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Diaspora - Ten Favorites from 2013

Isle of Magic by Mop Mop (Agogo Records)

Unlike anything else I've heard this year. Jazz inflected roots music with marimbas, steel drums, vibraphones and deft percussion. Just terrific.

Isle of Magic cover

Dalonkan by Tani Diakite & His Afrofunkstars (Tasuma)

Local n'goni player Tani Diakite  recorded a true gem.  I'm stunned this has not garnered international attention.  "Kamale Ngoni" and "Naremakan Mandinka" are staples on my playlists.

Dalonkan cover

Clychau Dibon by Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita (Astar Artes)

Welsh harpist Caitrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita beautifully arrange four traditional Welsh folk tunes and three originals by Keita.  Lovely music, stunningly played. Tough to find. I had to order it from Wales.

Clychau Dibon cover

Beautiful Africa by Rokia Traoré (Nonesuch)

Lovely, earthy music from this fine Malian singer and multi-instrumentalist.

Beautiful Africa cover

Milokraj by Marta Töpferová & Tomáš Liška (Animal Music)

Töpferová started her career singing Latin songs with her gorgeous smoky voice.  Here she returns to her native Czech roots on an album of primarily traditional Moravian tunes with bassist Tomáš Liška.

Milokraj cover

Roots of the Banjo Tree by We Banjo 3 (Music Network)

This quartet of superb Irish musicians tackle a mix of old-timey, bluegrass and Irish with aplomb and passion.  (Their live shows are stunning).

Roots of the Banjo Tree cover

Brothers in Bamako by Habib Koité & Eric Bibb (Stony Plain Music)

Habib Koité from Mali is no stranger to Madison.  Here he pairs with roots bluesman Bibb on a wonderful album of covers and originals.

Brothers in Bamako cover

Long Gone Out West Blues by Pharis & Jason Romero (Lula Records)

Very fine, new old-timey music.  Romero is a luthier whose sweet sounding resonator guitars and banjos add a lush background to his wife's lovely vocals.

Long Gone Out West Blues cover

Malagasy Blues Song by Lala Njava (Riverboat Records)

If you liked Razia Said at the Summer 2013 Le Fête de Marquette, this CD is for you.  Terrific vocals with the unique rhythms and sounds of Madgascar.

Malagasy Blues Song cover

Jeni Jol by Tev Stevig (www.tevstevig.com)

Stevig plays a fretless acoustic guitar in what he calls "clawhammer" style (lack of dropped thumbs noted by local banjo purists).  A unique CD featuring tunes from the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey.

Jeni Jol cover
Diaspora is hosted by Terry O', a WORT volunteer since 1985. He can be contacted here.
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