Nation Beat’s “Legends of the Preacher” named #1 world music album of 2008 by Star Ledger


While the world music category provides a stunning array of pure ethnic and traditional music, this year belonged to the category busters — artists who didn’t just create music with hyphenated heritage, but that defied cultural expectations. The obvious examples populating the pop charts were Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A: and the African-music inspired of Vampire Weekend. But the stew has been brewing on the industry’s back burner world-music charts too. Lila Downs, who is both Mexican and American by birth, created an album that triumphantly rose above categorization — and would have topped my list if we didn’t offer she Latin music list. Rupa, an Indian-American, made an album of French swing. Nation Beat and the Klezmer Mountain Boys mixed American country with poor-folks music from Brazil and Eastern Europe. In the age of a mixed-race president who grew up in Hawaii with a Kenyan name, Americans may have a tough time holding on to their expectations.

1. “Legends of the Preacher,” Nation Beat (Modiba)

This New York-based band combines rural music from northeastern Brazil and the American South, but that’s just the beginning of this joyful mash-up. The ethnomusicological dissections, however, are tossed in the back seat for this careening joy ride. ”
-Marty Lipp, Star Ledger, Dec 28, 2008.

Congrats Nation Beat!!!


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