Shoukichi Kina

Asia Classics, Vol. 2: Peppermint Tea House

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AllMusic Review by

Silent-dog-whistle aficionados will relish the relentless female vocalists of Shoukichi Kina's band. Thank heavens for the balancing testosterone-pumping energy of Shoukichi himself, whose emergence holds back until the third cut to insure a dramatic entrance. And why not? As the intensely engaging songs here prove, Kina is the indisputable godfather of Okinawan pop, the inventor of a genre that combines elements of local folk music, Japanese-style vocals, Western instrumentation, and Kina's axe, the plucky sanshin banjo -- augmented on several cuts by Ry Cooder's electric guitar.

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