In the current issue of Songlines (April/May 2015, #107), we choose a selection of forthcoming tour highlights. You can see the full list here, but here were my selections:
Photo of Manu Delago by Daniel Shaked
Stunning Scandinavian strings sure to have you dancing
Named after the Nordic goddess of love and fertility, Frigg have established themselves as an excellent live band with their particular blend of Finnish and Norwegian fiddle traditions and bluegrass – what they call ‘Nordgrass’. While their self-titled debut album came out in 2002, they only made their UK live debut in 2012. Their last album, Polka V, was a Top of the World in #90, and from first-hand experience Songlines can vouch for their excellent live show – you’ll be on your feet dancing and spinning, enchanted by their fiddling, until you drop.
Touring April 30-May
Manu Delago Handmade
The hang man and his Handmade quartet tour new album
The list of artists that Delago has collaborated with – Björk, Anoushka Shankar and the London Symphony Orchestra to name just a few – shows just how versatile the Austrian hang player and percussionist really is. His last album, Bigger than Home, was a fusion of world and electronic music. His forthcoming album Silver Kobalt picks up where the other left off; a sophisticated mix of rhythmic elegance.
Touring April 28-May 3
Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club
The Cuban legends bid us ‘Adios’ on their farewell tour
Orquestra BVSC have been Cuban music’s ambassadors ever since the release of the 1997 Grammy-winning album Buena Vista Social Club. Some of Cuba’s best have passed through the line-up, including the late Rubén González and Ibrahim Ferrer. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes to fully enjoy everything Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club have become famous for, from son and rumba to danzon and bolero.
Touring April 4-13
One of Australia’s most important Aboriginal voices
This beloved Pitjantjatjara singer-songwriter stole the hearts of his listeners with his 2010 acoustic release Countryman (a Top of the World in #85), which ended a ten-year hiatus. His songs, including the heart-wrenching ‘She Cried’, are deeply emotional and powerful. His latest album, Uncle (reviewed in #106) is a slightly rockier affair, but remains just as riveting; he still delivers an emotionally gripping performance. He sings in his native Pitjantjatjara as well as English with a raw power that is hard to resist.
Touring April 23-May 3