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Most of our CDs have been imported from Europe or Asia. They are not all shrink-wrapped, and I am not going to con you by wrapping them here just to make you think they have been sterilized in America. I guarantee that the CDs and the contents are all brand new and in perfect condition. Whenever I can, I use recycled shipping materials. They may not look as pretty on the outside, but they save money and keep the trash dumps a little bit emptier.
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Tunde Jegede and Derek Gripper : Mali in Oak
British kora and cello player Jegede and South African guitarist Gripper join together to explore the music of Mali in a unique set of their own arrangments of the tradition. Recorded at the Globe Theater (as in, Shakespeare's Globe), the sound is gorgeous, the music superb, and the musicianship of the highest level.


Trad.Attack! : Kullakarva - Shimmer Gold
This Estonian band uses tradition as a jumping off point for a vocal infused, high energy folk music that jusmps into the same territory as Hedningarna and Varttina. They take traditional songs – sometimes starting with scratchy recordings of long vanished village voices – and build pulsating rhythmic structures, creating an impressively big sound from acoustic 12-string guitar, drums and an array of whistles, bagpipes and jew's harps.


Tao Ravao and Thomas Laurent : Au Bout Du Petit Matin
Malgache string player and vocalist Ravao and French harmonica player Laurent offer a window into primarily Francophone and Francophone-associated tunes. Though a few tracks would be well known to even casual listeners of jazz, rock, and Afro-Latin styles, the way Ravao and Laurent capture their energy with only two performers is much more novel. Ravao plays both guitar and kabosy, a box-shaped wooden guitar common in musics of Madagascar, while Laurent sports a twelve-hole chromatic harmonica not dissimilar to the voice-like emotionality popularized by musicians like Toots Thielemans and Gregoire Maret.


Ale Moller : Bouzoukispelman
This is one of the first recordings that turned me on to the folk revival of the 80s in Sweden. It includes an absolutely marvelous group of traditional and neo-traditional songs, as well as his infamous, high-spirited medley of Paul Simon songs (Mrs Robinson and 59th Street Bridge Song). It's a classic and the other musicians on the album are Ellika Frisell, Per Gudmundson, Totte Mattsson, Bill McChesney, Katarina Olsson, Simon Simonson, and Röjås Jonas, so it's a bit of a Filarfolket/Groupa/Nordan thing, as well. Highly recommended and brilliant, good fun.


Vasen : Brewed
The Swedish acoustic juggernaut returns with a 2017 release of 15 original pieces, from the tradition but not bound to it. Olov Johansson's nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed fiddle) and Mikael Marin's 5-string viola are once again pushed along by the rhythm of Roger Tallroth's 12-string guitar. (Release date: 28 April, 2017 - e-mail me to reserve a copy)


Dalava : The Book of Transfigurations
Guitarist Aram Bajakian and vocalist Julia Ulehla’s Dálava project is an homage to traditional Moravian folk music, taking melodies transcribed over 100 years ago by Ulehla’s great-grandfather, and reinventing them in stirring, sometimes avant-garde musical language.It delves into deep territory; conjuring ancestors, animating spirits, and crafting musical microcosms around the gem-like folk melodies. This fractured village music channels the voices of a bygone era. Their first album was a RootsWorld 'Music of the Month' pick, and this one is equally engaging.


Omar Sosa and Sekou Keita : Transparent Water
The latest global collaboration by Cuban pianist Omar Sosa. This time around Sosa he works with Senegalese kora player and singer Seckou Keita to create new music with roots in multiple African regional musics (Mandinka and Yoruba), but add Chinese reeds (sheng master Wu Tong), Japanese koto (Mieko Miyazaki) along with Afro-Latin piano and percussion (Venzuelean artist Gustavo Ovalles). (A RootsWorld Music of the Month selection)


Groupa : Silent Folk
Groupa plays its own brand of Nordic music. Giving the music freer rein and new colours, Groupa excels in the joy of expanding to new musical dimensions. The original band was founded in 1980, and has along with other groups been a vanguard of the progressive folk music scene in Sweden since the 80’s. Ever since the start, Groupa has been a very popular live band. Mats Edén on fiddles; Jonas Simonson on flutes and Terje Isungset on percussion. The purchase of this CD is for a contribution to support RootsWorld, the magazine and radio show of the world's music.


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various artists : Lost in China
I don't often choose a compilation recording for Music of the Month, but I made one of the exceptions for this recording, a collection of songs by 13 different artists or ensembles from urban Beijing to the desert of Xinjiang, mostly younger artists looking to explore and sometimes confound local traditions. Most of the musicians have not been heard outside of China, or even their own region, before so I think this makes a case for choosing this CD.


ba.fnu and Yann-Fanch Kemener : YFK-2016
Czech band meets legendary Breton singer Yann-Fañch Kemener. The Czechs have an affinity for both Czech and other European styles, but especially Breton fest-noz tunes. Yann-Fañch Kemener supplies the Breton vocals distinguished by a call-and-response pattern, that accompanies dancing. The musicians largely work with tracks that Kemener collected, while three of the tracks feature modern lyrics. The whole work is conceived as a 'calendar' with songs and recitations for each month. (A RootsWorld selection)


Hazmat Modine : Extra-Deluxe-Supreme
This NYC bad of brass, harmonica, guitars and rhythm defies easy description wit their original blend of American roots music with whatever crosses their path. Give it a listen! A RootsWorld 'Music of the Month' recording.


Ten Strings and a Goat Skin : Aupres Du Poele
From the Canadian Maritime province of Prince Edward Island, here is a band that plays fast and loose with the Scottish and Acadian traditions that permeate this part of the world, adding touches from Europe and beyond. The goat skin (and other percussion) of Caleb Gallant and the strings (guitar, fiddle) from Rowen Gallant and Jesse Périard (who also adds some pump organ) join their voices together in Auprès Du Poêle.


Balla Et Ses Balladins : Authenticité: The Syliphone Years
2 CD collection by one of Guinea's most interesting and influencial bands. Listen


Gabriel Yacoub : je vois venir (2 CDs)
The 2004 release of a live recording on 2 CDs. Recorded live at the Théâtre de Cornouaille in Quimper, January 17th and 18th 2003, the album features the whole concert, no tricks! The recording features all new arrangements for this unique ensemble, with unreleased pieces, old memories, rarities, and, as the band says, the pleasure of playing and living together. That joy exudes through every minute of this performance.


RAM : Ram 6: Manman M Se Ginen
These rhythms don't walk alone. They come with melodies and songs and spirits and knowledge. They come with rituals. says Richard Morse, leader of the Port au Prince band RAM. The Haitian ensembles 6th album is a fine piece of work, fusing local instruments and rhythms with contemporary enrgey and politics. This is a RootsWorld 'Music of the Month' selection.


Sidestepper : Supernatural Love
A band who pioneeered electro-Cumbia and other Colombian sounds released this album in 2016 to great acclaim. This time out, it's full of deep acoustic sounds and instruments, recorded in the Colombia countryside. This is a RootsWorld CD choice. These CDs are donated by the labels and artists to help RootsWorld raise money to remain online and on the air. All of your purchase goes to support those efforts.


Trio Tekke and Dave De Rose : Zivo (June 2 release date)
The trio bring along a percussionist for their third recording. Formed in London in November 2005 by Antonis Antoniou (tzouras, vocals, and a member of Monsieuer Doumani), Lefteris Moumtzis (guitar, vocals) and Colin Somervell (double bass), the band experiments with a raw, acoustic reinvention of the rebetiko of Greece and beyond.


Lena Willemark : Blaferdi (Blue Journey)
Features songs and lyrics, composed by Lena, sung in the Elfdalian language of her home region of Avdalen, Sweden. Program notes and lyrics are translated to Swedish and English in the booklet. It's performed with voice, strings and percussion supplied by Lena, Mia Marin, Emma Reid, Mikael Marin, Leo Sander and Tina Quartey. (Quite a cast!) It is, I think, one of her best (and that goes a long way, I think), so this comes with my biggest "highly recommended" gold star on it. CDs will be available in late December. You can contact me to reserve a copy, if you wish.


Zenobia : Blot En Ild
The 2017 release by this Danish trio of women is an elegant set of 16 instrumental compositons and lyrical songs, some from classical texts, all original music set for accordion, piano and voices. The booklet contains full lyrics in Danish, and a synopsis of each song in English.


Deltas : Ligerian Blues
Deltas, from Angers France, was formed by guitarist Vincent Erdeven and violinist/kora player Richard Bourreau (from Lo'Jo). They are now a trio with ngoni player/singer Andra Kouyaté, originally of Bamako. Thus, the imagery of the word 'Ligerian' (a seeming portmanteau of the Loire and Niger rivers) evokes a symbolic merging of the geographic and musical origins of the musicians themselves, while the group's name recalls the Mississippi delta, the hallowed source of the blues.


Mynsterland : Mynsterland
A young group of Danish string players, singers and a clarinetist tackle a wide-ranging set of songs and tunes from Back to Nickel Creek on fiddles, cello, reeds, guitar and bass.


Okra Playground : Turmio
Finnish folk music can sound other-worldly. The country's folk-epic, "The Kalevala," is laced with charms and spells, and its impact on Finnish folk culture has been immense. One can hear its echoes in this new recording. Three female vocalists are up-front. Both play the kantele, strung over their shoulders for a twin-stringed attack that any heavy metal band would envy. The men in the band round out the contemporary sound with bass, synth, accordion and percussion. Comparisons to both Värttinä and Hedningarna are inevitable. Okra Playground has an organic, acoustic base, but they frequently add electronic enhancements so that their overall approach appeals to both traditionalists and experimentalists.


Nilamaye : Las Flores Del Sol
Nilamayé is a group of Afrocolombian music. Its repertoire derives from music related to sea and river water and is synonymous with life, joy and cultural blending. Through the soft exuberance of the voices, the warm velvet sounds of the chonta marimbas, the deep humming of the cununos and bombos, the brightness of the guasas and maracas and the rhythmic liveliness of the alegre drum, Nilmayé shares with the listeners the 'contagious joy'" of the Colombian peoples..


Serendou : Zinder
Breton flutes meet flutes and percussion from Niger in a unique new recording of cross-cultural music. Yacouba Moumouni (flute, vocals), Boubacar Souleymane (singer, percussionist, guitar and kountigui - a one-stringed lute), and Jean-Luc Thomas (ebony flute, electronics, vocals) are joined by a few guests on percussion, strings and tuba. This is a RootsWorld 'Music of the Month' selection and your purchase goes to support the magzine and radio program.


Kristian Blak, Vera Kondrateva, Yggdrasil : Lipet Ei : Seven Brothers
Kristian Blak once again steps into difficult and strange musical worlds on this recording with Khanty singer Kondrateva. The Khanty people live in an autonomous region in western Siberia, with a culture far removed from Russia. Incorporating these songs into any western framework would be challenging, but Blak and his Faroese ensemble push it to the limits of folk, rock, jazz and 'new music.' Click and listen. I can't explain it.



Dalava : Dalava
From the RootsWorld review: "dálava are edging out into music with a particularly rich backstory. Vocalist Julia Úlehla and guitarist Aram Bajakian reunited in a musical project probing the texts and tunes transcribed by Úlehla's great-grandfather. Mr. Úlehla was taken by the folk music of the Moravian village of Straznice, and he painstakingly transcribed the songs and tunes of this community (located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, and bordering on the Carpathians)... the performances are full of conviction, and Julia Úlehla's fabulous voice is a marvel. Dálava's debut is a fully realized work, and a new, organically sown branch for the original music' This was a 2014 RootsWorld 'Music of the Month' selection, and is highly recommended.


Vrang : SaeterSoul
Lee Blackstone writes, 'The Norwegian trio features Jon Hjellum Brodal, Tuva Faerden, and Maja Gravermoen Toresen on hardanger fiddles, fiddles, lyres, and the occasional mandolin. Their full-length debut is beautifully produced, with plenty of space and depth that let the low mellow tones of the hardanger fiddle grow and the sprightly lyres shine. They combine a minimalist approach and a sly pop sensibility. They can sometimes remind the listener of Groupa with tunes that nod to their coloring and percussive romps. Vrang sparkle, and they are a band full of promise.' This is the RootsWorld Music of the Month selection for May, 2017. Highly recommended!


Boot : Soot
Boot is Hållbus Totte Mattsson (mandora, Baroque lute, from hedningarna), Ola Bäckström (violin, bouzouki, well known fiddler and member of Swap) and Samuel Andersson (percussion, hurdy-gurdy, octave violin; from Hedningarna, Godrun), three well respected Swedish musicians who are familiar with tradition in a powerful new trio recording.


Mari Eggen and Helene Høye : Glod (Glow)
Two Norwegian fiddlers bring together a high level of musianship and a lively sense of the tradition in a series of folk tunes and tunes inspired by the Norwegian fiddle heritage.


Riccardo Tesi and Banditaliana : Maggio
From the RootsWorld review: 'Riccardo Tesi always escapes easy pigeon-holing. He is idiosyncratic without being abrasive, cutting edge without the hard edge. He is a gentle fusionist, bringing together new and old worlds so that's it's hard to know where one starts and the other ends. On Maggio, his latest with Bandtaliana, the sound is vintage Tesi: a refinement of traditional music that has the well-aged, heartfelt soul of folk music, but is as assuredly lovely as a classical wind quartet. Underneath the overall gentle spell that Tesi casts are shades and layers of sophistication.'


9Bach : Anian + In Your Voice
A RootsWorld 'Music of the Month' selection. The Welsh contemporary folk band's 3rd album, released in 2016, is a superb mix of modern and ancient. David Cox wrote in RW that 'this is a pensive, sometimes mysterious disc, with a sound all its own… a pensive, sometimes mysterious disc, with a sound all its own.' The second disc is poetic reinterpretations of the Welsh lyrics in English poetry and prose. Highly recommended.


Rim Banna : Seasons of Violet
Palestinian vocalist Rim Banna performsa selection of new Palestinian love songs with a fine international ensemble featuring Eivind Aarseth (guitar), Gjermund Silset (bass), Rune Arnesen (drums) and David Wallumrød (keyboards), in addition to her husband Leonid Aleixenco (acoustic guitar). The title refers to the lilac, a violet flower which in Palestine is a symbol of love. All the songs have been composed by Rim Banna together with Leonid Aleixenco, while her mother has written some of the lyrics.


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