December 11, 2018

Program December 12, 2018

Wednesday December 12 is Jamhuri ("Republic" in Swahili) Day, one of three days on which the Republic of Kenya celebrates its independence; the others are Madaraka ("Self-Governance") Day on June 1 and Mashujaa ("Heroes") Day on October 20.  Three times the pleasure, three times the fun, I guess.

In honor of Jamhuri Day, Global A Go-Go celebrates with two hours of music from Kenya.  I'm not making any attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of Kenyan sounds -- I'll be playing the Kenyan music I dig the most.

And most of that fits into the broad category of what East Africans call musiki wa dansi -- no translation needed, I'm sure.  There are a bunch of different genres: benga, Swahili rumba, kamba.  They're all guitar-driven, closely related to Congolese soukous and, in my opinion, thoroughly addictive.  I'll dip into a few other styles as well: some folky/worldy stuff, soul, funk and even hip hop if time permits.

December 10, 2018

Charts December 9, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
2 SALIF KEITA | Un Autre Blanc | Naive
3 LUIZ MELODIA | Maravilhas Contemporaneas | Vinilisssimo
4 NOVA MATERIA | It Comes | Crammed
5 MINYESHU | Daa Dee | ARC
6 LOKKHI TERRA MEETS DELE SOSIMI | Cubafrobeat | Funkiwala
7 CLARA LUCIANI | Sainte-Victoire | Universal France
8 TANYA TAGAQ AND DAMIAN ABRAHAM | "Run To The Hills" [Single] | Six Shooter
9 IDRISSA DIOP | L'Aventurier | Prince Arts
10 FLAVIEN BERGER | Contre-Temps | Pan European

December 2, 2018

Charts December 2, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 VAUDOU GAME | Otodi | Hot Casa
2 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
3 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
4 NEWPOLI | Mediterraneo | Beartones
5 MICHI SARMIENTO Y SU COMBO BRAVO | Salsa Con Monte | Vampisoul
6 PEREGOYO Y SU COMBO VACANA | Mi Buenaventura | Vampisoul
7 DOCTOR NATIVO | Guatemaya | Stonetree
8 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
9 BABYLON TRIO | Habibi | Rebel Up
10 JAH9 | "Heaven (Ready Fi Di Feeling)" [Single] | VP

November 26, 2018

Program November 28, 2018

Mauritania (flag pictured above) celebrates its 58th independence day on Wednesday.  This large (about the same size as Egypt), sparsely populated (4.3 million people, or less than half the count of Cairo), poor (140th in the world in cost-of-living-adjusted GDP per person) country lies 90 percent within the Sahara Desert.

Mauritania's music reflects its status as the crossroads of North and West Africa.  You'll hear a set of that music on this week's program, and you'll be able to clearly distinguish Arab, Berber and West African elements for yourself.  It's a rare opportunity to drill down into the musical culture of an under-recognized, extremely interesting country.

Also this week: the greatest band ever to come out of Mopti, the Venice of Mali; folk-rock from both sides of the Mediterranean; and Latin dance-floor fillers from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

November 25, 2018

Charts November 25, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 VAUDOU GAME | Otodi | Hot Casa
2 AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS | A Toda Cuba Le Gusta | World Circuit
3 JOHNNY CLARKE | Creation Rebel | 17 North Parade
4 STEP FORWARD YOUTH | various artists | Greensleeves
5 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
6 DANIEL KAHN AND THE PAINTED BIRD | The Butcher's Share | Oriente Musik
7 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
8 BLACK MASALA | Trains And Moonlight Destinies | self-released
9 LEMON BUCKET ORKESTRA | If I Had The Strength | Six Degrees
10 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks

November 20, 2018

Vaudou Game | Otodi

ARTIST: Vaudou Game
TITLE: Otodi
LABEL: Hot Casa
The third album by this Lyon, France-based combo led by Togolese singer-guitarist Peter Solo confirms that this is one of the funkiest bands on the planet right now.

Program November 21, 2018

This week it's Global A Go-Go's annual day before Thanksgiving show, i.e. the Sitting In Traffic edition of the program.  As always, I'll have great music for you while you cool your heels on I-95.

We'll start with some deep roots reggae inspired by a certain Senate candidate who'd like to be in the front row for a public hanging.  If you tune in at Willis Road, that should get you to probably about Maury Street.

Next up is a set of klezmer and Balkan fun featuring recent releases by Daniel Kahn, Black Masala and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra.  Now you're stuck in some rubbernecking ("gapers' block" if you're a Chicagoan) near the Boulevard.

The second hour starts with a visit to Cuba for some son montuno.  You'll wish you were in Cuba -- instead you're in bumper-to-bumper traffic between the Route 1 and Route 301 exits, either of which is a viable alternate route today.

And we'll wrap up this week's show with a set I'm calling "James Brown Ride On To West Africa," including a track from the hot new album by Vaudou Game (pictured above).  If my calculations are correct, that should get you to the fringe of WRIR's listening area at the I-295 exit.  Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy the drive back on Sunday!

November 18, 2018

Charts November 18, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BARRO | Somos | self-released
2 KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND | "Mr. Diva / Hungry Man, Angry Man" [Single] | Yamba
3 VAUDOU GAME | Otodi | Hot Casa
4 SARAZINO | Mama Funny Day | Cumbancha
5 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
6 MICHI SARMIENTO Y SU COMBO BRAVO | Salsa Con Monte | Vampisoul
7 BLACK MASALA | Trains And Moonlight Destinies | self-released
8 TWO NILES TO SING A MELODY: THE VIOLINS AND SYNTHS OF SUDAN | various artists | Ostinato
9 ORLANDO CACHAITO LOPEZ | Cachaito | World Circuit
10 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks

November 13, 2018

Barro | Somos

ARTIST: Barro
TITLE: Somos
LABEL: self-released
The city of Recife and Pernambuco state in Brazil’s northeast are home to one of that vast nation’s most unique music scenes.

November 12, 2018

Program November 14, 2018

Barro (pictured above) is a singer-songwriter from Pernambuco in Brazil's northeast, home to some of that vast country's most interesting pop musicians: Lenine, Nacao Zumbi, Mombojo, Otto and more.  Barro's second album, Somos, was released this fall; I think he's going to be Pernambuco's next great export.

Hear for yourself -- I'll play a track from Somos this week in a set of 21st century Musica Popular Brasileira (what Brazilians simply call MPB).  Also this week: more from Sudan's golden age; from J Dilla goes Cuban to South African house in five easy moves; and Afro-funk from hither and yon.

November 11, 2018

Charts November 11, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Sira Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
2 SUPERFONICOS | Suelta [EP] | Discos Fonicos
3 DEAD CAN DANCE | Dionysus | PIAS
4 DUR DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
5 PEREGOYO Y SU COMBO VACANA | Mi Buenaventura | Vampisoul
6 ALBA GRIOT ENSEMBLE | The Darkness Between The Leaves | Riverboat
7 BICICLETAS POR LA PAZ | Surfeando Un Cometa | self-released
8 JR THOMAS AND THE VOLCANOS | Rockstone | Colemine
9 HOLLIE COOK | "Sweet Like Chocolate" [Single] | Merge
10 CAZ GARDINER AND THE BADASONICS | Caz Gardiner & The Badasonics | Badasonic

October 30, 2018

Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band | Sira Ba Kele

ARTIST: Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band
TITLE: Sira Ba Kele
LABEL: Sublime Frequencies
The slinky, funky push-pull rhythms of West Africa’s Wassoulou region drive a host of distinctive musical genres: trance-like donso hunters’ music, the sound of Oumou Sangare and the other “Wassoulou songbirds,” Moussa Doumbia’s Afro-funk, Zani Diabate & Super Djata Band’s guitar jams, and Issa Bagayogo’s Afro-EDM.

Program October 31, 2018

Tam Lin watercolor illustration by Joanna Barnum: joannabarnum.com
First of all, I want to say thank you to the over 530 WRIR listeners who donated more than $45,000 during our Fall 2018 Fund Drive, making this the fifth consecutive drive where we've topped our $40,000 goal.  You're the folks who put the power in the Tower of Low Power!

It's not too late to get in on the Fall '18 Fund Drive action.  We still have a T-shirt, reusable straw and knit cap with your name on them -- just visit wrir.org and fill out the donation form.  If you donated and haven't picked up your swag yet, please email fundraising@wrir.org -- we'll set up a time for you to come by and get your premiums.

This week it's a special All Hallows Eve edition of Global A Go-Go, with special material for the day along with the standard fare.  I'll start with a famous Scottish ballad that's set on Halloween; you'll also hear from my favorite Dia De Los Muertos musical artist, Lila Downs; we'll go to the Caribbean for a whole set of songs about duppies and jumbies; and you'll hear one of the most chilling love songs ever recorded, courtesy of Ghana's Ebo Taylor.

October 28, 2018

Charts October 28, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ANDRE SAMPAIO | Alagbe | Sony Brasil
2 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
3 BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND | Siri Ba Kele | Sublime Frequencies
4 DANIEL KAHN AND THE PAINTED BIRD | The Butcher's Share | Oriente Musik
5 KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND | "Mr. Diva / Hungry Man, Angry Man" [Single] | Yamba
6 NEWPOLI | Mediterraneo | Beartones
7 AFRO CUBAN ALL STARS | A Toda Cuba Le Gusta | World Circuit
8 ALBA GRIOT ENSEMBLE | The Darkness Between The Leaves | Riverboat
9 BLACK MASALA | Trains And Moonlight Destinies | self-released
10 JOHNNY CLARKE | Creation Rebel | 17 North Parade

October 23, 2018

Program October 24, 2018

WRIR's Fall 2018 Fund Drive wraps up on Wednesday October 24 at 11 PM. Many of the folks reading this message have already donated during this drive or are monthly sustaining members -- thank you to each and every one of you who are powering 97.3 FM, Richmond's tower of low power. We can't do it without you!

As for the rest of you, maybe you've been waiting until the end of the drive to contribute. If that's the case, then this is your alarm clock ringing! We're very close to our $40,000 goal -- that means your donation right now can help get us there. For the last 14 years, WRIR has been doing its part to make Richmond a more innovative, inclusive and interesting community. Now we're asking you to do your share to keep people-powered radio at the heart of Richmond's resurgence.

October 15, 2018

Program October 17, 2018

WRIR's Fall 2018 Fund Drive is now underway -- we're working to raise $40,000 by Wednesday October 24 to power independent community radio in Richmond for another six months. Thank you for your previous donations to Richmond Independent Radio; I'm writing to encourage you to make a donation once again this fall.

You can make that donation in two minutes by clicking this link: http://wrir.org/donating. Or you can call or visit us between 9 AM and 9 PM during the drive, now through October 24. Our phone number is 804-622-9747; our address is 1621 W. Broad Street, 2nd floor.

October 14, 2018

Charts October 14, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 SUPERFONICOS | Suelta [EP] | Discos Fonicos
2 VISHTEN | Horizons | Productions Takashoun
3 PEREGOYO Y SU COMBO VACANA | Mi Buenaventura | Vampisoul
4 MICHI SARMIENTO Y SU COMBO BRAVO | Salsa Con Monte | Vampisoul
5 DOCTOR NATIVO | Guatemaya | Stonetree
6 DIALI CISSOKHO AND KAIRA BA | Routes | Twelve | Eight
7 GAYE SU AKYOL | Istikrarli Hayal Hakikattir | Glitterbeat
8 ANDRE SAMPAIO | Alagbe | Sony Brasil
9 RAM | 7: August 1791 | Willibelle Publishing & Sales
10 DOCTEUR NICO | Dieu De La Guitare | Planet Ilunga

October 9, 2018

Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird | The Butcher's Share

ARTIST: Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird
TITLE: The Butcher’s Share
LABEL: Oriente
Here’s the fifth album from Berlin’s Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird, released in Germany last year and getting an American push now with the band touring the USA in November.

Kaleta & Super Yamba Band | Mr.Diva b/w Hungry Man, Angry Man

ARTIST: Kaleta & Super Yamba Band
TITLE: “Mr. Diva” / “Hungry Man, Angry Man”
LABEL: Yamba
Sometimes it seems like every time I turn over a rock, hiding under it is another American or Brazilian or British or European band that plays Afrobeat and Afro-funk.

October 8, 2018

Program October 10, 2018

For years, you've heard me (and my WRIR colleagues DJ Daudi and DJ Graybeard) go on and on about champeta music: how it's the sound of Colombia's Caribbean coast, how it's built from the records that sailors brought from African to Colombia's seaports, how it's some of the world's most awesome dance music.

Now you get to see and hear champeta for yourself -- for free, to boot.  Tribu Baharu (pictured above) will be rocking the 14th annual Richmond Folk Festival this year, performing on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday evening on downtown Richmond's historic riverfront.  And you'll hear them recorded live in WRIR's Studio C on Daudi and Graybeard's The Motherland Influence radio show, Sunday October 21 during WRIR's Fall '18 Fund Drive.

This week, I'll give you a taste of Tribu Baharu to get you motivated to see them at the Folk Festival, and I'll feature three other artists that I'll certainly be catching at this year's festival: Sona Jobarteh from The Gambia, the world's foremost female kora player; the Puerto Rican salsa band Orquesta El Macabeo, who played live on Global A Go-Go three years ago; and the kings of Jamaican nyabinghi drumming, Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus.

October 7, 2018

Charts October 7, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND | "Mr. Diva / Hungry Man, Angry Man" [Single] | Yamba
2 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
3 DOCTOR NATIVO | Guatemaya | Stonetree
4 JOHNNY CLARKE | Creation Rebel |17 North Parade
5 ALPHEUS | Light Of Day | Liquidator
6 MYSTIC BOWIE | Mystic Bowie's Talking Dreads | MTMB Entertainment
7 EL DUSTY | Cumbia City | Aftercluv
8 MAKU SOUNDSYSTEM | 5 Fuegos [EP] | Peace & Rhythm
9 HOLLIE COOK | "Sweet Like Chocolate" [Single] | Merge
10 ANDRE SAMPAIO | Alagbe | Sony Brasil

October 1, 2018

Program October 3, 2018

Sorry to say, it's once again time to pay tribute to a Global A Go-Go inspiration who's shuffled off this mortal coil.  Two weeks ago it was Rachid Taha; this week it's trumpeter/conguero Jerry Gonzalez, who died in a house fire at his home in Madrid on October 1.

I came to world music from jazz, and Jerry Gonzalez is one of the players who led me there.  He grew up in New York City in the 1960s playing both jazz and Afro-Latin dance music.  When Jerry was 21, he was simultaneously playing the cuchifrito circuit and working with Dizzy Gillespie's combo.  He was looking for something more: he wanted both the freedom of jazz and the deep roots of his Puerto Rican folklore, all in the same music.

He found it in the bands he started and joined: Conjunto Anabacoa, Grupo Folklorico Y Experimental Nuevayorquina, Manny Oquendo's Libre, his own Fort Apache Band.  Just when you thought he had it all figured out, he moved to Spain in 2000 and somehow added flamenco to his unique cultural hybrid.

You'll hear a sampler of music from Jerry Gonzalez' career this week on Global A Go-Go.  Also this week: celebrating the birthday of Vincent "Randy" Chin, one of the unsung heroes of reggae; new Afro-funk from Kaleta & Super Yamba Band; and a set of electro-cumbia to send you home dancing.

September 30, 2018

Charts September 30, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 PEREGOYO Y SU COMBO VACANA | Mi Buenaventura | Vampisoul
2 BLACK MASALA | Trains And Moonlight Destinies | self-released
3 SARAZINO | Mama Funny Day | Cumbancha
4 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 And Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
5 NEWPOLI | Mediterraneo | Beartones
6 ALBA GRIOT ENSEMBLE | The Darkness Between The Leaves | Riverboat
7 LEMON BUCKET ORKESTRA | If I Had The Strength | Six Degrees
8 KALETA AND SUPER YAMBA BAND | "Mr. Diva / Hungry Man, Angry Man" [Single] | Yamba
9 RIO MIRA | Marimba Del Pacifico | AYA
10 DELGRES | Mo Jodi | PIAS

September 25, 2018

Sarazino | Mama Funny Day

ARTIST: Sarazino
TITLE: Mama Funny Day
LABEL: Cumbancha
Lamine Fellah is as cosmopolitan as they come: the son of an Algerian diplomat, he grew up in Spain, Switzerland, Burundi and Burkina Faso; he moved to Canada for college, and since 1996 he’s been based in Quito, Ecuador.

September 24, 2018

Program September 26, 2018

Newpoli (pictured above) is a band from Boston featuring three Italian immigrants (plus one from Sweden and one from Finland, just because) who play the swirling, energetic, hallucinatory traditional music of Apulia, the heel of Italy's boot.

They call their sound "Mediterranean Pulse"; you could also call it folk-rock, Mezzogiorno style. You'll hear a track from Newpoli's superb forthcoming album on this week's show, in a set you could call folk-rock, Global A Go-Go style.

Also this week: the music of Colombia's Pacific coast; crossing the Balkans, from Romania to Macedonia and from Toronto to DC; and a set of global dance pop to wrap things up. 25 countries are represented this week, making this one of Global A Go-Go's most global editions ever.

September 23, 2018

Charts September 23, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 SUPERFONICOS | Suelta [EP] | Discos Fonicos
2 DUR-DUR OF SOMALIA | Volume 1, Volume 2 And Previously Unreleased Tracks | Analog Africa
3 MICHI SARMIENTO Y SU COMBO BRAVO | Salsa Con Monte | Vampisoul
4 TWO NILES TO SING A MELODY: THE VIOLINS AND SYNTHS OF SUDAN | various artists | Ostinato
5 LA REDADA | "Abrete Sesamo / Africa Bom" [Single] | Vampisoul
6 PEREGOYO Y SU COMBO VACANA | Mi Buenaventura | Vampisoul
7 AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS | A Toda Cuba Le Gusta | World Circuit
8 RED BARAAT | Sound The People | Rhyme & Reason
9 NICOLA CONTE AND SPIRITUAL GALAXY | Let Your Light Shine On | MPS
10 SEKOU BAH | Soukkabe Mali | Clermont Music

September 19, 2018

Dur-Dur Of Somalia | Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks

ARTIST: Dur-Dur Of Somalia
TITLE: Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks
LABEL: Analog Africa
Five years ago, Awesome Tapes From Africa introduced the rest of the world to the Dur-Dur Band, a supremely danceable combo from 1980’s Somalia that brought together disco, funk and local rhythms from the Horn of Africa; four distinctive singers backed by a well-drilled seven-piece ensemble.

Newpoli | Mediterraneo

ARTIST: Newpoli
TITLE: Mediterraneo
LABEL: Beartones
Even though I’m of Southern Italian heritage, I’m a newcomer to the swirling, energetic, hallucinatory traditional music of Apulia, the heel of Italy’s boot and the birthplace of my father’s mother.

Peregoyo Y Su Combo Vacana | Mi Buenaventura

ARTIST: Peregoyo Y Su Combo Vacana
TITLE: Mi Buenaventura
LABEL: Vampisoul
When you think of Colombian music, what comes to mind? Maybe cumbia, champeta and the other Afro-Colombian styles of the Caribbean coast. Or maybe salsa, since Cali is now arguably the world capital of that pan-Latin genre.

Michi Sarmiento Y Su Combo Bravo | Salsa Con Monte

ARTIST: Michi Sarmiento Y Su Combo Bravo
TITLE: Salsa Con Monte
LABEL: Vampisoul
Vampisoul’s Discos Fuentes reissue series continues with this dancefloor filler. Michi Sarmiento is part of the Discos Fuentes family: his father Climaco was an in-house arranger there after playing in Lucho Bermudez’s legendary porro orchestra.

Superfonicos | Suelta

ARTIST: Superfonicos
TITLE: Suelta
LABEL: self-released
Here’s the debut EP from Superfonicos, a band organized by four players active in the Austin TX scene who are of Colombian heritage and wanted to start a combo that focused on Afro-Colombian rhythms like cumbia and merengue.

September 17, 2018

Program September 19, 2018

Rachid Taha (pictured above) passed away last week.  If there's a "most Global A Go-Go" musician of all time, it would have to be this son of Oran, Algeria who came with his parents to France at age 10.

He was a punk rocker and a dance-music DJ, he was inspired by political artists like The Clash and Linton Kwesi Johnson, and his music always spoke to the universal immigrant experience.  He was even the same age as me.  Losing Rachid Taha is a real kick in the stomach.

This week on Global A Go-Go, I'll curate a set-long tribute to Rachid Taha -- five crucial songs from across his career, some of my favorites and ones that highlight his significance as a cultural figure.  Also this week: some deeply spiritual jazz, funk from East Africa, and Latin music al y con monte.

September 16, 2018

Charts September 16, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 JUPITER AND OKWESS | Kin Sonic | Everloving
2 NICKODEMUS | A Long Engagement | Wonderwheel
3 TANNAHILL WEAVERS, THE | Orach | Compass
4 DIZZY MANDJEKU AND ALE KUMA | De Palenque A Matonge | Zephyrus
5 DOCTOR NATIVO | Guatemaya | Stonetree
6 DIALI CISSOKHO AND KAIRA BA | Routes | Twelve | Eight
7 BOMBINO | Deran | Partisan
8 LOS TEXMANIACS | Cruzando Borders | Smithsonian Folkways
9 MINYESHU | Daa Dee | ARC
10 DE'ANZA | Cosmic Dream | self-released

September 11, 2018

Program September 12, 2018

Ivan Duran (pictured above) is one of the most important producers in world music today.  He spearheaded the international recognition of Garifuna music, he's responsible for what Amazon.com's editors named the best world music album of all time (Watina by Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective), and he also helmed the first European platinum record ever by a Trinidadian artist (Calypso Rose's Far From Home).  And he does it all from his label and studio in his hometown of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Belize, population 8,000.

This week on Global A Go-Go, you'll hear a sampler of music produced by Ivan Duran and Stonetree Records, including the two albums mentioned above and his latest find, Guatemalan singer Doctor Nativo.  Also this week: norteno music from the Texas-Mexico border, more rockin' sounds out of Africa, and Nickodemus takes it to the house.

September 9, 2018

Charts September 9, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS | A Toda Cuba Le Gusta | World Circuit
2 DOCTOR NATIVO | Guatemaya | Stonetree
3 JUPITER AND OKWESS | Kin Sonic | Everloving
4 GRUPO CONTROLE DIGITAL | A Festa É Nossa | Soundway / Phoenix Spink
5 ALBA GRIOT ENSEMBLE | The Darkness Between The Leaves | Riverboat
6 BLACK MASALA | Trains And Moonlight Destinies | self-released
7 TWO NILES TO SING A MELODY: THE VIOLINS AND SYNTHS OF SUDAN | various artists | Ostinato
8 LEMON BUCKET ORKESTRA | If I Had The Strength | Six Degrees
9 ORLANDO 'CACHAITO' LOPEZ | Cachaito | World Circuit
10 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | Orquesta Akokan | Daptone

September 4, 2018

Afro-Cuban All Stars | A Toda Cuba Le Gusta

ARTIST: Afro-Cuban All Stars
TITLE: A Toda Cuba Le Gusta
LABEL: World Circuit
World Circuit continues its reissues of the famous 1996 Buena Vista Social Club (BVSC) sessions with this title.

Black Masala | Trains And Moonlight Destinies

ARTIST: Black Masala
TITLE: Trains And Moonlight Destinies
LABEL: self-released
Here’s the third studio album from Washington DC’s Black Masala, hands down one of the most exciting live bands anywhere.

September 3, 2018

Program September 5, 2018

Ellie Mannette (pictured above), the father of the modern steel drum, died last week at age 90.  More than anyone else in the world, Mannette made the steel pan, the national instrument of his native Trinidad & Tobago, into a serious musical instrument.

He was the first to fabricate a drum out of Trinidad's ubiquitous 55-gallon oil barrels, he was the first to make the drum surface concave, and he built the first pan with all the notes in the chromatic scale so it could play any melody in any key.

Mannette spent most of his career in the USA: he helped develop the US Navy Steel Band in the 1960s, he began teaching steel pan tuning at West Virginia University in 1991, and his foundry in Morgantown produces most of America's steel drums.  

In honor of Ellie Mannette, this week on Global A Go-Go you'll hear a few of my steel pan favorite, and some calypsonians singing in praise of the pan.  Also this week: Turkish pop, folk and rock; Cuba from tumbao to timba; and some Balkan beats to get you moving.

Charts September 2, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 JOHNNY CLARKE | Creation Rebel | VP
2 ALBA GRIOT ENSEMBLE | The Darkness Between The Leaves | Riverboat
3 DOCTOR NATIVO | Guatemaya | Stonetree
4 TWO NILES TO SING A MELODY: THE VIOLINS AND SYNTHS OF SUDAN | various artists | Ostinato
5 ALPHEUS | Light Of Day | Liquidator
6 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
7 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | Orquesta Akokan | Daptone
8 DACTAH CHANDO | "Africa Is My Roots" [Single] | Boomrush Productions
9 MALOU BEAUVOIR | "Rasenbleman" [Single] | self-released
10 JAH9 | "Field Trip" [Single] | VP

August 27, 2018

Program August 29, 2018

Have you (like me) been waiting eleven years for a new studio album from Manu Chao?  I've got just the thing to tide you over: the superb debut recording by Guatemala's Doctor Nativo (pictured above).  And I'll play some other musica mestiza stalwarts, including Chao his own self.

Also this week: when British folk meets West Africa, more of the mindboggling music of Sudan's golden age, and a set of roots reggae featuring two tracks from 17 North Parade's excellent new Johnny Clarke compilation.

August 26, 2018

Alba Griot Ensemble | The Darkness Between The Leaves

ARTIST: Alba Griot Ensemble
TITLE: The Darkness Between The Leaves
LABEL: Riverboat
Mark Mulholland is a Scottish singer-songwriter-guitarist who keeps his passport handy: he’s lived and worked in most of Western Europe, Haiti and now Bamako, Mali, where he connected with ngoni player Yacouba Sissoko of the Afrocubism project.

Johnny Clarke | Creation Rebel

ARTIST: Johnny Clarke
TITLE: Creation Rebel
LABEL: 17 North Parade
VP Records, the group of labels started by Vincent “Randy” Chin, owns the deepest catalog in Jamaican music. From this wellspring comes a selection of 30 collaborations between singer Johnny Clarke and producer Bunny “Striker” Lee.

Doctor Nativo | Guatemaya

ARTIST: Doctor Nativo
TITLE: Guatemaya
LABEL: Stonetree
Ivan Duran of Stonetree Records is the producer who put the Garifuna sound of Andy Palacio, Aurelio Martinez, the Garifuna Collective and Umalali on the world music map.

Two Niles To Sing A Melody: The Guitars And Synths Of Sudan

ARTIST: various artists
TITLE: Two Niles To Sing A Melody: The Violins And Synths Of Sudan
LABEL: Ostinato
Once upon a time, there was a golden age of pop music in Sudan. It was the years between 1969, when Gafaar Nimeiry came to power, and 1983, when Nimeiry’s government swung from socialism to Islamism and imposed Sharia law, which essentially made music illegal.

Charts August 26, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ALPHEUS | Light Of Day | Liquidator
2 CLAU ANIZ | Filha de mil Mulheres | Minty Fresh
3 BLACK ROOTS | "Take It" [Single] | Nubian / Khanti
4 JOHNNY CLARKE | Creation Rebel | VP
5 LEMON BUCKET ORKESTRA | If I Had The Strength | Six Degrees
6 RED BARAAT | Sound The People | Rhyme & Reason
7 MYSTIC BOWIE | Mystic Bowie's Talking Dreads | MTMB Entertainment
8 YENI NOSTALJI | Yeni Nostalji | Ropeadope
9 EL ECO FEAT GUILLERMO NOJECHOWICZ | Two Worlds | El Eco Music
10 BELO | "Bousol" [Single] | Belo / Handzup / Baoli

August 12, 2018

Charts August 12, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 RED BARAAT | Sound The People | Rhyme & Reason
2 LEMON BUCKET ORKESTRA | If I Had The Strength | Six Degrees
3 ALPHEUS | Light Of Day | Liquidator
4 JUPITER AND OKWESS | Kin Sonic | Everloving
5 MYSTIC BOWIE | Mystic Bowie's Talking Dreads | MTMB Entertainment
6 AFRICAN SCREAM CONTEST 2 | various artists | Analog Africa
7 TWO NILES TO SING A MELODY: THE VIOLINS AND SYNTHS OF SUDAN | various artists | Ostinato
8 PAD ANTHONY AND CHESHIRE CAT | "Lead The Way / Heart And Soul" [Single] | Ram Goat
9 DE'ANZA | Cosmic Dream | Fusion Beats
10 CHANCHA VIA CIRCUITO | Bienaventuranza | Wonderwheel

August 7, 2018

Lemon Bucket Orkestra | If I Had The Strength

ARTIST: Lemon Bucket Orkestra
TITLE: If I Had The Strength
LABEL: Six Degrees
Toronto’s Lemon Bucket Orkestra (LBO) is an 11-piece ensemble that describes itself as “guerrilla-folk party-punks imprisoned and liberated by Eastern European folklore.”

Program August 8, 2018

Red Baraat (pictured above) is a living embodiment of Duke Ellington's notion that the best music is "beyond category."  They're inspired by Indian bhangra and brass bands; their music also incorporates funk, go-go, rock and jazz.

They're one of the most exciting live acts anywhere, which you'll be able to see for yourself when  Red Baraat plays the Richmond Jazz Festival on Sunday evening and a Plan 9 Records in-store that afternoon.  Their latest album, Sound The People, was released in June, and you'll hear a track from it this week on Global A Go-Go.

Also this week: one from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who will also be at the Richmond Jazz Fest; a reggae set including my all-time favorite song about road kill; two cuts from Ostinato Records' current Sudanese projects; and Balkan brass that matches Red Baraat's white-hot energy.

August 5, 2018

Charts August 5, 2018

WRIR's NACC World Top Ten
1 ANGELIQUE KIDJO | Remain In Light | Kravenworks
2 AFRICAN SCREAM CONTEST 2 | various artists | Analog Africa
3 ORQUESTA AKOKAN | Orquesta Akokan | Daptone
4 RAM | 7: August 1791 | Willibelle Publishing & Sales
5 DISQUES DEBS INTERNATIONAL, VOL. 1 | various artists | Strut
6 EDDIE PALMIERI | Full Circle | Ropeadope
7 ORLANDO 'CACHAITO' LOPEZ | Cachaito | World Circuit
8 MYSTIC BOWIE | Mystic Bowie's Talking Dreads | MTMB Entertainment
9 EL DUSTY | Cumbia City | Aftercluv
10 LISTEN ALL AROUND: THE GOLDEN AGE OF CENTRAL AND EAST AFRICAN MUSIC | various artists | Dust-to-Digital

July 30, 2018

Program August 1, 2018

We're celebrating the birthday of the Republic of Benin on this week's edition of Global A Go-Go.  The little West African country formerly known as Dahomey has long punched above its weight in the world of music.  You'll hear the most famous Beninoise musicians -- Angelique Kidjo, Gnonnas Pedro, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo -- and we'll dig deep for regional and local favorites as well.

Also this week: four modern sides cut at Havana's Estudio Areito, plus some unlikely cumbia covers of rap and metal.