ACL Fest Saturday Reviews

ACL Fest Saturday Reviews

Zap Mama

Supermoon (Heads Up International)

In 1993, David Byrne's Luaka Bop released Adventures in Afropea, Vol. 1, Zap Mama's North American debut. The international, all-lady a cappella wonder shot to No. 1 on Billboard's World Music charts. Citizen-of-the-world Marie Daulne created the band and remains the only founding member, yet the group's original spirit – gifted, capricious, hungry – is intact for album No. 6. Folks looking for the rootsy, acoustic, African vocal gymnastics from earlier releases will be surprised if they haven't been following Daulne and friends' artistic evolution. As of late, the Grammy-nominated Daulne (born in the Congo, raised in Belgium) has applied her lovely and quirky vox to new landscapes: less jungle chants and more hip-hop. This led to work with the Roots, Common, Erykah Badu, and DJ Krush. Supermoon continues this trend, with the global dance floor being a main target. If a chicken-scratch guitar riff could be entered as evidence, Zap Mama may have legal issues with James Brown's estate, thanks to "Toma Taboo." "Kwenda" means "go" in Swahili, and true to form, it's a Mother Africa spine shaker. Meshell Ndegeocello, Tony Allen, and Michael Franti all guest, yet, ultimately, the songs are points of departure for Daulne's legendary stagecraft rather than fully formed sonic stories. (5:30pm, Dell stage)

**.5

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