Mostly Folk World Tour Playlist: August 4, 2013
For the past six years, I have served as the assistant host of “Los Vientos del Pueblo,” a bilingual program of Latin American and Spanish music, poetry, and history that airs every Sunday on WRPI-FM from 2-6 pm Eastern Time. But this past spring, the RPI students in charge of the radio station changed their policy to allow additional community members to host their own shows. As a result, I am now one of four rotating show hosts for “Mostly Folk,” the folk-music program that airs from 6-8 pm on Sundays.
My joining “Mostly Folk” is a liaison of convenience, as I’m not as plugged into the local folk scene as the other hosts. In fact, I’m not really part of the scene at all, as my interest is more in roots music from around the world. However, the show needed another person, and I wanted to play a wider range of music that Mario and I play on “Los Vientos del Pueblo” (although I also play many of the artists and songs we feature there as well).
I began hosting my “Mostly Folk World Tour” in June, and today was my second time. I was a lot less nervous and a lot better prepared, and for the first time, I got fan calls today. Three people called in my two hours to tell me how much they liked the show and to ask for more information about my playlist. Since fans only encourage me, I’ve decided to list my songs here so people can look for them. This way, people will have the correct spelling, as most of the songs are not in English. I’ve listed the artist, the song, the album where I found the song, the nationality of the performer, and the language of the song.
As this program is a “world tour,” I organized it by locale. Our first stop was southern Louisiana:
- Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin. “Once There Was a Hushpuppy.” Soundtrack for the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild. Instrumental.
- Beausoleil. “Les Bon Temps Rouler Waltz.” Hot Chili Mama. Cajun.
- Buckwheat Zydeco. “In the Summertime.” 100% Fortified Zydeco. Instrumental.
- Rosie Ledet. “You’re No Good for Me.” Putumayo Zydeco (compilation). English.
- Beausoleil. “Hot Chili Mama.” Hot Chili Mama. English
We then took off for the Caribbean, with our first stop Haiti, to highlight the cultural interchange between this Caribbean nation and people of African descent who lived on the Gulf Coast:
- Boukman Eksperyans. “Tande M Tande.” Kalfou Danjere/Dangerous Crossroads. Haiti. Kreyol.
- Boukan Ginen. “Je’n la Nap Gade.” Rev an Nou. Haiti. Kreyol.
- Buena Vista Social Club. “Chan Chan.” Buena Vista Social Club. Cuba. Spanish.
- Bob Marley. “Acoustic Medley (Guava Jelly, This Train, Cornerstone, Comma Comma, Dewdrops, Stir It Up, I’m Hurting Inside)” Songs of Freedom. Jamaica. English.
- Puerto Plata. “De que te vale.” Casita de Campo. Dominican Republic. Spanish.
- Pablo Milanes. “Amo esta isla.” Cancionero. Cuba. Spanish.
From there, we visited various countries in southern and West Africa:
- Thomas Mapfumo. “Marudzi Nemarudzi/Different Races.” Rise Up. Zimbabwe. Shona.
- Ladysmith Black Mambazo. “Kwishi Kwishi.” Celebrate Africa! (compilation for the 1996 Olympics). South Africa. Zulu
- Youssou N’Dour. “N’Dobine.” Nelson Mandela. Senegal. Wolof.
- Baaba Maal. “Gorel.” Firin’ in Fouta. Senegal. Wolof.
- Ismael Lo. “Dibi Dibi Rek.” Senegal. Wolof.
- My fourth segment highlighted “world travelers”–musicians who mixed languages, cultures, and genres:
- Manu Chao. “Bongo Bong.” Clandestino. France/Spain. English.
- Manu Chao. “Je Ne T’aime Plus.” Clandestino. France/Spain. French.
- Chico Buarque. “Construcao/Deus Lhe Pague.” Brazil. Portuguese
- D’Angelo, Femi Kuti, Macy Gray. “Water No Get Enemy” (song composed by Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti). Red Hot + Riot (compilation). Instrumental.
I finally returned to the United States with three songs about race in the context of the killing of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his assailant several weeks ago. I noted that several of the Caribbean and African musicians addressed racial and ethnic conflict in their work as well:
- Ranchers for Peace. “WAB (Walking Around Black).”
- Tracy Chapman. “Across the Lines.” Tracy Chapman.
- Fred Small. “Faces at the Window.”