In the current issue of Songlines (June 2014, #100), we selected the essential list of ten family albums. You can read the full piece here, but here were my choices:
Roots (Sony, 2004)
Consisting of the Reyes brothers and their cousins, the Baliardo brothers, the French kings of rumba flamenca are a family band to the max. This release, a Top of the World in #24, saw them return to their cante jondo flamenco roots and leave behind the gimmicky frills of their previous (and subsequent) recordings.
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni ba
Jama Ko (Out Here, 2012)
Bassekou’s Ngoni ba has always been a family affair, though the line-up has changed ever so slightly with each release. On his last effort, which won the Malian ngoni star one of this year’s Songlines Music Awards, Bassekou is joined by his two sons Madou and Moustafa, and as always, the powerful voice of his wife Amy Sacko.
Le Trio Joubran
AsFâr (World Village, 2011)
Brothers Samir, Wissam and Adnan Joubran have made their name as one of the most innovative groups to have come out of the Middle East. Despite side solo projects, it is here together on AsFâr that the Palestinian brothers best showcase their talents. The impressive emotional range displayed here prove that they are indeed the ultimate masters of the oud ensemble.