New Releases from Smithsonian Folkways
Summer may be winding down, but Smithsonian Folkways continues the celebration with brand new albums. At the end of August, we released Lead Belly, Baby! and Achai, two very different albums that both honor tradition and connect that tradition to the present day in exciting ways.
GRAMMY-winning artist Dan Zanes presents Lead Belly, Baby!, his debut album for Smithsonian Folkways and a pitch-perfect matching! When Zanes was a young boy, the magic of Lead Belly’s music left an undeniable impact on the way he saw the world. Now Zanes, with help from his friends, presents a fresh vision of Lead Belly’s music for a new generation. This is folk music reimagined and a way to experience the iconic musician’s music through a new lens. Lead Belly, Baby! features guest artists Valerie June, Chuck D., Billy Bragg, Aloe Blacc, and many other contributors.
Achai, the Tuvan word for father, describes a deep paternal participation in the upbringing and growth of a new generation. It is also a fitting title for Alash’s new album to honor Kongar-ool Ondar, who served not only as a musical father for the ensemble, but also for an entire generation of Tuvan musicians. The album is the ensemble’s first for Smithsonian Folkways and beautifully illustrates the adaptability of Tuvan music – organically created and deeply rooted, yet still interconnected with the sound world of the 21st century. Alash continue to prove that they are worthy bearers of the culture of their fathers and sons.
Out on September 22nd and available now for pre-order, explore the rich and colorful world of Smithsonian Folkways’ children’s music collection with Music for Children, Music by Children. The album features both music created “for children,” showcasing our most celebrated storytellers and songwriters, and “by children,” featuring the unique ways children express and understand themselves and the world through song.