Oct 4, 2018

RhoDeo 1839 Roots

Hello, it is probably not to me to judge Lila Down but i get the impression she would have been much much bigger if she weren't managed by people who clearly lack her spirit and imagination, people like her husband that go for safe (money) and it's not difficult to discern the tracks where bland jazz bleeds through and turn Lila into a nightclub act. A chained goddess, hardly surprising then she couldn't have children with her nemesis, after all pregnancy and kids impacts her capability to make him money and loose his complete control. I know hard to believe but such is life, it simply isn't fair.

Today's artist is a Mexican singer-songwriter. She performs her own compositions and the works of others in multiple genres, as well as tapping into Mexican traditional and popular music. She also incorporates indigenous Mexican influences and has recorded songs in many indigenous languages such as Mixtec, Zapotec, Mayan, Nahuatl and Purépecha. Born and raised in Oaxaca, she primarily studied at the Institute of Arts by Oaxaca and briefly attended University of Minnesota, before withdrawing to focus on her musical career. She soon began performing in the traditional music scene of Oaxaca City. .  .....N'Joy

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Lila Downs was born on September 19, 1968, in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico. She is the daughter of Anita Sanchez, a Mixtec cabaret singer and Allen Downs, a Scottish-American professor of art and cinematographer from Minnesota. From an early age Downs showed interest in music. At the age of eight she began singing rancheras and other traditional Mexican songs. She began her professional career singing with mariachis. At fourteen she moved to the United States with her parents. She studied voice in Los Angeles and learned English, which her father helped her to perfect. When she was 16, her father died, and she decided to return to her native Tlaxiaco (a mountain town in the south east of Mexico) with her mother.

Although today Downs is proud of her origins there was a time (late teens) when she felt shame regarding her Native American roots. "I was embarrassed to have Indian blood. I was embarrassed that my mother spoke her language in public." This led her on a path to find herself, which included dropping out of college, dying her hair blonde and following the band The Grateful Dead. After some time Downs found herself back in Oaxaca working at her mother's auto parts store, where she met her future husband and nemesis, tenor saxophonist Paul Cohen.
Downs studied Anthropology at the University of Minnesota and voice in New York. Later she attended the Institute of Science and Arts of Oaxaca to complete her studies. At 25, after completing academic and music studies, Downs decided to return to Tlaxiaco.

In 1994 Lila Downs independently made her first album, entitled Ofrenda. This was both a collection of traditional songs from Oaxaca and Mexico, and songs written by the singer with lyrics sung in Spanish, Mixtec and Zapotec (native languages of Oaxaca). In 1996 Downs recorded a live session at a renowned café-bar of the City of Oaxaca. On this record Downs was accompanied by a set of well-known musicians who supported its interpretation of traditional themes, as well as country music and jazz.[9] With this work Downs and her music became known in different parts of the Republic of Mexico, and this was their first album to be released on CD. The album had a big impact, despite limited promotion and the fact that only a small number of copies were made.

In 1997 Lila Downs made a second recording, called "Traces", on which she performed material that was to be included in later albums. It is an extensive compilation of items in her traditional repertoire but, like its predecessor, had no commercial distribution. It was not until 1999, when Downs signed with the label Narada Productions, that she achieved commercial success and made herself known internationally with the album La Sandunga. Recorded a year earlier, this material came to the forefront of Mexican music and her album was one of the first to merge the sounds of traditional music and modern rhythms as jazz, blues and bolero, it was sung in Spanish and mixtec.

Lila's next album, Tree of Life, was released in 2000. This work found Lila turning to her indigenous past, and the album features pre-Hispanic sounds and instruments. Several of the songs on the album are sung in native Mexican languages such as Mixtec, Zapotec and Nahuatl. In October 2000, she began a two-month tour called the Tree of Life/Árbol de la vida, which included concerts in Latin America, Europe and the US. La Linea ( Border), released in 2001, was the first album by Downs to feature songs sung in English. With this album Downs merged sounds from different genres such as traditional folk music, rock and chilena. It included fifteen songs, eleven in Spanish, three in English and one in Mayan. The album received generally good reviews and placed in "Top charts" of world music. It also stirred up controversy due to its frank discussion of immigration, Native American marginalization and the Acteal massacre. This drew criticism, especially from corrupt politicians and the pedo church.

One Blood, one of Lila Downs's most successful albums, was released in April 2004, the lyrics are about migration, discrimination and the case of Mexican human rights defender Digna Ochoa. Lila Downs received in 2005 the Grammy Latino in the category of "Best Album of World Music"  after it reached the top of the worldmusic charts in United States, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany and France.

more next week

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Oaxaca. Tehuantepec. Teotichtlan del Valle. Huatulco. Ocotlan. Do the names sound exotic... or even strange? If so, you are probably like the vast majority of us who know little of Mexico beyond Mexico City and Acapulco. The places I mentioned are all in Oaxaca, the home state of Lila Downs. "La Sandunga" will bring these names to life and bring the place as close as it can get without one acually going there. This is an amazing collection of songs, and it showcases not only Downs' dramatic voice and her wonderful band, but the passion and smoldering intensity of Oaxacan music. There is nothing "casual" about this album... it demands your attention and will reward it with soulful pleasures. Musically, "La Sandunga" is full of dynamism, sometimes soft and languid, sometimes blazing with fury and the searing heat of love - for person, place and culture. Passion this music delivers plenty.

Lila Downs - La Sandunga   (flac  283mb)
01 La Sandunga 4:14
02 Pobre Changuita 2:13
03 Naila 3:12
04 Tengo Miedo De Quererte 3:56
05 Un Poco Mas 4:15
06 Sabor A Mi 4:20
07 Ofrenda 3:10
08 La Llorona 4:35
09 Yunu Yucu Ninu 3:21
10 Cancion Mixteca 2:55
11 Pinotepa 4:44
12 El Venadito 2:30
13 Perfume De Gardenias 2:47
14 La Malagueña 4:55
15 Bésame Mucho 5:24

Lila Downs - La Sandunga (ogg  121mb)

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Downs' remarkable voice has been compared to both Cesaria Evora and Susana Baca, combining operatic training and jazz chops, while maintaining her Mixtec Indian heritage and incorporating music from many different Latin cultures. This her sophmore effort is a masterpiece, shrouded in mysticism from ancient codices, Lila delivers interpretations that are exquisite manifestations of her being. Her voice trainng has allowed her to sing with unlimited range and depth, a true diva. Her music is contemporary folkloric songs that are performed in various indigenous languages of Mexico that touch a deep cord in one's soul. To listen to her sing in any language is delightful but the when she does in Mixtec it is something very special, ethereal, otherworldly, a communique from her ancestors, poetry from long gone souls for the living to learn from. Take a listen to the "Yunu Yuca Ninu" and hear Lila speak softly to your soul. She wrote the music for this song about the immigrants who leave Oaxaca every year, some to never return, based on a poem.

Lila is magical. About as far away from pop as you can get, this album is charting an unwritten path. Her talent is extraordinary, she composed seven of the tracks and of course sings in four languages. Lila had descended from the clouds in the mountains of Oaxaca to share her ethnic vision that comes from the duality of her being.

   Lila Downs - Tree of Life ( flac  259mb)

01 Simuna 3:36
02 Nueve Viento 4:44
03 Arenita Azul 2:50
04 La Iguana 3:05
05 Yunu Yucu Ninu 3:28
06 Xquenda 5:03
07 Nueve Hierba 3:33
08 Tres Pedernal 5:15
09 Luna 3:38
10 Semilla De Piedra 4:23
11 Arbol De La Vida 5:55
12 Icnocuicatl 3:15
13 Uno Muerte 3:04

  Lila Downs - Tree of Life   (ogg   117mb)

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Lila Downs' La Linea (Border) reflects her continuing fascination with Mexican-American border culture. Considering her own mixed heritage (she is the child of a Mixtec Indian and an American), Downs has a special interest here, and it shows in the emotional, directed singing of La Linea (Border). On the first few tracks, Downs' thick, throaty voice is on a par with the Latina pioneers Lola Beltran or Toña La Negra, but she also displays an enviable range, switching over to thewail of a Mexican countrywoman on "Sale Sobrando" and "Cumbia Maya," then to the pure, heartfelt sound of American country for the moving "Pastures of Plenty/This Land Is Your Land." Though non-Spanish speaking listeners may not understand the themes Lila Downs deals with, the plangent tones of her voice are reason enough to enjoy La Linea (Border).

 Lila Downs - La Línea     (flac  403mb)

01 Mi Corazón Me Recuerda 4:31
02 El Feo 3:25
03 Sale Sobrando 3:41
04 Carazoncito Tirano 3:59
05 La Niña 3:05
06 Hanal Weech 2:58
07 Medley: Pastures Of Plenty / This Land Is Your Land / Land 5:55
08 La Línea 4:58
09 El Bracero Fracasado 2:31
10 Tránsito 3:47
11 Smoke (Acteal) 4:50
12 La Martiniana 5:46
13 Soy Pescador 3:56
14 La Llorona 5:23
15 Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps 4:45

Lila Downs - La Línea   (ogg 159mb)

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Una Sangre (One Blood), is her most restless album. Downs is best known to American audiences for her appearance in the film Frida (about the legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo) and her major contribution to the film's soundtrack. She has long been in the trenches knitting the indigenous music of her native lands -- Mexico and the United States -- into a sonic fabric where traditional Mexican folk songs, richly textured pop, and American blues and jazz music mix with Spanish and English lyrics that also contain Mexico's Mayan, Zapotec, Nahuatl, and Mixtec Indian dialects. Downs' previous recordings have always been deeply satisfying; they combine a musicologist's world with the fiery heart of an activist poet. Una Sangre is the next step. Here, over the course of 13 songs, she takes a wondrously heady mix and deepens it with other musical elements that come from further afield, and she goes off the deep end into something new and wondrous. She uses Middle Eastern modalities and melodies, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms, hip-hop cadences, and reggae and even gospel influences, and extrapolates into this mix a dazzling lyrical array, adding Purepecha, an Indian dialect from the central Michoacan region, and Trique, an actual language from one of the 16 divergent ethnic groups who coexist in Oaxaca! Her husband, saxophonist and musical director Paul Cohen (from New Jersey) has woven a tight-knit group of multi-instrumentalists who come from the U.S., Paraguay/Mexico (Celso Duarte), Cuba (Junior Terry Cabrera), Chile (Yayo), and Brazil (Guilherme Monteiro), with guest appearances by Mexican and American guitarists Ernesto Anaya and Marvin Sewell, as well as the renowned Japanese percussionist Satoshi Takeishi. Downs' confidence is remarkable. Her readings of age-old folk songs like "La Bamba" and "La Cucaracha" remove the racist novelty and caricature character they have been saddled with outside Mexico, and restate them with their original ferocity and dignity as communal songs. On the title cut, her band employs dread reggae and she a dry, smoky jazz vocal that is nothing less than sultry and stretches the melody to the point of fissure. "Mother Jones" uses Delta-style blues gospel as a way of slipping into the murk of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora, while "Cielo Rojo" can only be called a Spanish desert blues, with three very different guitars carrying on above the subtle rhythms and Downs' mournful voice coming from the throaty dust and reaching a steamy falsetto that contains all the sorrow in the world. There are no respites from excellence and no false starts on Una Sangre; it is a most daring set performed with passion, focus, and vision. It offers the listener not only considerable pleasure, but the possibility for a new musical paradigm as well.

 Lila Downs - Una Sangre, One Blood   (flac  313mb)

01 Viborita 4:16
02 Dignificada 3:44
03 Cielo Rojo 3:55
04 La Bamba 4:13
05 One Blood 4:38
06 Malinche 4:00
07 Tirineni Tsïtsïki 3:20
08 La Cucaracha 4:38
09 Mother Jones 3:28
10 Paloma Negra 4:30
11 Brown Paper People 4:16
12 Una Sangre 3:24
13 Yanahuari Nïn 1:21

 Lila Downs - Una Sangre, One Blood (ogg  116mb)

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Anonymous said...

Rho, not sure where to ask for this but do you have any Dan Fogelberg? Thanks, Mike

Rho said...

Hello Anon there is no place here to request anything but re-ups, as it happens ive heard of Dan Fogelberg but i dont have any of his folk music

Roger Murphy said...

Hi Rho

I must apologise to you in advance, I also wanted to send a request.
Woud you have anything by Fossil Aerosol Mining Project or Zoviet France.


I appreciate this is a million to one chance.
Thanking you in advance, and also for the best music Blog
on the web.

Kindest regards

Rho said...

Hello Roger, thank you for your compliment never heard of the Fossil Aerosol club on the other hand a posting of Zoviet France is likely one day as i do have their work.

Roger Murphy said...

Hi Rho

Thank you, that is excellent news I very
grateful to you as ever.

Kindest regards
Rogerdodger : )