Strictly Roots Top 5 At 5 Countdown – w/e 11/05/14

As it’s Monday afternoon, why not sit back, relax and check out my top 5 tracks that I’ve been listening to lately? We have a wide range as ever, with music from Mali and the UK as well as the US and Canada. We move right across the styles, so if that sounds like your bag, let’s go.

Toumani & Sidiki Diabate – Rachid Ouiguini

A beautiful piece of music from the new record by Toumani & Sidiki Diabate. Toumani, Sidiki’s father, is a world-renowned kora player, with years of experience and many different kinds of recordings to his name. In his latest record, he teams up with son Sidiki, and they have produced a work which perhaps they could only have made together. With its extraordinary playing, this track stood out to me when I heard it recently.

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Sproatly Smith – Douglas Traherne Harding

Sproatly Smith are a psychfolk band from Hertfordshire that I chanced on recently, and I wanted to include this really nice piece, their take on Mike Heron’s Douglas Traherne Harding. Taken from the group’s sixth album, Thomas Traherne, this song’s wide-open vocals and instrumentation fit in nicely with the changing of the seasons, and, although not usually what I’d listen to, I wanted to include it on this week’s list. See what you think.

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The Be Good Tanyas – Ootischenia

Quite why I haven’t featured the Be Good Tanyas on the countdown before I don’t know, so I am rectifying that mistake right now. The Tanyas are one of my favourite groups, and have been an influence on me for a good while now. They recorded three albums between 2000 and 2006, and all of the members of the band have gone on to record with other people in different line ups. Here is their beautiful, sublime and sexy song Ootischenia (a small town in British Columbia, and Frazey Ford’s home town), or Draught Daughter’s Blues.

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The Watersons – Swinton May Song

I mentioned earlier on about the changing of the seasons, and it was recently May Day of course, a traditional and ceremonial start of summer. Historically, different towns in England had their own May Song, which would be sung to welcome in the new season, and to celebrate the coming of better times. This is the Watersons iconic version of the Swinton May Song. Swinton is a small town in Greater Manchester, in the north-west of England.

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Corn Potato String Band – Run Mountain

I’ve already featured the Corn Potato String Band on the blog, and I am really looking forward to seeing them play here in Bristol. Here they are, playing Run Mountain, just to give you a flavour of the sounds they come up with, and the ways in which the three instruments interact with one another. As ever, I hope you’ve enjoyed the music this week, let me know what you think in the comments below, or drop me a tweet!

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