Has it really been that long....
Global Union, on the other hand, soldiered on through crappy weather and was it's usual treat. We caught the end of Lamajamal's set, and they were fun. Woodwind player up front who looked like PJ Soles was fronting a world music band instead of the Ramones, and guitarist who delivered on his blling as a surf guitar player. Actually, if you came expecting to hear "Pipeline" you'd be disappointed. Rather, you'd hear the source of music that influenced so many surf players -- the arabic scales, the native dynamics.
But speaking of mixing American and world roots, up comes Prasanna -- a band of Indians who set up shop cross legged on stage and were led not by a sitar player, but this guy wielding a Les Paul who wore his love for Jimi Hendrix on his sleeve. And it was clear it wasn't just Jimi who inspired him to play an electric six-string run through a rack of effects boxes. At times I would have guessed that you'd find some recent King Crimson -- from both Fripp and Belew -- and maybe even some Snakefinger in his record collection.
Sunday, we braved the rain, which stopped just as we were arriving, to catch the end of an Iranian act that featured a woman who sang like no tomorrow, and whose delivery ranged from joyous to desperate. As seems to be Global Union's fashion, she was followed by Maraca -- a Cuban dance band which featured a flutist who even did a few Ian Anderson-style flutter tounging runs while maintaining a great salsa feel. By the time African-born Samba Mapangala came out, this was a crowd ready to party, and while he could'nt jump as high as last years closer Dobet Ghanore (who is booked for an Alverno show later this year), he still inspired the crowd to get on their feet. It's always a wonderful festival, and I hope Alverno knows that it was only the rain that kept more people from coming.