NATION BEAT: LEGENDS OF THE PREACHER
"Nothing short of inspirational. Loping, sensual percussion rhythms, searing bowed-string melodies, sweetly soaring slide guitar, and heart-tugging vocals are the band's stock in trade... Williams's "I'm So Lonesome I could Cry" gets a brilliant treatment that touches on all the band's strong suits... The most original and alluring fusion band I've heard in years."
By Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide/NPR's All Things Considered
"A tight rhythm machine urged on by the lush vocals of Brazilian singer Liliana Araujo...this is joyous, get-up-and-shake-it music...Legends is very, very hip."
Mark Schwartz, Barnes and Noble (7/15/08)
“Hank Williams never swung like this... When an experiment really works, you don't think about process, but just enjoy the results... an irresistible sense of fun.”
Newark Star Ledger (7/21/08) by Marty Lipp
"A dizzying cocktail of music of another culture… what’s most impressive is how seamlessly and organically everything flows together… the sophistication and unadulterated passion the group brings to its enterprise elevates the sound into the intoxicating.”
The New York Sun (7/15/08) by Bret McCabe
"A groove and character all its own. Blending sounds of Southern blues with Brazilian maracatu and a whole lot more, their sound is definitely unique. With Liliana Araujo’s beautifully full, soulful voice gliding gracefully over the red hot multi-layered rhythm section… a delightfully wide range of sound and influence."
QuietColor.com (6/28/08) by Marc Amigone
“Nation Beat are inspired ambassadors of Brazilian sounds which remain more underexposed here in the States... Their cover of Hank Williams’ ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry' must be heard to be believed! Sweet-as-pie steel guitar sighs away over mesmerizing rollicking maracatu rhythm while Skye Steele’s fiddle sends the whole delicious ache of it all up to the tippy-top of the mistiest mountains. It’s one of the most fascinating covers I have heard in a while.”
Noise -- San Francisco Bay Guardian Music Blog (3/7/08) by Todd Lavoie
VIEUX FARKA TOURE
"The king is dead, long live the king!" (4 out of 5 stars)
The London Evening Standard, Simon Broughton, 3 February 2007. Full Article
"A timeless piece of work that is sure to end up on many critics' end-of-year polls. It subtly bridges the gap between old and new, adding hints of reggae and rock, but always maintaining a profoundly Malian feel."
The Independent, Phil Meadley, 23 February 2007
"This confident and vibrant debut gives every indication Vieux is a formidable force in his own right." (5 Stars)
Independent on Sunday, Howard Male, 11 February 2007
"Ali Farka Touré was not a griot (a hereditary musician), but Vieux already sounds like his natural heir, with confidence, expertise and a style of his own...The great dynasty lives on." (4 Stars)
The Guardian, Robin Denselow, Friday February 9, 2007
"Crisply produced, the record crackles with minimalist intensity - a triumph."
The Observer, Neil Spencer, 4 February 2007
"As far as debut albums go, this one is nearly perfect." (4 out of 5 stars)
Review by Jeff Tamarkin, All Music Guide
"How do you follow in the footsteps of a giant? Like this." (4 out of 5 stars)
Review by Charlie Gillett, The Guardian/Observer, 21 January 2007
"A stunning debut... Touré is an excellent guitarist and singer, already fully-formed, and a songwriter of great depth. Not just one to watch for the future, but one who's already here."
Review by Chris Nickson, globalvillageidiot.net, December 2006
"A beautifully realized debut."
Review by Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide
"The torch is passed... [Vieux] has mastered [his father's] repertoire and made it his own."
John Goddard, Toronto Star. Full Article (PDF)
"This debut album is not only a musical triumph, it is also a triumph of human spirit."
Maria Jett, World Pulse Magazine. Full Article
"It cannot be easy living in the shadow of Africa's greatest bluesman. Yet... Vieux Farka Touré has managed to impose his precocious talents on the guitar, thanks to a remarkably assured debut album."
Daniel Brown, Mondomix, January 2007
"The future of Niafunke blues is in good hands."
SoundRoots.org. Full Article
ASAP: The Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project
Toronto Star: "Toronto man offers hottest disc " (pdf)
Boston Herald: "ASAP Review (3.5 of 4 stars)" (pdf)
Business Week: "A Startup's Songs for Africa"
Hartford Courant: "The Beat of Sudan Relief" (pdf)
Milwaukee Magazine: "Album of the Week" (pdf)
Philadelphia Inquirer: "Taking the Fund-Raising Beat Digital" (pdf)
Eye Weekly: "Sudan Solution"
Wesleyan Alumni Magazine: "Rocking Out to the Beat of Hope" (pdf)
Wesleyan Argus: "Students Produce Album to Benefit Victims of Sudan Crisis" (pdf)
SmallWORLD PODCAST (mp3)
Your Mac Life Radio: "Audio Interview with Dave Ahl" (mp3)
As The Apple Turns: "Just Call Us Sally Struthers"
Afropop Worldwide: "Top Ten for 2004"
Create Digital Music: "Music and Activism: African Artists Team up for Sudan" (pdf)
Create Digital Music: "Music as Activism: iTunes Vids Could Help Sudan + Indie Film"
Global Rhythm Magazine: "Darfur ASAP Album Raises $120,000 for Victims"
Pitchfork Media: "ASAP Review (8 out of 10)"
Macworld UK: "Apple Puts its Charity Hat on Again"
Mac News Network: "iTunes Music Store Makes its First Foray into Charitible Giving"
The Mac Observer: "Apple Hosts Sudan Charity Music on iTunes for Free"
MusicStrands Feature: "Afro-Pop Raises Political Awareness"
SceneAndHeard.ca: Review / "Dance for Darfur" Interview
World Beat Planet: "ASAP: the Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project"
Urban Outfitters: "Featured Album for February"