Oliver Mtukudzi: Wonai (Elite)

 |   |  <1 min read

Oliver Mtukudzi: Chara Chimwe
Oliver Mtukudzi: Wonai (Elite)

Known as "Tuku" after the style of music he created, singer-guitarist Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe battles the usual problem that musicians from Africa face: if Peter Gabriel isn't behind you or you don't have a Womad slot then basically nobody gives a shit.

Ah well, here he is for a discerning Elsewhere audience.

Mtukudzi has recorded about 50 albums (which places him in the Bob Dylan category) and his Putumayo compilation "The Tuku Years" got a very nice mention by me in the Herald about four years ago.

Some might remember him rocking the Auckland Town Hall at a Womad almost a decade ago.

Mtukudzi does try to woo an audience more used to Western pop and rock -- but those efforts (here on the over-produced and English-language schmaltzy The Third World Cries Every Day) are often numbingly ordinary and MOR.

He is at his best when he simply gets it on Tuku-style. Which -- that Third World track being the ignominous exception -- is what he does here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

POTTED PROFILE: Femi Kuti

POTTED PROFILE: Femi Kuti

As with any son of a legendary artist, Femi Kuti had large steps to follow in. His father Fela created and defined Nigerian Afrobeat in the 70s and was a political lightning rod in his country.... > Read more

Bombino: Agadez (Cumbancha)

Bombino: Agadez (Cumbancha)

The biggest growth industry in world music in the past decade seems to have come out of the sub-Sahara where electric and electrifying bands have emerged, many of them with rather remarkable... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

TICKET, HALF-REMEMBERED (2010): Hair today and gone until tomorrow

TICKET, HALF-REMEMBERED (2010): Hair today and gone until tomorrow

Two things I remember clearly about Ticket: their hair was long and their songs were even longer. And back in the early 70s those were two very good things indeed. In truth I don't... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Eric Clapton; Unplugged Deluxe + DVD (Warners)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Eric Clapton; Unplugged Deluxe + DVD (Warners)

In late 1989, Eric Clapton released one of the most satisfying albums of his solo career to that point. Under the self-effacing title Journeyman, he delivered an album of blues-rock with a pop... > Read more