The 16th April 2011 has been designated International Record Store Day. It is a day for independently owned record stores to join hands to celebrate their trade and the art of music itself. Hundreds of stores worldwide will be taking part in this year’s festivities.
To mark the occasion World Music Network are releasing three limited edition LP’s. Snap up your copies to enjoy three excellent albums in full vinyl splendour!
One of the forefathers of the blues, Muddy Waters is credited with forging a link between the Mississippi Delta style and the urban Chicago blues. His music features a heavy and soulful style that shaped the very contours of blues history.
Muddy’s early style was recorded by field recorder Alan Lomax. His signature deep and booming voice was matched with a acoustic bottleneck slide style influenced by the infamous Son House. In 1943 Muddy made the big move from country to city and headed north to Chicago. Deep in the heart of the ‘windy city’ Muddy took up an electric guitar and proceeded to entirely revolutionise the blues. Although Muddy was a bluesman through and through, his influence is manifest in American rock and roll. Beautifully remastered to capture Muddy's intoxicating power, this Rough Guide charts both his early career in the Delta and pioneering time in Chicago.
Desert Blues refers to the music of the Tuareg, Moor, Berber, Peul, Dogon and Songhai peoples. The piercing heat and infinite sands of the Sahara desert have mediated a music that tells of exile, longing, joy and resilience.
The segu style of Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba harks back to the Bamana Empire of northern Mali in a truly original way. Tinariwen’s Tuareg rhythms and electric riffs swing in a rock and roll style. Amadou & Mariam bring upbeat Bamako dance music in to the mix. Saharawi singer Mariam Hassan’s music inflects the haul music of her exiled nation whilst straddling a definitive bluesy sound. A comparison of the music here with the American blues tradition illuminates an undeniably deep rooted relationship. The Rough Guide to Desert Blues illustrates streams of transatlantic cultural conversations that both begin and return to Africa time and time again.
This Rough Guide features twelve tracks of expert picking, strumming and grooving from across the continent. The guitar probably first arrived in Africa in the 14th century brought by Portuguese traders to the west coast, but plucked lutes and string instruments have deep roots in many African traditions. It is fascinating to hear the wealth of different approaches to the instrument by African artists. Such approaches include the translation of traditional African rhythms onto the guitar and the development of innovative finger-picking styles. From the Niger river blues of Ali Farka Touré to the soul influenced Zimbabwean style of Oliver Mtukudzi, Africa has spawned many seminal guitar virtuosos.