Feb 202017
 

francesca blanchard

In 1966, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs had an unlikely hit with “Little Red Riding Hood,” a novelty song about a wolf putting the moves on a forest maiden (though after their previous hit “Wooly Bully,” perhaps nothing that followed can be described as unlikely). That wolf was lascivious, with leering lyrics like “What full lips you have / They’re sure to lure someone bad…” So much for sheep’s clothing!

The tables turn in Francesca Blanchard‘s new video for her terrific single “My Heart.” It stars the Michael Cera of wolves, shy and reticent as he leads her on a slo-mo forest chase. He’s like a more adult version of Hobbes to her Calvin and a whole lot different than Sam the Sham’s wolf – less “Wild Thing,” more Where the Wild Things Are. Continue reading »

Jan 242017
 

In addition to playing percussion in Phish bassist’s Mike Gordon’s band and until recently in Rubblebucket, Craig Myers leads a world-music ensemble dubbed Barika, a name taken from an Arabic word that in West Africa is used for giving praise and thanks. A master of the West African string instrument the n’goni, which he studied in Mali, Myers blends danceable African rhythms with a powerful horn section. Bold and catchy, this is “world music” that avoids the lite-reggae cliches the genre is often saddled with.

The band just announced their third album When The Time Comes, and, judging by the two songs they’ve released thus far, it could be their best yet. The songs show world music as it should be, focusing on a particular region while not being so tied to tradition that they can’t bring in music from other places. “Banni” is a chanted invocation with American soul horns that sounds like the Dap-Kings in the Middle East, while “Gotta Be Another Way” brings a little bit of Italy into Africa by channeling Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti westerns. Continue reading »