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

Nistha Raj: Exit 1 (nistharaj.com)

Nistha Raj: Exit 1 (nistharaj.com)

Those fresh from Womad will attest that some of the most interesting music is made at the interface of cultures, and this album is further evidence. Texas-raised Nistha Raj (now living in... > Read more

Srdjan Beronja and Various Artists: The Sounds of Varanasi (Arc Music)

Srdjan Beronja and Various Artists: The Sounds of Varanasi (Arc Music)

Given the stealthy return of concept albums in rock, we welcome this entry from world music where -- if the title suggests people bellowing in your ear, taxi horns honking incessantly and smiling... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: ZZ Top; The Very Best of ZZ Top; Rancho Texicano

THE BARGAIN BUY: ZZ Top; The Very Best of ZZ Top; Rancho Texicano

In a few weeks -- perhaps far too soon for many -- the first 10 ZZ Top albums are being reissued in a box set. That's a whole lotta Top -- perhaps far too much for many -- but, if we might be... > Read more

BUBBA HO-TEP a film by DON COSCARELLI, 2002 (MAGNA PACIFIC DVD)

BUBBA HO-TEP a film by DON COSCARELLI, 2002 (MAGNA PACIFIC DVD)

Twentysomething years ago an amusing little book appeared, Elvis: The Novel. I don’t remember much of it, other than Elvis killing manager Tom Parker, and at one point an overweight Elvis is... > Read more