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Growing Stone by Nation Beat
Released: Sep 2011
Label: Barbès Records
Nation Beat is a bit of a misnomer for a band that's all about tracing unusual connections across geopolitical boundaries. Or, to put it another way, what this Brazilian-American outfit does is create a nation of beats that encompasses Brazilian urban and country music, musics of the American southwest (like Western swing and country) and New Orleans jazz and brass bands. Sound like a crazy, chaotic party in your ears? It is, but it works. Cuts like "Hook and Sling" (a blues-rock breakdown with a zydeco heart and samba soul) and jazz gumbo "Sumiço Do Urucu" feel both groundbreaking and homey.
Rachel Devitt

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