T.O. Music Pix Newsletter #95: Nov. 26/09 Click here for information on
subscribing and an index of past newsletters
In this issue:
1.Events: a) Harambee Blues: CD & CD Launch (Dec 1)
b) Other events 2. "Best of": ... the year, the decade, and of the recent WOMEX
Radio: a) world music disappearing from radio?
b) On the BBC: profiles of Alan Freed and Oum Kalthoum (not together) 4. Khaled in Las
Vegas, Fela on Broadway What's the world coming to?
5: Doug Sahm Remembering the great Texan musician, 10 years
after his death
The musicians on the CD have all donated
their music: Fojeba, Katenen "Cheka" Dioubaté, Madagascar Slim, Jayme Stone
& Mansa Sissoko, Curtis Andrews, Soul Influence, Mr Something Something,
Kgomotso "KG" Tsatsi, Njacko Backo, Valu David, Daniel Nebiat and Kwesi
The CD launch will be held Dec. 1 at the
Silver Dollar with Madagascar Slim, Digging Roots, Blue Room and Mike
Stevens. See event page for more
info. More details, including the full track listing are
The Tia Anita Project is a non-profit volunteer initiative that aims to
promote a variety of Canadian music and cultures while creating awareness of
b) Other upcoming events: Photo: Valu David, Afrofest 2009
of music listed on the
events page. Just a few highlights in the next few weeks:
Nov. 27: Valu David CD
Release at the Lula.
Toronto-based, Angolan singer and guitar His music combines
mainstream jazz, flamenco, hip hop, soul and R&B with his
Lots of Japanese taiko
drumming: 3 nights from Nagata Shachu (Nov. 27-9) and Yamato
Drummers of Japan.
Blues? The annual Women's
Blues Review at Massey Hall and Lucky Peterson at the Silver
Besides the Harambee Blues
show, Madagascar Slim, fresh off his excellent new CD makes
two other appearances
Plenty of Cuban and other
Latin, Brazilian as always at the Lula, as well as the Sound
Academy, and a free show at the Four Seasons Centre
Three nights of Leon
Redbone, and a new "Africa Meets First Nations" show, this
time with the Ecuadorian roots of Choclo y la Orgia Cosmic
featuring Dave West
2. BEST OF A few early "best of year/decade" articles, and more artists to
a) Best of the year CDs: fRoots magazine has published its annual
nominee lists for album of the year, best
Reissue/Compilation and best packaged album of the year.
The winners will be announced
(and played) on the BBC's "World On 3" radio show hosted by Lopa
Kothari, broadcast at 6:15pm, Fri. Nov. 27, and available online
for a week.
See fRoots' annual list of winners from 1986 on
c) WOMEX In
I noted the recently completed World Music Expo held in
Copenhagen, and linked to a lengthy personal review of many of
the performances by one writer.As those performers are often the
ones seen touring over the next year or two, it's worth taking
note of them.
this page, you can read several other attendees accounts of
their highlights from the conference.
a) Disappearing world (and other) music from radio
It's not news that traditional radio is going
through changing times. An interesting discussion is taking
place on one of the world music listservs about the growing
disappearance of world music from American radio, including major Public
Radio stations. How much of this change is a result of the
relatively small presence of world music in
North American radio (compared to Europe), how much because of the changing
nature of radio and the declining importance of traditional
radio as a music source, and other factors is a matter of some
very interesting opinions.
Worth reading for those interested. Posts are
this page. Look for posts titled "KPFA's Music of the
Also of note in this month's archive: news of
the dissolution of the North American World Music Coalition, a
grouping of music professionals in that field, and a thread
about "lobbying for Secretary of Culture position in Cabinet"
(discussing the US): a discussion about the role government can
or should play in culture.
b) BBC Radio shows available online: Alan Freed &
That's A diverse pair if there ever was one!
Interesting and diverse radio can often be
found on the BBC, and its shows are available online for a week.
Until Nov. 28:
a profile of DJ Alan Freed, the man who "invented" the name
rock & roll (or at least took an old blues term and applied it
to the new music of the 50's). He is equally known for his role
in (and perhaps scapegoat for) the 50's payola scandal, but there's no doubt
about his importance in making rock & roll the phenomenon it
Until Dec. 1: Justin Adams hosts a
profile of Oum Kalthoum: perhaps the greatest figure of 20th
century Middle Eastern music.
Having been twice to Libya, my favourite story
about her is the (perhaps true) fact that Moumar Gadaffi
postponed his 1969 coup by a day so as to not conflict with an
Oum Kalthoum concert in Tripoli.
Bright light city gonna set
Gonna set my soul on fire...
"Viva Las Vegas" by Doc Pomus Mort Shuman
They say the neon lights are
They say there's always magic in the air...
"On Broadway" by
Jerry Leiber; Barry Mann; Mike
Stoller; Cynthia Weil
It's not often that Las Vegas
or Broadway shows will make it onto this website, but who would
have expected either Algerian rai superstar Khaled or the late
Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti to be playing those venues??
On Nov. 21, Khaled topped the
bill of a 4-hour show, "Sahra" at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in
Las Vegas which also featured a band led by Palestinian oud
master Simon Shaheen, the Adam Basma Dance Company and singers
Assala from Syria and Rida Al Abudlla from Iraq.
An account of the evening, with
photos by Banning Eyre of Afropop Worldwide is
Two nights later, Banning was
on Broadway for the opening night of Fela!, the musical
that had previously been an off-Broadway hit.
He recounts running into
Angelique Kidjo at intermission:
"Having been absolutely
knocked out--on the verge of tears--during the first half, I
told her, 'Broadway will never be the same,' to which she
replied, 'I hope
not.'" (Taken from Banning's
"There should be dancing in
the streets. When you leave the Eugene O’Neill Theater after
a performance of “Fela!,” it comes as a shock that the
people on the sidewalks are merely walking. Why aren’t they
gyrating, swaying, vibrating, in thrall to the force field
that you have been living in so ecstatically for the past
couple of hours?"
The production was also the
subject of a
major article on the front page of last Sunday's Arts
section in that paper.
5. DOUG SAHM:
Doug", 10 years later Photo: Doug with son Shawn, 1968
the 10th anniversary of the death of Texan musician Doug Sahm,
who died at the age of 58 of a heart attack.
Doug was one of
the great figures in American roots music who performed for over
30 years with the Sir Douglas Quintet, the Texas Tornados, and solo. He was a Texan (he oozed
Texas), who loved and played all styles of Texas music --
rock, country, blues, soul, and especially Tejano
(Texan/Mexican) -- and in fact any good, soulful music.
The great music
producer Jerry Wexler said Sahm is "like the Rosetta Stone of
Southern music", and writer Chet Flippo described him as "the
lonely guy standing at the crossroad where Highway 61
intersected Route 66, where all of American popular music came
himself wrote (and sang), "You just can't live in Texas, if you
don't have a lot of soul", from his "At the Crossroads".
For all that,
he had only two hits in his career, both with the Sir Douglas
Quintet in the 1960's: "She's About a Mover" and "Mendocino".
The first came about from producer Huey Meaux's attempts to tap
into the British invasion, finding a connection between the
sound and the Cajun two-step. He got Doug's group to grow their
hair (Doug and organist Augie Meyers were already there), gave
them a British name, and sent Doug onto the charts.
But he was already a music
veteran, having first played on the radio almost 20 years
earlier, at the age of 5, had performed on the Louisiana Hayride at
8, and made his first record in 1955.
He died too young, but it was a
long -- and great -- ride.
A few years
later, British look gone, and the Tex-Mex sound of
Two songs from
a BBC show, "Rhythms of the World" which
filmed the Texas Tornados in 1992, playing at Texas's oldest
dance hall: Gruene Hall:
Going to San Antone?"
souvenir of Doug's time living in Canada (Vancouver Island):
of Sahm singing Canadian
history: "Sir John A. Macdonald, the Queen's hatchet man"....
"And all around Regina / They talk about him still / Why did
they have to kill / Louis Riel?"
CD's & books:
There are various re-packages
of music by Doug Sahm, the Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas
Tornados. Anything with a selection of mid-late 60's SDQ
recordings is worth getting. See AllMusic.com's info &
Of note is a now classic 1973
recording produced by Jerry Wexler, Doug Sahm and Band featuring some of the old quintet, along with Dr John, Bob
Dylan, Flaco Jiminez, David Bromberg, "Fathead" Newman and
Earlier, this year son Shawn
produced a 10th-anniversary tribute, Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm featuring
(beside's Shawn's eerily evocative performance of "Mendocino"),
Delbert McClinton (a man with Sahm-like soul in his voice),
Jimmie Vaughan, Joe "King" Carrasco, Los Lobos, Al and others.