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SnC 252 – 29 December 2010

After the snow of the past few weeks our good friends on the eastern seaboard of the USA seem to be taking their turn. It is difficult to imagine so much snow in the streets where we were strolling in the Indian summer only a few weeks ago.
I was waiting for it to get light today before taking a pic for the shownotes. I’m afraid it just didn’t. Foggy and dank all day then it got dark again. Here’s the barn at dusk tonight.
 
All that Glitters – Sweet Soubrette (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Sweet Soubrette features the songwriting, vocals and ukulele of Ellia Bisker, whose dark, edgy love songs have captured fans’ hearts since she began performing solo in 2006, first appearing in the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’s Winter Cabaret. 
Since the release of Siren Song, Sweet Soubrette has expanded from a solo act to include a talented backing band: Violinist Heather Cole has played classical violin since she was a four-year-old Suzuki student and has also trained in bluegrass, klezmer, and Irish fiddle. Bassist Bob Smith toured with the indie rock band Trunk Federation in the ’90s and is now the director of a public school music program. Drummer Mike Dobson attended the Hartt School and Mannes College of Music for percussion, can play anything you can hit with a stick, and works mainly symphony orchestra and professional circus gigs when he’s not playing with Sweet Soubrette. This unique combination of talents leads to unusually rich arrangements. Sweet Soubrette plays most frequently in NYC, at such venues as the Knitting Factory, Rockwood Music Hall, Pianos, Jalopy, Barbes, Pete’s Candy Store, Galapagos Art Space, and Sidewalk Café. Festival appearances have included CMJ, the Paris Uke Fest, the Extremely Hungary Festival, the New York Uke Fest, and the Berkshire Fringe. Sweet Soubrette has also toured in France (2008) and Italy (2010).
Sweet Soubrette’s second album, Days and Nights, will be released by MH Records in January 2011, on CD and a limited edition vinyl LP, with a special show celebrating the release on Saturday, January 8 at the Bowery Poetry Club. This playful, thoughtful album can be seductive, humorous, or devastating, with material ranging from gold diggers and other dangerous women to troubled love in all its permutations. Catchy melodies, skilled instrumentation, and witty lyrics combine with a dark sensibility.
01.08.11 Bowery Poetry Club (Record Release Show) New York, NY
01.27.11 Cornelia Street Cafe New York, NY
02.12.11 Bushwick Book Club at the Brooklyn Public Library Brooklyn, NY
02.25.11 Club Helsinki Hudson, NY
www.sweetsoubrette.com/
www.facebook.com/sweetsoubrette
 
Bo – Moon and Sun (Sweden and Amsterdam)
Apocalypso music from visual artist as well as singer/producer Monica Tormell.
One of Jamendo’s newest artists is singer-songwriter Moon & Sun. Hailing from Sweden, Moon & Sun is a lovely musical contradiction. Her music is both sweet yet gloomy and many of her tracks are both soft yet percussion driven. Although her music may be tough to pinpoint, her talent is obvious.
The record was co-produced by Staffan Björk. The two of them have worked together many times before in sonic art projects and several bands. Their last band being the shy shoegaze duo Mustafa et Monique. 
Monica went to Curacao ( near Venezuela?) for the first time in 2009 where she had an artist residency for 3 months at Instituto Buena Bista (IBB). She met a local percussionist, Crisanta Martha, and started recording her drumming which later came to function as Moon & Sun’s own ‘drum-library’. Within a year’s time Monica went back again. 
Reading the book ‘Zoutrif ’ by Miriam Sluis and taking walks through the beautiful, but traumatized, ruins of the old plantation area (Rif) together with the author inspired Monica to write the song ‘Salt & Indigo’. 
The song Bo is a tribute to the Swedish musician Bo Hansson, who past away earlier this year, describing a sense of belonging when you stand alone outside your cottage on the Swedish countryside surrounded by the woods and the midnight sky. 
www.jamendo.com/en/album/79335
http://moonandsun.bandcamp.com/
 
Ganesvoort – Mojo Mancini (NYC, USA)
Put five musicians together in a room and let them improvise. When those five are Grammy-winning producer and guitarist John Leventhal, “Saturday Night Live” drummer Shawn Pelton, saxophonist and engineer Rick DePofi, keyboardist Brian Mitchell, and bassist Conrad Korsch, you’d better hit the record button – hard. 
The quintet in question is Mojo Mancini, five of the most diverse and in-demand players in the business, total pros who eat and breathe music even when they’re away from the studio or stage? Artists who between the five of them have worked with—and this is just a partial list—Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Al Green, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, David Byrne, Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Sheryl Crow, Buddy Guy, Charlie Haden, Levon Helm, Shawn Colvin, Bruce Hornsby, Joan Osborne, Madeline Peyroux, and Regina Spektor? No surprise in that case the air in that room would be filled with staggeringly great sounds, music that transcends even the sum experience of its makers as it moves from one moment to another. Such moments are found throughout Mojo Mancini’s stunning self-titled debut.
http://mojomancini.com/
http://twitter.com/MojoMancini
www.facebook.com/pages/Mojo-Mancini/130072816160?ref=ts
 
Your Sweet Name – Harry Manx (Gulf Islands BC, Canada)
Harry Manx has been dubbed an “essential link” between the music of East and West, creating musical short stories that wed the tradition of the Blues with the depth of classical Indian ragas. His unique sound is bewitching and deliciously addictive to listen to.
Born on the Isle of Man, Manx spent his childhood in Canada and left in his teens to live in Europe, Japan, India and Brazil. He honed his hypnotic live show on street corners, in cafes, bars and at festivals. But it was Indian music that captured his attention and in the mid 80s he began a five-year tutelage with Rajasthani Indian musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Grammy winner with Ry Cooder for A Meeting by the River). Receiving the gift of Bhatt’s custom-made, self-designed mohan veena (a 20-stringed sitar/guitar hybrid) was the catalyst for Harry to forge a new path with his now signature east-meets-west style of music. While the mohan veena itself is beyond exotic, Manx uses it within traditional Western sound structures. 
www.harrymanx.com/
Harry Manx “Your Sweet Name” (mp3) from “Isle of Manx – the Desert Island Collection” (Dog My Cat Records) Buy at iTunes Music Store More On This Album
Into the Valley – Manisha Shahane (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
As a child, Manisha was encouraged & taught by her mother to sing in both Indian and Western styles. She later began her formal musical training by singing in choirs and taking private classical piano lessons throughout her teens. Over the years, 
Manisha continued to engage in periodic instruction in voice, guitar, piano, and dance. She also sought out training in Indian classical music. Before moving to Los Angeles, she studied in the Boston area with Charlie Banacos, a master of jazz theory & improvisation.
A four-year recipient of the ASCAPlus Award in the Jazz and Popular Division, Manisha has been writing songs & music for nearly 30 years. In 2009, she released a single titled “Speak, Memory Speak”, through which she hopes to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease, and she just released her second album, “When Parallel Lines Meet,” in 2010.
www.ManishaMusic.com/
 
Undercover Blues – Boo Boo Davis (St. Louis, USA and Amsterdam, NL)
Another track from the great creative partnership of Boo Boo Davis (vocals and harmonica) and Jan Mittendorp (Producer/guitarist) along with John Gerritse (drums).
During the Fall 2010 tour Boo Boo and the guys got a lot of idea’s and decided to record them on one of the off days. As usual all original songs and with Boo Boo you never know what will happen. This time he surprised us again and he even had a Christmas and a gospel song. For the recording they picked a funky (but full analog) studio in rural Switzerland; nothing beats the sound of warm tubes and real tape. All tracks were recorded in six hours / one take with all three guys in the same room. Raw, loud and simple, just like they sound live on stage. The mixing and mastering is done by miX&dorp; a music freak that Boo Boo met a few times during his recent tours. He happened to be in the area and was happy to help out.
Boo Boo Davis “Undercover Blues” (mp3) from “Undercover Blues” (Black and Tan Records) Buy at iTunes Music Store More On This Album
Bill’s Change – Lynwood Slim and The Igor Prado Band (California and Sao Paulo, Brazil)
From the album Brazilian Kicks
Two continents collide as California native Lynwood Slim teams up with the premier jump blues outfit, the Igor Prado Band, from Sao Paulo, Brazil. This is a remarkably young band: Yuri Prado, age 23 (drums), Rodrigo Mantovani, age 23 (bass), Denilson Martins, age 20 (saxophone), and Igor Prado, age 24 (guitar).
LYNWOOD SLIM: Armed with an impressive catalog of iconic recordings, Slim’s own uniquely cool blues meets jazz approach has landed him international acclaim and endeared him to an audience around the globe with a devout affection for California Blues. His mastery of blues harmonica – both the “little harp” and the more difficult chromatic – is second to none. He is also one of the finest blues vocalists of his generation. His first hand experience and apprenticeship under veteran blues masters such as multi-instrumentalist Leonard “Baby Doo” Caston and harmonica giant Big Walter Horton has served him well as he has mastered the subtleties of tone and phrasing, and developed his own distinctive voice in the blues.
IGOR PRADO BAND: The Igor Prado Band has been quietly but steadily gaining their reputation as the foremost authority and leading practitioners of 1940-50s style Chicago/Jump Blues. Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the band (all of whom are still in their twenties) is comprised of two brothers; Igor Prado on guitar and Yuri Prado on drums, bassist Rodrigo Mantovani and saxophonist Denilson Martins. The Igor Prado Band has become an increasingly popular and in demand unit for supporting many of today’s blues elite while touring South America. They have backed such highly esteemed artists as Eddie C. Campbell, Steve Guyger, James Wheeler, Phil Guy, Mud Morganfield (eldest son of Muddy Waters), R.J. Mischo, Gary Smith, Mark Hummel, Mitch Kashmar and Rick Estrin.
The album was recorded at Guidon Studios, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Clear Lake Audio, North Hollywood, California.
www.myspace.com/lynwoodslimband
www.myspace.com/igorprado
 
Lynwood Slim and The Igor Prado Band “Bill’s Change” (mp3) from “Brazilian Kicks” (DELTA GROOVE PRODUCTIONS) Buy at iTunes Music Store More On This Album
AMPed new music weekly
Jonny Dobson of Edinburgh Man podcast with an excellent 2010 review show and next week Rich Palmer gets 2011 underway with show 264.
http://musicpodcasting.org/
 
Saraha – Hassan Erraji (Leeds, UK)
Hassan Erraji – a gentleman, an inspiration, a multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire – has been absent from the wider-consciousness of the world music scene for many a year (hey, everyone is allowed some private time and space.) His journey has not always been an easy one but one thing Hassan has learnt is perseverance, and he now stands poised for a triumphant return with this new album – Awal Mara (“Love at First Sight”). 
As a child living in a village near Marrakech, Hassan was introduced at an early age to the rhythms of the Atlas mountains. Virtually blind from birth and becoming totally blind as a child, but blessed with innate musical ability, he later undertook formal studies in Casablanca and Brussels, staying in Europe to seek a route along the oft-capricious pathways of a career as an entertainer.
Hassan was a progenitor, a key presence in the early days of world-music-as-we-now-know-it, providing many of us with a transcendent first taste of Arabic pop-roots and instructing us in the names and sounds of his diffuse instruments. His trio of albums for the Riverboat label in the early eighties remain richly rewarding, emblematic of his faith and individualism. Hassan’s stage presence is a joy to behold; a man prone to oud-flailing à la Hendrix with his Strat and joyously sacrificing his forehead as a percussive mallet is a welcome sight on any stage, and he, bashful grin manifest, has graced many across the world. 
Now resident in Leeds, in the north of England, and enjoying the patronage of that city’s foremost musical sons, the Kaiser Chiefs (who provided their recording studio for the making of Awal Mara), Hassan’s musical integrity proves stronger than ever alongside his extravagantly-gifted UK rhythm team of Kenny Higgins and Ben Stephens. 
There are new generations of music fans for whom the joy of discovering Hassan Erraji is about to blossom, and there are many more who will welcome him back as an old friend. 
Welcome back Hassan.
 
Hassan Erraji “Saraha” (mp3) from “Awal Mara” (World Village UK) Buy at Napster Buy at iTunes Music Store Buy at Amazon MP3 More On This Album

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