The new album, called Naledi Ya Tsela in Africa but translated for the March 6 US release to Guiding Star, features a raft of guest artists, including Derek Trucks and longtime Vusi supporter Dave Matthews.
Mahlasela wrote and recorded this album as he toured the globe. Its soul-stirring title is very much a product of the new friends he's met and experiences he's had touring. Bearing the influences of various music and voices from throughout the world, Guiding Star features guest appearances from friend (and partial ATO Records label head) Dave Matthews ('Sower of Words'), band leader and Allman Brothers guitarist Derek Trucks ('Tibidi Waka'), Australian didgeridoo star Xavier Rudd ('Chamber of Justice'), singer-songwriter Jem ('Everytime') and longtime friends and touring mates Ladysmith Black Mambazo ('Heaven In My Heart'). Mahlasela also drew on the talents of numerous South African guests, including the legendary 'Black Moses' Ngwenya of the Soul Brothers, the children's choir from the Agnes Chidi School in his home Township, Mamelodi, and the KCC Gospel, among many others.
Devoted SoundRoots readers and world music fans in general will be familiar with the voice and guitar of Vusi Mahlasela, one of the key musical figures in modern South Africa (and the revolution that made it the "modern" nation it is today). I realize that after last year's Valentine's post, I'm in danger of training you to expect new Vusi every February, but get over it. There's no telling what tomorrow will bring, so enjoy heaven where you can find it. In the love of another, in music, perhaps in your own heart.
[mp3] Vusi Mahlasela feat. Ladysmith Black Mambazo: "Heaven in My Heart"
from the album Naledi Ya Tsela (Guiding Star)
sample more Vusi at Calabash
Vusi will tour the western USA this spring:
March 20, 2007 Aspen, CO The Belly Up
March 21, 2007 Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
March 24, 2007 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
March 25, 2007 Portland, OR Berbati's Pan
March 27, 2007 Chicago, IL Chicago Cultural Center
March 29, 2007 San Francisco, CA (Benefit for 46664) Palace of Fine Arts w/ Taj Mahal, Mickey Hart, David Hidalgo
March 30, 2007 Los Angeles, CA Skirball Cultural Center
And here's Vusi from the Live 8 concert