Terma La Terra
Here’s something off the beaten path, unless you happen to follow the Sicilian Folk Music world. Alfio Antico is one of the musical jacks of all trades when it comes to percussion, and he’s been writing folk and jazz for 40 years. His fame is rather esoteric, he’s known well in his home territory but not on the US. Antico mastered the Frame drums, a shallow percussion instrument similar to a an Irish Bodhrán. Musically, Antico riffs off folk tunes and adds his distinctive world wearily vocals to the Sicilian lyrics. He sounds a bit like a carnival barker until he launches into the guts of his music. Sometimes thoughtful (Terma de Terra), sometime riotous (Pancali Cucina) he even crosses into what I consider and American rap music rhythm. His voice isn’t pretty, yet it’s compelling. He drags you along to wherever its going, up hill or down. I have no lyrics nor translation, but I don’t think I would want them. Antico is a real individualist and unquestionably talented, and I’d happily tag along wherever he goes. That might be Afro beat drumming, Italian rap music, or the religion-tinted folk tunes from villages atop the mountain. This guy is a gem, and if your bored with whatever your banging on, this will take you somewhere new. You need a change of scenery. Visit Italy.