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by World Music Network September 29, 2012


New Rough Guide Vinyl Releases: Ethiopia & Leadbelly

World Music Network is proud to present two new vinyl editions of Rough Guide albums: The Rough Guide to Ethiopia and The Rough Guide to Leadbelly. 

Don't miss the chance to hear these Rough Guides on limited edition, high quality 180-gram vinyl. Each vinyl also comes with a free download card allowing you to download the album, delivering the perfect combination of audiophile LP quality and MP3 portability. In addition the download cards also give you extra tracks and a bonus album!

The Rough Guide To Leadbelly (RGNET1244LP)

LeadbellyLeadbelly’s enormous rural-blues repertoire and thrilling twelve-string guitar playing led the US folk revival and has influenced a huge range of artists from the Beach Boys to Led Zeppelin. His convict past gave an air of unpredictable danger to his live performances but it is his unparalleled treasury of songs and intense singing style that remains undimmed.

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During the 1940s after spells in prison and his subsequent 'discovery' by folklorists John and Alan Lomax, Leadbelly became part of a circle of musicians that included Woody Guthrie, Josh White and Brownie McGhee, adding topical songs to his traditional blues repertoire such as ‘The Bourgeois Blues’. He died in 1949, at the age of 64, from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and six months later, the Weavers took his ‘Irene Goodnight’ to Number 1 in the charts.

With his unrivalled repertoire of blues, ballads and minstrel tunes, Leadbelly defined the black American folk tradition and his songs informed the early 1960s folk revival. Many of the artists featured on the bonus disc, including Woody GuthrieJosh WhiteSonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, played with him, whilst others were merely influenced by the intensity of his style. And it is his influence that has continued to reverberate down several generations. Enjoy his finest works lovingly remaastered to perfection on this high quality vinyl edition. 

The Rough Guide To The Music Of Ethiopia (RGNET1286LP)

EthiopiaThis Rough Guide bursts at the seams with everything from golden age Ethio-jazz to contemporary dub fusion. Classic tunes from Mahmoud Ahmed and Alemayehu Eshete appear alongside Krar Collective, Dub Colossus and more.

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Whether it conjures up legendary marathon runners, the rock-hewn churches at Lalibela, richly brewed coffee, Rastafarian spirituality, tumbling waterfalls or steaming hot springs, Ethiopia is a country famed for diverse reasons. Home to 82 million residents, the landlocked country is also birthplace to a multiplex of brilliant musics.

On this LP edition Rough Guide the ‘Golden Age’ of recorded Ethiopian music is paid homage to via tracks by seminal Ethio-jazz musicians Mahmoud Ahmed and Alemayehu Eshete. The energetic music of saxophone prodigy Getatchew Mekuria references the long history of military brass bands in the country fused with a thoroughly modern rock ethos. The track 'Guragigna' is contributed by Dub Colossus, a band which is the lovechild of UK musician and producer Nick Page and a host of established Ethiopian artists, including vocalists Tsedenia Gebremarkos and Sintayehu ‘Mimi’ Zenebe.

This Rough Guide is soaked in the urban cool that pervades Ethiopian music, both traditional and modern. Traverse the grooves of the ancient mountain kingdom, from antique vibes to futuristic styles.