Archive for August, 2017

Czech Music: At the Heart of the Bonfire – Bonus CD

29th August 2017  |  News  |  Comments Off on Czech Music: At the Heart of the Bonfire – Bonus CD

This bonus CD is exclusively available with the October (#131) edition of Songlines


The Czech language uses the same word – hranice – for bonfire and borderline. Czechia (the Czech Republic) is simultaneously at the warm heart of a burning fire, but also on the musical border between Western and Eastern Europe. The western part (including Prague) is more industrialised and the rural south and south-east is where local traditions are kept alive. Although Moravia in the east has a separate name, Czech is still spoken here. The lifestyle is different, however, and the rhythms are more playful, melodies more ornamented.

This 16-track CD features many of the top artists.

Petr Dorůžka 



1. Jitka Šuranská Trio – ‘Pofukuj větříčku a Maliny’,  Divé husy (2016)

2. Iva Bittová & Čikori – ‘Vila’, Entwine/Proplétám (2014)

3. Terne Čhave – ‘More, Love!’, More, Love! (2008)

4. Musica Folklorica & Veronika Malatincová – ‘Ej ženy, ženy, poradteže mi’, Ej ženy, ženy, poradteže mi (2013)

5. Ponk – ‘Šibeničky’, Postfolklor (2015)

6. BraAgas – ‘Brodil Janík koně’, unreleased (2017)

7. Jablkoň – ‘Černá Marie na rohu’, Hovada boží (2004)

8. Marta Töpferová & Milokraj – ‘Co mohl najíti poutník’, Tento svět (2017)

9. Bran – ‘Jen vítr kdyby vál’, Beaj vat! (2016)

10. Clarinet Factory – ‘Gore’, Meadows (2017)

11. Dva – ‘Nunovó Tango’, Fonók (2008)

12. Tara Fuki – ‘Dopis’, Winna (2014)

13. Jiří Pavlica & Hradišťan – ‘Vteřiny křehké’, Vteřiny křehké (2014)

14. HLASkontraBAS – ‘Černým lesem’, HLASkontraBAS (2016)

15. Beata Bocek – ‘Co jo tam bedym robić?’, O Tobje (2016)

16. Tomáš Kočko & Orchestr – ‘Tanečnica’, Do tanca! (2003)


Edited by the Arts and Theatre Institute, contact:

Compiled by: Lenka Dohnalová, Petr Dorůžka, Jiří Moravčík, Aleš Opekar and Přemysl Štěpánek

THE SUITCASE – Powerful South African drama at Northern Stage 14-16 September

27th August 2017  |  News  |  Comments Off on THE SUITCASE – Powerful South African drama at Northern Stage 14-16 September

Thursday 14 – Saturday 16th September (also with matinee on 16th), at Northern Stage, Newcastle in partnership with The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, THE SUITCASE – from the novel by Es’kia Mphahlele, featuring live music composed and written by the great Hugh Masekela. It’s 1950s South Africa. A young newly married couple leave their rural […]

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ASWAD in Middlesbrough! – Saturday 2 September

27th August 2017  |  News  |  Comments Off on ASWAD in Middlesbrough! – Saturday 2 September

ASWAD in Middlesbrough! Saturday 2nd September The Longlands Club, TS4 2HF ‘The Lions of Ladbroke Grove’ remain one of the country’s best loved reggae bands. Formed in the late seventies their early hits include “Warrior Charge” and “Three Babylon”, which established the band with a massive following culminating in a UK number one hit “Don’t […]

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Obituary: Sue Steward

23rd August 2017  |  News  |  Comments Off on Obituary: Sue Steward

One of Songlines’ founding contributing editors, Sue Steward, passed away this morning following a cerebral haemorrhage last week


Sue started her career in the music business with Virgin Records in the 70s, followed by a stint working for the Sex Pistols. It was her passion for Latin music that brought her to Songlines and she contributed from the very first issue in 1999 until 2012 when she went on to pursue writing about another long-held love, art and photography. Her book, Salsa: Musical Heartbeat of Latin America (Thames & Hudson, 1999), is still widely regarded as one of the definitive books on salsa. ‘It’s going to be hard to really explain what salsa is…’ Willie Colón warned in the foreword. But Sue did it extremely well in the following 170 pages – tracing its geographical roots from Cuba to the US, from Puerto Rico and Colombia back to Africa. Her apologetic beginning shows just how little-known this music was in 1999 and how Sue was at the forefront of bringing it to a wider world. It was a book that was also easy to read, full of illustrations and photographs, showing that Sue, then arts picture editor at the Daily Telegraph, understood that the imagery and iconography were just as important as the music.

Sue was one of the first movers and shakers of the world music scene in the UK and was a regular contributor on radio and various national newspapers – including the Daily Telegraph, London Evening Standard, The Guardian and more. One of life’s great enthusiasts, she will be sorely missed by her family, the many artists she championed and by all her fellow music-loving friends.

A longer obituary will be published in the next issue of Songlines (November 2017, out September 29).


Introducing Songlines issue #131 (October 2017)

Introducing Songlines issue #131 (October 2017)

22nd August 2017  |  News  |  Comments Off on Introducing Songlines issue #131 (October 2017)


The October 2017 (#131) issue of Songlines is now on sale!

Our cover star this issue is Mulatu Astatke, the man instrumental in creating and popularising Ethio-jazz.

Other features include an interview with the Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita about their latest collaboration, Transparent Water; Polish family band Kapela Maliszów who return with a new album; an examination of the most musical of Hindu gods, Krishna; South Korean group Black String and Kathryn Tickell talk about their forthcoming concert; plus the latest CD, book, world cinema and live reviews. 


The Top of the World CD includes tracks from Rio Mira, Mary Ann Kennedy, Offa Rex and Rafiki Jazz, as well as a guest playlist from singer-songwriter and former French First Lady, Carla Bruni, featuring Rachid Taha and Buena Vista Social Club


This issue also features a bonus CD of Czech Music from the Heart of Europe, including tracks from Jitka Šuranská Trio, Marta Töpferová & Milokraj and Ponk. Find out more



To buy the new issue or to find out more about subscribing to Songlines, please visit:

Top of the World albums: Songlines #131 (October 2017)

22nd August 2017  |  News  |  Comments Off on Top of the World albums: Songlines #131 (October 2017)

Here is our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the October issue of Songlines. Tracks from each of these albums are included on the free cover-CD with issue #131.

To buy the new issue or to find out more about subscribing to Songlines, please visit:



Rio Mira 
Marimba del Pacífico
AYA Records
This stunning and important release showcases the music of the Ecuador-Colombia border region, with the marimba, the native instrument of Bantu origin, at its heart.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Ghalia Benali & Mâäk
MwSOUL Art Foundation
Born out of the turmoil of the Arab uprisings, this album contains multi-cultural brass playing and is infused with elements of jazz, while remaining steeped in the classical Arabic tradition.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Makan Badjé Tounkara
Buda Musique
This track has a blues flavour and a bubbling talking drum. Tounkara adds three more strings to the ngoni, reflecting his innovative style.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Too Sad for the Public
Vol 1: Oysters Ice Cream Lemonade
StorySound Records
This American folk, old-time album from Dick Connette gets five stars for its visionary explorations of tunes old and new.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Mary Ann Kennedy
An Dàn: Gaelic Songs for a Modern World
ARC Music
A fine solo debut introducing audiences to the modern Gaelic tradition. Kennedy is a powerful force on the Scottish trad scene.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Offa Rex
The Queen of Hearts
Offa Rex are Olivia Chaney and US indie rockers The Decemberists, and this track combines silky vocals, guitar, fiddle and organ, redolent of both British folk-rock and Americana.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Stephan Micus
Inland Sea
The reflective Inland Sea explores Micus’ latest enthusiasm, the nyckelharpa (keyed fiddle), which he pairs with the balanzikom, a lute from the borders of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Amazon | iTunes



Rafiki Jazz
Har Dam Sahara
Riverboat Records
Mesmerisingly performed and colourfully textured, this track is a stunning addition to an acoustic album from Sheffield-based Rafiki Jazz, who strive to cross cultural boundaries through sound.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



The Drystones
We Happy Few
Shedbuilt Records
A rousing, contemporary edged anthem amidst an eclectic mix from the Anglo-Celtic isles and further afield, from Irish jigs to old English hornpipes. Modern covers further the contemporary influence.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Bjarte Eike & Barokksolistene
The Alehouse Sessions
Boisterously thrilling and infused with humour throughout, this album covers 17th-century dances, sea shanties and traditional ballads.
Amazon | iTunes Spotify

Pick up the October issue of Songlines to enjoy our Top of the World cover-CD, which contains tracks from each of the albums above. To find out more about subscribing to Songlines, visit: