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  • LIFE

    Hail! Hail! Rock'n'Roll!

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 21/03/2017

    » The headlines in the media have been dominated by politics for what seems like an age but suddenly changed a couple of days ago when the sad news that the "King of Rock'n'Roll" Chuck Berry had died at his Missouri home. He was 90 years old and, supported by some of his children, had just recorded his first studio album for 38 years; the album, simply called Chuck will be released later this year.

  • LIFE

    Inside the Garifuna Collective: Central America's Afro-Amerindian community

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 29/11/2016

    » In 2007, the Belize-based musician Andy Palacio created a band of local Garifuna musicians, called The Garifuna Collective, releasing the ground-breaking album Watina. It became an immediate international hit, garnering critical acclaim and raising the profile of Central America's Afro-Amerindian Garifuna community.

  • LIFE

    Boogie down one last time

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 13/01/2015

    » Johnny Otis was one of the pioneers of R&B, a key but often neglected figure in the development of rock'n'roll. Otis passed away, aged 90, at his home in California in 2012, after a lifetime in show business as a performer and band leader, composer, arranger, producer, disc jockey, nightclub owner, talent scout, political activist and cartoonist. He had over 20 R&B and pop hits between 1948-60 and was responsible for the discovery of Etta James, Hank Ballard, Jackie Wilson and Little Esther Jones, among others.

  • LIFE

    Okinawan duo dazzles, Skatalites still shine

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 05/11/2013

    » Okinawan singer/musician Kanako Horiuchi flew in last week for the Siam Okinawa Music Festival, which was held on Friday at the Imperial Queen's Park Hotel on Sukhumvit 22.

  • LIFE

    Departed musical giants leave enduring legacy

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 07/05/2013

    » Three giants of popular music passed away recently: US guitar maestro Bob Brozman; taarab icon Bi Kidude from Tanzania; and US country legend George Jones. The news of the deaths of these great musicians has saddened fans around the globe, but we can take comfort in the fact that each left behind a great musical legacy.

  • LIFE

    Photos evoke Chicago in its influential heyday

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 04/06/2013

    » Chicago was the birthplace of the electric, urban blues which became known as "rhythm and blues" or just plain "Chicago blues"; it was the precursor of rock 'n' roll. The blues may have come from the US south with the "great migration" of African-Americans that began in 1920 and gathered pace during and immediately after World War II, but it was transformed in the late 40s and early 50s into an electrified dance music in the north by Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Bo Diddley, Little Walter and their contemporaries, as well as by new labels like Chess Records.

  • LIFE

    Solid Isan grooves

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 20/11/2012

    » Bangkok Paradise, the live show and DJ event set up by local DJ Maft Sai and his UK-based partner DJ Chris Menist, returns later this month with another night of molam-inspired music. Those lucky enough to have caught the last event, a reunion of Wong Dontri Molam Theppabutr _ one of the greatest molam bands of all time _ supported by singers Pimpa Petchpalangchai and Isan luk thung legend Saksiam Petchchompu, will want to check out the new event, which will feature the debut live performance of a new molam band put together by Maft, The Paradise Bangkok International Molam Band.

  • LIFE

    Unearthing a treasure

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 28/08/2012

    » I was rummaging through some backstreet stores in Khlong Thom market the other week, looking for VCDs and DVDs of old luk thung movies. There are several stores in the market that feature a plethora of all kinds of movies, as well as audio CDs, and I did indeed find quite a few movies that featured music _ molam and luk thung _ including several with the late Pumpuang Duangjan as the main star.

  • LIFE

    The sounds of Isan

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 15/05/2012

    » There are two broad fiddle traditions in northeastern music, one from molam, the music of ethnic Laotians and one from kantrum, the music of ethnic Khmers. The division is also neatly delineated geographically into molam in the upper and central parts of the Northeast and kantrum in the lower part, near the Cambodian border. As the late great kantrum singer Darkie noted in his anthem to northeastern music, Isan Samakhee (Northeast Unity): "Isan nua me molam, Isan tai me kantrum."

  • LIFE

    Musical styles meet in Malaysia

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 17/04/2012

    » The Penang World Music Festival returned recently after a three-year break and World Beat was there from March 30 to April 1 to enjoy the reconstituted three-day music festival.

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