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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Various Artists

By Tom Orr
Published April 3, 2007

From Bakabush: The First Ten Years Of Stonetree
Stonetree Records

Based in the Central American nation of Belize and dedicated to documenting the roots music of that country as well as neighboring Honduras and Guatemala, Stonetree Records’ first decade is celebrated with this sumptuous collection. A melding of African, Spanish and indigenous elements comprises the music of the prominently featured Garifuna people, whose paranda style will enthrall lovers of unplugged Afro-Caribbean sounds. Spotlighted also are the accordion-driven, festive brukdown style; ballads and songs of social commentary in which acoustic guitars, percussion and unpolished vocals blend with assured infectiousness; and the dub poetry-like observations of Leroy Young The Grandmaster, a true original. Belize’s Andy Palacio is likely the most familiar name here, but every featured artist deserves acclaim. If you’re not already familiar with Stonetree’s work, obtain this disc immediately. Then, once you’re hooked, get out there and buy any release from the label that you can get your hands on.