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Health & Happiness Hour (Andy Gunn & Vikki Kitson in session) 20 Jan 2016

This week’s on the Medicine Show Radio Health & Happiness Hour - a session from Andy Gunn, Vikki Kitson & Fraser McLean  ft. tour Cam Penner, ft House Concert Hub artist David Starr ft. album Jurra from The Mekons & Robbie Fulks, with classic music from Eddie…

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Adam Klein (recording as Lassine Kouyate): Dugu Wolo

http://www.adam-klein.com

Adam Klein’s most recent solo album, Wounded Electric Youth, was very well received here on Flyinshoes, and now he’s back with something completely different. Adam is based in Athens, Georgia, but a Peace Corps stint in Mali a decade or so ago brought him strong connections to the country, and a huge respect for its culture. Thus, Dugu Wolo is a set of songs predominantly written in the Bambara language and recorded with Malian musicians performing on traditional instruments. This is a remarkably soulful record, leaving a warm glow in its wake.  Many of the songs amount to homilies, “messages concerning development, hope, dignity and peace”, as Adam writes in his sleeve notes, and the delivery is so heartfelt (both vocally and instrumentally) that the dignity shines through.

         I don’t have huge familiarity with Malian music but I have enough to recognise the sounds and the spirit that comes through here. The fluid lines on electric guitar are augmented by warm, liquid sounds from kora and ngoni (held to be the distant ancestor of the banjo) and rhythms tapped out on a variety of instruments. Recorded over just four days, Adam says most parts were recorded on the first take, the initial response of great musicians to the song that he’d laid down as a base recording. At times there is a sublime beauty to the interplay of instruments, with the vocals remaining laid-back – conversational even. I’d imagine immense credit must go the mixing engineer for getting the feel of relaxed, organic music-making to shine through; there really is a strong sense of a few musical pals gathered round, playing off each other as the tropical evening draws on.

           Adam has gone to great lengths with his Malian collaborators to make this a properly Malian record, getting the lyrics and the melodies to feel right for a Malian audience. Two songs are recorded in English, however, and once or twice there’s a sense of American folk melody in the tune – just enough to nicely suggest the connections that may exist between two apparently separate traditions, the “Atlantic passage” that he says he heard in the playing of Malian bluesman, Lobi Traore. I have absolutely no idea how this record will go down with world music fans in the west or with the Malian audience it’s primarily intended for; all I can say is that it strikes me as a rather beautiful piece of work that can only help spread the idea of the interconnectedness of us all on this planet. As I write, Mali is going through a period of violent upheaval that rather brutally shoves aside earnest messages of public health and community togetherness; here’s hoping peaceful conclusions will be reached sooner rather than later, enabling a return to the spirit enshrined on Dugu Wolo.

John Davy

Views: 91

Tags: Adam, Dugu, Klein, Wolo

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February 2016

1
Lucinda Williams
104 pts.
The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Highway 20 Records
PV,MOV,PKO,MDW
2
Dylan LeBlanc
82 pts.
Cautionary Tales
Single Lock Records
LK,HB
3
Dori Freeman
71 pts.
Dori Freeman
Free Dirt Records
BH,JAB,SP,DH,ML
4
Buddy Miller & Friends
52 pts.
Cayamo Sessions at Sea
New West Records
JB,AR
5
Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes
42 pts.
Soultime!
Leroy Records
PJ
6
Amelia White
39 pts.
Home Sweet Hotel
White Wolf Records
MF,DHO
7
Sam Outlaw
38 pts.
Angeleno
Six Shooter Records
BR
8
Gunther Brown
36 pts.
North Wind
Continental
CRS
9
Matty Charles & Katie Rose
35 pts.
Catching Arrows
1906 Records
SZ,BM,FB
10
Kreg Viesselman
34 pts.
To The Mountain
Continental Song City
KG,JF
11
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
32 pts.
C&O Canal
Red Beet Records
 
12
Anna Laube
28 pts.
Anna Laube
Ahhh… Pockets!
EM
 
Buford Pope
28 pts.
The Poem & The Rose
Unchained Records
MP,PH,BK
 
David Ramirez
28 pts.
Fables
Thirty Tigers
JD
 
Kate Campbell
28 pts.
The K.O.A.Tapes (Vol. 1)
Large River Records
TJ
16
Cam Penner
22 pts.
Sex & Politics
Independent
LM
17
Donnie Fritts
21 pts.
Oh My Goodness
Single Lock Records
JBO,TK
18
Eleanor Friedberger
19 pts.
New View
French Kiss Records
 
 
John Moreland
19 pts.
High on Tulsa Heat
Thirty Tigers
JDO
 
Peter Cooper
19 pts.
Depot Lights: The Songs Of Eric Taylor
Red Beet
NC
21
Marlon Williams
18 pts.
Marlon Williams
Dead Oceans
FCE
 
Nathan Bell
18 pts.
I Don't Do This For Love, I Do This For Love
Stone Barn Records
 
23
Pilgrim
17 pts.
Easy People
Horton Records
 
24
Bob Margolin
16 pts.
My Road
VizzTone
RK
 
David Berkeley
16 pts.
Cardboard Boat
Straw Man Music

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