INTERNATIONAL SOUNDS FROM NIGERIA, JAMAICA, and MEXICO: Stephen Marley, Sade, Rodrigo y Gabriela


sade3In 2011, Sade released her second compilation CD, The Ultimate Collection, a double CD greatest hits package. The highlight was four previously unreleased songs. A cover of Thin Lizzy’s Still In Love With You, a remix of The Moon and Sky with Jay-Z, the bouncy pop hit, Love Is Found, and a heartbreaking torch ballad called I Never Would Have Guessed. Sade’s music has always intrigued me with her combination of World Music, smooth jazz, traditional R&B, and even a little reggae. I’m surprised Sade has never toured or collaborated with Seal, those two artists seem like a perfect concert match.


Rodrigo+y+Gabriela+pngWhat an unlikely rise to fame: Two Mexican acoustic guitarists, one male and one female, are discovered busking on the streets of Dublin, Ireland. Before long they’re playing in the pubs, developing a cult fan base, and are chosen to open for David Gray and Damien Rice. The duo’s strength is their impeccable timing, quick flamenco skills, and their skill at mixing traditional Mexican folk music with their love of metal including Led Zeppelin and Metallica. Here’s their video for Hanuman, a tribute to a Hindu deity.


stephen marleyIn 2007, Stephen Marley released his first solo album, Mind Control. After years of living in the shadow of his father and even playing second to his brother, Ziggy, as a member of his Melody Makers band, Stephen’s debut won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album. The CD’s final track, Inna Da Red, expressed his Rastafarian beliefs and prays for Jah’s love and peace of mind when the troubles of the world are bringing him down. The soulful mix features Ben Harper on guest vocals.

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