Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Sinhala Jukebox

Sri Lanka juke joint

If you need to burn a few more minutes of your life online this week, might I suggest The Sinhala Jukebox? This web site is devoted to spreading the music of Sri Lanka to the global audience via Real Audio. You can choose individual tracks, or complete streaming programs by artist or style. The navigation is a bit confusing, but it's worth a few minutes to figure it out.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mats Hellberg, leading preserver of Swedish folk music

Mats Hellberg died unexpectedly on September 17th 2006. He was a drummer and record producer who found himself cast as one of the great apostles of traditional music in Sweden.

Since the 1980s, he was the driving force behind Giga Records, founded in 1976 by musicians Per Gudmundson and Magnus Backström. In the following 30 years the label has provided the world with a look at some of the greatest musicians of Sweden, from the old teachers to some of the rising stars, creating over 80 LPs and CDs that have provided the whole world with a glimpse into the wide ranging beauty of Swedish folk music.

Here are just a few of the artists that Giga exposed to the world:
Pelle Bjornlert
Ulf Storling
Pakkos Gustaf
Simon Simonson
Ale Möller
Kjell-Erik Eriksson
Lennart Gybrant
Jonny Soling
Mats Berglund
Anders Norudde
Ole Hjorth
Björn Ståbi
Erik Pekkari
Ellika Frisell
Bengt Lofberg
Kalle Almlof
Susanne Rosenberg
Johan Hedin
Per Gudmundson
Magnus Backstrom

There is currently no word on what the future of Giga records will be.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

There's A Song for Everything

Nigerian comedian and actor Nkem Owoh stars in a rootsy spoof on victims of the infamous internet "419" scheme

Watch the video

I done suffer no be small
Upon say I get sense
Poverty no good at all, no
Na im make I join this business

419 no be thief, it's just a game
Everybody dey play em
if anybody fall mugu,
ha! my brother I go chop em

National Airport na me get em
National Stadium na me build em
President na my sister brother
You be the mugu, I be the master

See full lyrics and info at Antsville

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Klezmatics (with Woody Guthrie) nominated for Grammy

cd cover
The Klezmatics have been nominated for a "Best Contemporary World Music Album" Grammy Award this month.

Wonder Wheel features songs of Woody Guthrie (most never before seen) and set to music by members of the Klezmatics.

On Wonder Wheel, The Klezmatics move away from klezmer on many of the cuts, even using an electric guitar to create a variety of contemporary sounds. The songs evoke Guthrie's experience in Brooklyn, an immigrant coming from the other direction, finding himself among European emigres, as well as blacks, Latinos and Asians.

You can read Marty Lipp's somplete review of this 2006 recording on RootsWorld