Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Globalquerque! Rockin' in the Free World...

Los Texmaniacs
Music festivals are one of my favorite things in the entire world, 'world' music especially, music originating outside the dominant Anglo-American English-language pop juggernaut that gets exported everywhere. It's nice when it even trickles down to the provinces, further proof that good things can happen outside large cities. Albuquerque, New Mexico, is good for that.

It's nice to hear what traditional cultures can do on their own, and its especially nice to not have to search so long and hard for it at the source. You already know how hard it is to go to Cuba. And these days you might find more Malian music outside the country than within. That's convenient, considering that the country itself is largely destroyed, victim of Muslim fundamentalism. Mali is one of world music's greatest success stories.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pickamania in Silver City, NM: Bluegrass Music Grows Up

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys
My first experience with a bluegrass festival was way back in 1974, together with my buddy Emmett Collier on our Grand Tour of the West, and my first true foray into the world of backpacking and independent travel, cutting off those ties with Mom and Dad and the girl I might've left behind, if I'd had one. I remember the dates distinctly because I left the day I turned twenty. I didn't return 'home' for over six months. Hey, I was hungry. And it was the holiday season. The rest is history.

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