Yusuf Shalita from Marimba Africa joined us today to talk about the band’s upcoming residency at Ras Ethiopian Restaurant in St. Paul. (They’re also going to be opening for and playing with Samba Mapangala at the Cedar on August 13.) We also heard a typically eclectic mix of music including songs from Cape Verde, Angola, Cameroon, Kenya, Mali, and Senegal, along with a brand new track from the Addis Acoustic Project, a group of top musicians playing acoustic versions of Ethiopian popular songs of the 50’s and 60’s.
Tinariwen’s forthcoming album, Tassili, is filled with dark and brooding lyrics and a stripped-down acoustic sound. They’ve put away the electric guitars for the moment but haven’t lost a bit of their intensity. We debuted two tracks from that CD on today’s African Rhythms and heard plenty of other contemporary and classic sounds from the continent along the way.
Starting off with a percussive blast from Trinidad, today’s African Rhythms on KFAI careened around the globe, tracking musical influences and trends that completely disregard borders. The show features a vintage 70’s Afro-rock set, taking in cuts from Cymande, Blo, Mandrill and Santana, plus much more.