Various Artists

The Rough Guide to African Roots Revival

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Thanks to Western musicians like guitar chameleon Ry Cooder, bluesman Corey Harris, and Phish founder Trey Anastasio, since the mid-'90s the rich musical landscape of Africa has gained a higher profile around the world in general. The Rough Guide to African Roots Revival taps into this movement, collecting tracks from musicians who draw connections from African music traditions to blues (Malian lute player Bassekou Kouyate and his Ngoni Ba band, Ghanaian chordophone players Seprewa Kasa), funk (Congolese rumba reinventors Staff Benda Bilili), and even progressive electronic sounds (Sinai Desert found object ensemble Bedouin Jerry Can Band, electrified thumb piano innovators Konono No. 1). The collection is supplemented by a bonus disc featuring Kenyan band Kenge Kenge, who blend syncopated, lyre-driven benga melodies with more contemporary instrumentation.

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