Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bethany & Rufus Roots Quartet

I was lucky enough to see them live on stage in SD - and since then they are one of my favorites.

About the CD release:
Bethany & Rufus Roots Quartet "Live A Fip" CD Debuts October 22, 2009 In Europe
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New World/Folk/Roots duo Bethany & Rufus along with Fulani flutist Yacouba Moumouni and Afro Haitian drummer 'Bonga' Jean-Baptiste will release a new CD, entitled "Live A Fip" on October 22, 2009. The Bethany & Rufus Roots Quartet "Live A Fip" CD features 12 tracks, and will debut in Europe on the Daqui Records label.
The "Live A Fip" CD release was a natural extension of Bethany & Rufus' collaborations with Jean-Baptiste and Moumouni. Bethany & Rufus, who share the same label with Moumouni, also shared the stage with him for one song during the 10th anniversary celebration of Daqui Records. They knew instantly that their political beliefs and musical chemistry would bond them together, catapulting them forward with continued performances. The trio became a quartet when 'Bonga' Jean-Baptiste was invited to perform with them the following summer at Les Nuits Atypique. During a promotional radio spot for the festival on Radio France in March 2009, the quartet was asked to perform live on the Live A Fip radio series, and the rest is history.
The Bethany & Rufus Roots Quartet's Live A Fip CD's strength lies not just in each artist's singular talents, but in their capacity to combine their abilities in a way that complements each member of the group to bring about a sound that is unique and groundbreaking, while incorporating concerns about global injustices, violence, and inequalities. Live A Fip is the product of a world where people and societies are interconnected, converging, and in turmoil.
One reviewer describes "Live A Fip," as "like nothing you've ever heard before. Styles from everywhere and anywhere come together seamlessly. One hears distinctly Afro-Cuban rhythms pop under driving bass lines, folksy lyrics and screaming flute. "Death Don't Have No Mercy" is particularly characteristic of this mixing and meshing. The cello is inescapably funky, the bongos complexify the rhythms, the flute line seethes with fiery reverberance, and Bethany's vocals lament the world in a way that only American folk music can."
Bethany Yarrow's voice has a deep resonance, a profound yearning that blends perfectly with the earthy sound of her band. Perhaps her voice sounds so good in this group because all of the instruments have a distinctly vocal quality about them. Yacouba Moumouni's flute imparts an especially human sound, a personification of woody vibrations that conjure images of life in its rawest form. 'Bonga' Jean-Baptiste's rhythms are complex and gel with Rufus Cappadocia's funky bass lines. Cappadocia's sound is also unique. His five string cello sound is rich in overtones that compound the earthiness of the group, and Yacouba's chants send shivers through your spine.
The whole album feels alive and growing. These are the sounds of life piercing a dry and crusted earth, its roots twisting and crawling, crackling and snapping. This music transcends the genres in which it finds its origins. It's not roots music, or blues, or funk, or jazz. While it contains elements of all of those styles, it is also unmistakably new and impossible to characterize in the traditional musical panacea. This pure, vibrating, swelling sound is open and honest. The Quartet is sincere and their music, all recorded live, makes you feel what they feel. This is an original and refreshing CD.

listen to some of the tracks from the Bethany & Rufus Roots Quartet "Live A Fip" CD

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