Review | Songlines

Cape Verdean Blues

Rating: ★★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details


Kavita Shah


Folkalist Records


Award-winning vocalist Kavita Shah presents a homage to the legendary Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora, as well as an expression of her own sodade: a melancholic sense of transience. The daughter of Gujarati immigrants to the US, Shah found a sense of home in Cape Verde that had eluded her for most of her life and says that Evora’s music summoned her down this path since she first heard it.

Most of the compositions are from Evora’s repertoire, with some of Shah’s own thrown in for good measure. A chance meeting with Evora’s musical director/guitarist, Bau, has meant that he plays a prominent part on this album, with the overall sound being faithful to traditional morna sensibility yet with a subtle jazz aesthetic introduced by Shah’s inflections and occasional scatting. The album opens with little rhythmic vocalisations and this playful approach returns every now and then, from the monkey howls of ‘Flor de Lis (feat Bau)’ to the bird whistles of ‘Chaki Ben (feat Maalam Hassan Benjaafar and Bau)’. Shah’s voice is silky and sublime and is backed by superb instrumentalists on guitar, cavaquinho, bass, percussion and more.

Subscribe from only £5.53

Start your journey and discover the very best music from around the world.


View the Current

Take a peek inside the latest issue of Songlines magazine.

Find out more