host picture

Music: June 2014 Archives

Errol's Pick

Nearly 35 years ago, soul singer Bettye Swann hung up her microphone and turned her back on the music business. On this morning's show, our music columnist Errol Nazareth reviewed "Bettye Swann: The Complete Atlantic Recordings". It's an essential collection of songs she recorded for Atlantic, the prestigious soul label, and it features all the singles she cut over the space of five years. Charles Waring, a soul music authority based in England who wrote the liner notes for this collection, says Swann's genius was similar to that of Donny Hathaway and Phyllis Hyman, in that her voice had a unique plaintive quality. "She didn't go for the histrionics of Aretha and Patti LaBelle. Rather her approach to singing was gentler, more subtle and she didn't feel the need to use a lot of notes to make her point. This set her apart from a lot of her church-reared contemporaries and also made her, less is more, approach to singing very powerful", he told Errol in an interview.

Comments

Errol's Pick

Robert Randolph and the Family Band are masters of sacred steel music. The group plays the jazz festival on Sunday with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and our music columnist Errol Nazareth introduced us to their unique sound on the show this morning. Randolph is a virtuoso of a 13-string pedal steel guitar and the group's sacred steel sound embraces gospel, soul, rock and funk. The sacred steel guitar is essentially a pedal steel guitar. African-American Pentecostal churches began using the pedal steel instead of an organ in the 20s, ushering in a new gospel style. The Grammy-nominated musician has since played all over the world and was hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Comments

Errol's Pick

Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars became a global sensation 10 years back after the group's fascinating story was told in an award-winning documentary. The band recently released its third album titled "Libation". The music of the All-Stars is infectious and uplifting and I appreciate it even more considering where it was born. I like how they bring together chiming guitars, harmonies, and percussion so beautifully. And if you listen closely to their records, you'll also hear some classic reggae, Congolese soukous and American soul. For "Libation", the band took a more acoustic approach than they did on their last two albums. They also experimented with a variety of vintage guitars and hand percussion but they also based many songs on African rhythms like Highlife and palm wine that they listened to when they were younger. You can see the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars opening for Ziggy Marley Saturday night at David Pecaut Square, which is just opposite the Broadcast Centre. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35.00.

Comments