I’d love to see these artists live (in fact I will be seeing Hot 8 next month), but I’d settle for their albums:
One Ladysmith Black Mambazo need no introduction. Their music soothes and unsettles me at the same time. They make me homesick for a time long past, at home with my family before my father’s passing, in Malawi – for the beauty and security of a time of my life shot through with laughter and love that I took for granted and will always treasure.
Their new album, Always With Us, is dedicated to the memory of Nellie Shabalala, wife of Joseph Shabalala, the band co-founder. An American news station did an interview with the band, with songs.
Two Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. I haven’t been able to shake their new song Retreat out of my head for weeks. It’s an unapologetic, fierce song that turns the usual “Come hither” soul song on its head. Their new album, Give the People What They Want, is a sort of soul-funk homage. Sharon Jones was recently diagnosed with cancer, which pushed the alblum launch back, which might be why they opted for a cartoon video for Retreat, but I have to say I would have preferred to see her in it.
Three Hot 8 Brass Band. I blog about them all the time, so I won’t go on. But here’s their cover of Rastafunk.