Rough Guide addendum.

By the way, I'm about halfway done with the new Rough Guide to Tango (Second Edition), one of four new RGs I finally got to downloading a while back. Two thoughts. One, I need to listen to more tango. I've liked the Piazzolla I've heard and this comp is appealing on its surface, in a way that makes me think it would be pretty durable, and it sounds more recent--so the classic albums are probably really scrumptious. Two: all these RGs have bonus discs with one artist on them, and each time so far I figured I'd just turn it off when I was done, and each time I've wound up liking the single-artist disc. With Afrobeat Revival it was Kokolo; with Blues Revival, Samba Touré; with Gypsy Music (Second Ed.), Bela Lakatos & the Gypsy Youth Project. It seems like a combo of the RG series with the Introducing series World Music Network also does. Works nicely.


  1. Are Rough Guides the obvious place to start when getting into, for the lack of a better word, 'world' music? It's an area I think I could be very interested in but I have absolutely no idea how to get into it all. Especially as I'm sure it's not as easy as getting into one genre, but many different, small select scenes. Just a quick look on amazon brings up hundreds of CDs and books; it's all quite overwhelming.

    Maybe I should, aha!, slow down and dip my toes in the water first. Maybe find a reliable blog or two to help me figure out where to start and what I like etc.

    You wouldn't possibly be able to recommend some good, informative places for eager beginners for music where good music writing and recommendations aren't well known?

  2. The rule of thumb with RGs is that if you think you'll like one you probably will. There are so many titles that you're probably going to come up OK as long as you know what you're looking for. I'm a fan of older African stuff and the regions I find most musically reliable have been done very well by from the RG people. (The Rough Guide to Congo Gold and West African Gold are two recent titles of terrific vintage African stuff, for starters.)