WOMAD USA 2001 - Day 1

WOMAD USA 2001 Day 1

Friday started out a little overcast but cleared up by lunch (from the Horn of Africa). Youssou N’Dour was at the top of my list for the day.

Baka Beyond mixed African drumming, guitar riffs and Celtic melodies with the music of the Baka pygmies while the WOMAD sisters danced in front of the stage.

Later on Friday we sat on the grass and had corn on the cob as Isaac Hayes played a long, very cool version of “The Theme From Shaft”. It was summed up perfectly when someone said “life doesn’t get much better than this”.

I first heard Youssou N’Dour in the late 80’s on Peter Gabriel’s album “So” (he did the background vocals on “In Your Eyes”) and his solo album “The Lion”. The complex rhythms and soaring vocals were a welcome change from the pop music surrounding me.

His performance on Friday at WOMAD was amazing, we stayed up front for most of the show. Youssou started one of my favorite songs “Shaking The Trees”. The crowd was charged, we were all dancing and the rain seemed to make it more joyous. It was a great way to end an amazing day. That night it kept raining and our tent leaked a little.

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