From the 19th century African music gatherings in Congo Square to the birth of jazz and its offshoots, New Orleans is one of America's most important music cities, and with the Rough Guide to the Music of New Orleans collection, listeners get a well-rounded taste of the Crescent City's musical gumbo. The collection touches on traditional jazz torchbearers (Dr. Michael White), classic R&B (Jessie Hill, Earl King), down-home funk (the Meters), Mardi Gras-ready brass players (Kermit Ruffins, Hot 8 Brass Band), global-influenced groovers (Los Hombres Calientes), and artists on the rise (Papa Grows Funk). While it's impossible to capture the full spectrum of New Orleans music on a single disc – women artists are underrepresented, and the NOLA hip-hop scene that's emerged since the 1990s is skipped entirely – this Rough Guide is a spirited introduction, and as a bonus is accompanied by a second disc featuring emerging heavy funk purveyors Dumpstaphunk.
Following on from 2010’s best-selling Beginner’s Guide to African Funk comes the Beginner’s Guide to African Blues – an essential primer to the African Blues and Desert Blues scenes that have dominated world music in recent years. Featuring Afro-Blues legends such as Ali Farka Toure & Boubacar Traore, the new school of Afro-superstars such as Toumani Diabate & Rokia Traoré plus global-Afro-fusionists such as Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara & Dub Colossus, Beginner’s Guide to African Blues tells the story of African Blues in the 21st century.