | A Big Band Tribute To The Skatalites, Vol. 2 | self-released
9 LES AMBASSADEURS | Rebirth | World Village
10 BASSEKOU KOUYATE AND NGONI BA | Ba Power | Glitterbeat

September 8, 2015

Program September 9, 2015

Cabo Verde is a nation of 500,000 people (with a disapora of equal size) where it seems like every fifth person is a musician.  You'll hear three of those musicians, all women, on this week's program.  That includes Lura (pictured above), whose wonderful new album will be released on October 16.

Also this week: the sound of the balafon; ska, rocksteady and Afro-reggae; and the new wave of indie-salsa.

September 7, 2015

Lura | Heranca

TITLE: Heranca
LABEL: Lusafrica
Cabo Verde is an island nation off the coast of Senegal with a population of about half a million that has long punched way above its weight in the music world.

Orquesta El Macabeo | "Eutanasia" b/w "En La Luna"

ARTIST: Orquesta El Macabeo
TITLE: “Eutanasia” / “En La Luna”
LABEL: Vampisoul
Orquesta El Macabeo is a young 12-piece Puerto Rican salsa ensemble. They’re a key piece of the modern indie-salsa movement – Richmond’s Bio Ritmo is right there with them.

Charts September 6, 2015

These charts cover the two-week period August 24-September 6

WRIR's CMJ New World Top Ten
1 VARIOUS ARTISTS | The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Cumbia | World Music Network
2 BIG MEAN SOUND MACHINE / SUPER HI-FI | "Wolfpack" / "Q Street" [Single] | Peace & Rhythm
3 TERAKAFT | Alone | Out|Here
4 PAT THOMAS AND THE KWASHIBU AREA BAND | Pat Thomas And Kwashibu Area Band | Strut
5 SK KAKRABA | Songs Of Paapieye | Awesome Tapes From Africa
6 WESTERN STANDARD TIME | A Big Band Tribute To The Skatalites, Vol. 2 | self-released
7 BOMBA ESTEREO | Amanecer | Sony Music Latin
8 VARIOUS ARTISTS | Big Box Of Afrosound | Vampisoul
9 CHICO TRUJILLO | Reina De Todas Las Fiestas | Barbes
10 OLA FRESCA | Elixir | PiPiKi

September 1, 2015

Program September 2, 2015

Orquesta El Macabeo (pictured above) is a 12-piece salsa band from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.  Their members' backgrounds are in punk, metal, ska, reggae and hip hop -- pretty much everything but salsa.  That back-story may remind you of Richmond's Bio Ritmo.

On Wednesday night, Bio Ritmo and Orquesta El Macabeo will share the stage at the Broadberry, along with Miramar and the Peace & Rhythm DJ Crew.  But before that happens, Orquesta El Macabeo will play a live set on Global A Go-Go, direct from WRIR's new Studio C, the Community's Studio.

And I'll also interview DJ Bongohead and DJ Andujar from Peace & Rhythm, a new record label specializing in funk, world and jazz 45s.  They'll soon be releasing a new Bio Ritmo single, and we're planning to give it a world premiere on this week's program.

September 2015 Concert Calendar

September's Global A Go-Go picks:
  1. Bio Ritmo and Miramar play Richmond's Broadberry on Wednesday September 2 along with Orquesta El Macabeo, one of Puerto Rico's hottest salsa combos, and the Peace & Rhythm DJ Crew
  2. Two ways to celebrate the Ethiopian New Year: on Thursday September 10 here in Richmond with the Afro-Zen Allstars at Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream, or in DC on Friday September 11 with the legendary singer Mahmoud Ahmed at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium
  3. The outstanding Cambodian-American band Dengue Fever (pictured above) makes a rare East Coast appearance at the Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington on Saturday September 12
  4. Tuareg desert blues rockers Terakaft, touring behind their brand-new album, play DC's intimate Bossa Bistro on Tuesday September 15, along with Cheick Hamala's Griot Street
Have an event you'd like me to include, or a suggestion for the concert calendar?  Just drop me a line at globalagogoradio [at] gmail [dot] com, or leave me a message right here.

Click "Read more" to see the entire September calendar.