Legends of the Preacher

Legends of the Preacher

by Nation Beat
     
 
The “you’ve put your peanut butter in my chocolate” concept has been a mainstay in world music since the 1980s, and our ever-shrinking globe ensures that cultural fusions will be the order of the day for years to come. It’s a tricky business, though, and potential for a gooey mess is high. Nation Beat, a Brooklyn-based crew of broadminded roots enthusiasts, confects

Overview

The “you’ve put your peanut butter in my chocolate” concept has been a mainstay in world music since the 1980s, and our ever-shrinking globe ensures that cultural fusions will be the order of the day for years to come. It’s a tricky business, though, and potential for a gooey mess is high. Nation Beat, a Brooklyn-based crew of broadminded roots enthusiasts, confects one helluva treat on Legends of the Preacher. Led by drummer Scott Kettner, the band’s project seems simple, if outlandish: to marry the rhythms of Brazil’s Northeast to the strains of American country and roots music. The kinetic results -- a tight rhythm machine urged on by the lush vocals of Brazilian singer Liliana Araújo -- need little elaboration. This is joyous, get-up-and-shake-it music. But while you don’t have to have a graduate degree in ethnomusicology to enjoy Nation Beat, Kettner has concocted a satisfying blend by any number of measures. First off is the band’s facility with the rhythms of Pernambuco and environs, which yields the hillbilly desert honk of forró as well as the Afro-Brazilian “rap” progenitor known as repente and the urban parade ensemble music known as maracatú. Kettner studied in Recife, Pernambuco’s capital, and has joined these folkloric ensembles both on the streets and in the studio. (Nation Beat’s moniker follows maracatú nomenclature, whereby groups organize as “nations” -- naçoes in Portuguese -- much as samba groups in Rio are “schools.”) This marching tradition must have struck Kettner as an analog to New Orleans’ vibrant musical culture, and his band slips some second-line swing into the Brazilian beats. Likewise, the country music of the northern sertão, banged out on accordion, fiddle, and a chuck-wagon triangle, inspires these cowboys to complement with pedal steel, electric guitar, and Hank Williams and Willie Nelson covers. In Pernambuco, this kind of fusion has a genre all its own, called Manguebeat, of which Nation Beat are the northernmost exponents. It’s almost too much that the band collaborate with the Klezmatics on three cuts (Recife, it turns out, was the center of Brazil’s Jewish community). To their lasting credit, the band are not nearly as pointy-headed as this review; the low-slung funk of these maracatú rhythms keeps the center of gravity nearer the hips. And Legends is very, very hip.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/15/2008
Label:
Modiba Productions
UPC:
0185266000077
catalogNumber:
7

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nation Beat   Primary Artist
Klezmatics   Track Performer
Matt Darriau   Clarinet,Saxophone
Lisa Gutkin   Violin
Frank London   Trumpet
Paul Morrissett   Baritone Horn
Lorin Sklamberg   Electric Guitar,Vocals
Jorge Martins   Conga,Bells,Ganza,Zabumba,Alfaia,Gongue
Scott Kettner   Drums,Triangle,Berimbau,Pandeiro,Alfaia,Caracaxa
Raphael McGregor   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar,Viola Caipira
Richie Barshay   Dumbek,Drums,Poyk
Clay Ross   Electric Guitar,Guest Appearance
Skye Steele   Violin,Background Vocals,Rabeca
Liliana Araujo   Vocals,Tap Dance

Technical Credits

Frank London   Arranger,Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Hank Williams   Composer
Chava Alberstein   Composer
Jorge Martins   Arranger,Composer
Gilberto Magalión   Composer
Chris Bittner   Engineer
Mestre Salustiano   Composer
Eric Herman   Producer,Executive Producer
Scott Kettner   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Raphael McGregor   Arranger
Richie Barshay   Composer
Nation Beat   Composer
Skye Steele   Arranger

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