Magazine article New Internationalist

Songs of the Volcano

Magazine article New Internationalist

Songs of the Volcano

Article excerpt

Music

Songs of the Volcano

by Papua New Guinea

Stringbands with Bob Brozman

(Riverboat TUGCD 1040CD)

Under the shadow of the Tavurvur volcano of East New Britain in Papua New Guinea, a remarkable project has been taking shape in the form of Songs of the Volcano, a double CD and DVD from guitarist Bob Brozman and 60 local musicians from the tiny town of Rabaul. It's not often that we can say that an album represents the heart of a community in the way that this one does. Brozman, a New Yorker with an indefatigable passion for collaboration on the one hand and the metal-bodied acoustic instruments known as National guitars on the other, has long been pursuing a project he terms 'world blues'.

With the five-stringed bands that he joins on this album's 16 tracks, this doesn't translate into a generic 12-bar blues of the Delta kind but more of a sing-and-strum style, which mostly favours unison over counterpoint. …

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