world Archive

Dengue Fever: Holidays in Cambodia

Music historians often observe that the Beatles-led, so-called British Invasion was an example of British musicians absorbing American influences, and then serving that music back to Americans. In a sense, Los Angeles-based Dengue Fever did something similar when the band started out in 2001. Brothers Ethan and Zac Holtzman had discovered the pop music of

Vieux Farka Touré Does What Comes Naturally

Vieux Farka Touré is the guitar-playing and singing son of the late Ali Farka Touré, the Malian musician responsible for helping to bridge the gap between traditional West African music and the blues. But from the very beginning of his own musical career, Vieux Farka Touré has charted his own musical path. The elder Touré

Rising Appalachia: Relationships and Resiliency

There is a wide consensus that the United States is entering a challenging era, especially for those fighting for civil rights, environmental protection and sustainability. For creative artists who seek to combine their art with activism, this new reality has the potential to demoralize. Yet it’s possible to look at our current reality with perspective

Jamie Laval’s Celtic Christmas

For several years now, Celtic fiddler Jamie Laval has crafted a special December program for audiences. Bringing together music, dance and storytelling, Laval presents “Celtic Christmas,” a family-friendly performance that showcases not only Christmas traditions, but observances of older pagan rituals centered around winter solstice. Laval’s late December performance calendar included a show in Asheville

David LaMotte: Bringing it All Back Together

Prior to 2006, David LaMotte was an extremely busy musician. “In those first 18 years, I kicked out 10 records,” he says. But in the decade that followed, he would released exactly zero albums of new material. It wasn’t as if he had gone inactive, or had even stopped writing music; he was simply involved

Mamadou Kelly: “We Are Musicians. We Play Music.”

“The American blues form is foreign to us,” says Malian master guitarist Mamadou Kelly. That may come as a surprise to American audiences who hear in Kelly’s music a connection between his soulful approach and the American indigenous musical form born in the Mississippi Delta. That purported connection between African music and the blues seemed

November 100-word Reviews, Part 4

My roundup of worthy albums that deserve coverage continues with five more hundred-word reviews. Each of these deserves deeper coverage, but “so much music, so little time.” Dig ’em all. Jinx Jones – Twang-Tastic! The vibe here: Link Wray meets Brian Setzer, with a bit of The Cramps and Los Straitjackets thrown in for good

DVD Review: Escala Musical TV 1966-67

I took three years of Spanish in high school – seemingly a thousand years ago, more like thirty – and to this day I can correctly pronounce the items on a Mexican restaurant menu and/or say things that will get my face slapped (though hopefully not at the same time). That’s about my skill level.

Rising Appalachia: Making Music with Intention (Part 3)

Continued from Part Three… Leah Song relates that Rising Appalachia have many friends around the country who are involved in art and creative projects. “Many of them,” she notes, “end up being codependent on grants. They call it the Nonprofit-Industrial Complex. We wanted to have that feeling of being independent; and if we’re indebted to

Rising Appalachia: Making Music with Intention (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… In those years, music as a professional pursuit was never a goal. Leah Song says that even when she and sister Chloe Smith did begin making music, “we were just trying to create a project that paid homage to all of our musical influences. It was only later – three or