Leyla McCalla – Vari-Colored Songs – a Tribute to Langston Hughes (2020)

Posted by Green on October 15, 2020
in folk

320 kbps | LINKS

Leyla McCalla’s ‘Vari-Colored Songs’ is a celebration of the complexity of Black culture and identity, and a tribute to the legacy of poet and thinker Langston Hughes. A songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, McCalla sets Hughes’ poems to her own spare yet profound compositions. She juxtaposes these with arrangements of folk songs from Haiti, the first independent Black nation and the homeland of her parents, tapping into the nuances of Black experience. McCalla’s music elegantly weaves Haitian influences together with American folk music, just as Hughes incorporated Black vernacular into his remarkable poetry, and the way the Haitian Kreyòl is a beacon for the survival of African identity through the brutal legacy of colonialism. This is music of reclamation, imbued with a quiet power that grapples with the immense weight of history.


1. Heart of Gold (3:00)
2. When I Can See the Valley (2:10)
3. Mèsi Bondye (2:26)
4. Girl (2:51)
5. Kamèn sa w fè? (2:22)
6. Too Blue (2:28)
7. Manman Mwen (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) (3:19)
8. Song for a Dark Girl (2:49)
9. As I Grew Older / Dreamer (feat. Yah Supreme) (3:50)
10. Love Again Blues (2:39)
11. Rose Marie (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) (2:58)
12. Latibonit (3:49)
13. Search (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) (3:21)
14. Lonely House (3:27)
15. Changing Tide (3:04)

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