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Leyla McCalla|The Capitalist Blues

The Capitalist Blues

Leyla McCalla

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From the moment she left the Carolina Chocolate Drops to pursue a solo career, Leyla McCalla married edification with liberation: a musical testament to the fact that knowledge is power. Vari-Colored Songs, her 2014 ode to Langston Hughes, created this complex template, but 2019's The Capitalist Blues may be the richest example of her deftly executed, deceptively freewheeling attitude. Certainly, the problems endemic to late-stage capitalism weigh on McCalla's mind on The Capitalist Blues -- the title is kind of a giveaway -- but her album isn't a lament or a warning. It's a rallying cry, filled with careening fiddles, squalls of dirty guitars, New Orleans rhythms, vaudeville shuffles, sunbeaten ballads, banjo tunes, and songs sung in French. It's everything that makes America great, distilled into an album as unruly as the country itself and blessed with an intellectual rigor that's bracing.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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The Capitalist Blues

Leyla McCalla

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The Capitalist Blues
00:03:55

Leyla McCalla, Composer, Lyricist, Artist, MainArtist - Andrew 'Goat' Gilchrist, Mixer - Jimmy Horn, Producer - MAKALA Music (Ascap) / Strictly Confidential, MusicPublisher

2018 Leyla McCalla, under exclusive licence for the world to Discograph / Jazz Village, a label of Harmonia Mundi S.A.S. 2018 Leyla McCalla, under exclusive licence for the world to Discograph / Jazz Village, a label of harmonia mundi S.A.S.

Album Description

From the moment she left the Carolina Chocolate Drops to pursue a solo career, Leyla McCalla married edification with liberation: a musical testament to the fact that knowledge is power. Vari-Colored Songs, her 2014 ode to Langston Hughes, created this complex template, but 2019's The Capitalist Blues may be the richest example of her deftly executed, deceptively freewheeling attitude. Certainly, the problems endemic to late-stage capitalism weigh on McCalla's mind on The Capitalist Blues -- the title is kind of a giveaway -- but her album isn't a lament or a warning. It's a rallying cry, filled with careening fiddles, squalls of dirty guitars, New Orleans rhythms, vaudeville shuffles, sunbeaten ballads, banjo tunes, and songs sung in French. It's everything that makes America great, distilled into an album as unruly as the country itself and blessed with an intellectual rigor that's bracing.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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