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Music: January 2015 Archives

Errol's Pick

Ten years back, a small label released an album by Bettye Lavette, a soul singer who had remained under our radar for more than 40 years. Lavette released a new album this week titled "Worthy", on which she covers songs by The Beatles, The Stones, and Dylan, and our music columnist Errol Nazareth says it's a worthy addition to your record collection. When I reviewed her 2005 album titled "I've Got My Own Hell To Raise" on the show, I remember saying Lavette sings with frightening intensity. I also said she has the innate ability to get inside a song and make you feel exactly what she's feeling. This is the fifth album she's released since then and I stand by what I said. It's that genius, or what a musicologist friend calls her near mystical ability, that makes her versions of songs by The Stones and Beatles so compelling. I'm not a big fan of cover records but Miss Lavette, who turns 69 today, can do no wrong when she covers a tune.

@ErrolNazareth

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Errol's Pick

Quraishi Roya fled to the U.S. from his native Afghanistan when he was 18 years old and is now considered one of the leading lights of classical Afghan music. Errol reviewed his CD, "Mountain Melodies", on the show this morning. Quraishi makes achingly beautiful, transportive music that has hints of Indian, Middle Eastern and Greek music on the rubab, the national instrument of Afghanistan. He began to study guitar in high school but switched instruments after he read reports of the Taliban arresting musicians and banning public concerts back home, To protest what the Taliban was doing and to show solidarity with Aghan musicians, Quraishi decided to learn the rubab. In an interview with the New York Times, he said, ''I wanted to keep the rubab alive. I realized that this was my duty."

@ErrolNazareth

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Errol's Pick

Our music columnist Errol Nazareth says Barbara Lynn was a musical anomaly in the 1960s. Lynn sang the blues - a genre that was and is still dominated by men. She played the guitar - left-handed, no less. And she wrote her own material - which wasn't common at the time. And Lynn wasn't just popular in her hometown. Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones and the country legend Freddy Fender covered her songs. Here is Barbara Lynn is the title of a CD she released in 1968, and a reissue of that album is now out.In an interview with a magazine, Lynn recalled how audiences reacted when they saw her playing around Beaumont. "It was so odd for them, both men and women, to see a young black girl, especially around these parts, playing a left-handed guitar and singing the blues." Lynn took a long break from making music to raise her 3 children but she's back making music and at age 73, she is still touring. She plays in Europe occasionally and she's got a few gigs lined up in Texas and California over the next 2 months.
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