Posts Tagged ‘lotus wight’

Lotus Wight – Lotus Wight’s Ode to the Banjo | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on March 14th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Words by Doug DeLoach

4 panel Eco Wallet with no thumb (SLV 2.1.A) FINAL

A history lesson celebrating a much-maligned instrument

Lotus Wight is the nom du guerre of Toronto native Sam Allison, a songster, folklorist, poet, fiddler, banjo historian and instrument creator who also makes up one-third of the ragtime trio Sheesham & Lotus & ‘Son. Ode to the Banjo traces the centuries-old history of the instrument both literally, in the form of a 23-stanza poem penned by Wight/Allison (included in the notes), and musically within the album’s 13 tracks, most of which are interpretations of traditional American folk and blues songs.

Wight employs a cornucopia of authentic and playfully derivative instruments including a fretless gourd banjo, four-string banjo-mandolin, and contemporary five-string clawhammer banjo. On ‘Roustabout’, a composition by 19th-century Virginia banjoist Josh Thomas, popularised in the 60s by the late Mike Seeger, Wight sings the deeply melancholic lyrics while accompanying himself to haunting effect on the kalimba (African thumb piano). On ‘Skillet’ and ‘Cluck Old Hen’, Wight plays a homemade contraption called a Contrabass Harmoniphoneum, which must be heard to be comprehended. Wight’s imaginative take on traditional repertoire makes for extraordinarily compelling listening, while delivering a valuable history lesson about Americana’s most iconic musical instrument.

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Top of the World April 2016: The best new releases

Posted on March 4th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the April (#116) issue.

Joan Soriano - Me decidí Cover

Joan Soriano
Me Decidí (iASO Records)
After a five-year wait since his previous solo release, Dominican singer and guitarist Joan Soriano is back with a new offering of joyous material. A fine return from the bachata maestro.

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Divanhana - Zukva Cover

Zukva (ARC Music)
The young Sarajevan band display an air of firm confidence, playing sevdah music with a flexible and dynamic approach on their first UK release.

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Maz O’Connor

The Longing Kind (Restless Head)
Maz O’Connor steps away from the folk songs that featured in her previous work, taking inspiration from life experiences, literature and art to create an intelligent and emotional album.

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Sahra Halgan Trio - Faransiskiyo Somaliland Cover

Sahra Halgan Trio
Faransiskiyo Somaliland (Buda Musique)
Somaliland’s Sahra Halgan is accompanied by a band of musical virtuosos on her new album, her first since returning to her homeland after a 23-year exile in France.

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4 panel Eco Wallet with no thumb (SLV 2.1.A) FINAL

Lotus Wight

Lotus Wight’s Ode to the Banjo (Lotus Wight)
Through musical interpretations of traditional Americana, Canadian artist Lotus Wight’s new album explores the history of the banjo via 13 tracks that make for a riveting listen.

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Aziza Brahim - Abbar el Hamada Cover

Aziza Brahim
Abbar el Hamada (Glitterbeat)
An important voice for the people of the Western Sahara, Aziza Brahim returns with a relaxed effort that continues to spur her message of political injustice and resistance.

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The Gloaming - 2 Cover

The Gloaming
2 (Real World Records)
With their critically acclaimed and commercially successful debut behind them, The Gloaming return with their second album – one that shows no signs of a sophomore slump.

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Varttina - Viena Cover

Viena (Westpark Music)
Finnish group Värttinä exceed expectations on their new album, executing strong vocal performances with relentless energy and stellar musicianship that results in an exciting release.

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Sainkho Namtchylak - Like a Bird or Spirit, Not a Face Cover

Sainkho Namtchylak
Like a Bird or Spirit, Not a Face (Ponderosa Music & Art)
Renowned throat singer Sainkho Namtchylak exhibits her versatile vocal ability alongside the rhythm section of Tinariwen in this cross-cultural hybrid of Touaregs and Tuvans.

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Anchorsong - Ceremonial Cover

Ceremonial (Tru Thoughts)
Inspired by African pop music of the 1970s, Tokyo-born electronic musician Anchorsong utilises polyrhythms and expansive textures to create a sonically cohesive second album.

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