From Mississipi to São Francisco
The first CD of the north-american singer Rodica
“The title of this CD is a direct reference to the encounter between two countries, represented by two rivers of great significance: The Mississippi River and the São Francisco River. Both are rivers that cross the national territory and represent, in a certain sense, the collective identity of a given population. The Mississippi River takes us to the origin of Blues. I bring to this CD – the roots of blues, a blues that originated from the work songs, sung by slaves in cotton plantations in the southern region of the United States. The intention of this disc is to validate the relevance of these forerunners of blues, that contributed towards creating the genre blues and that have a direct connection with África. I also attempt to show that the melodic line that characterizes blues bears a resemblance to the oldest songs of the afro-brazilian people: principally congado. In such a way, in this journey that transgresses cultural boundaries, we arrive at São Francisco”. (Rodica) .
The first album of the north-american artist, rooted in Brazil for the past 15 years, was released in 2009. It includes compositions of Rodica and her partners, along with traditional afro-american songs, called “spiritual” - the most ancient expression of blues. Made possible under the auspices of the State Law of Incentive to Culture – Minas Gerais, with the financial aid of the TIM enterprise and the support of Elvira Matilde, and recorded between the spring of 2007 and 2008, in the estúdios ‘Toca do Leão’, ‘Engenho’, ‘Gênesis’ e ‘Bemol’, the CD “From Mississippi to São Francisco” was directed artistically by Rodica and Sérgio Pererê; produced by Rogério Delayon; mixed by André Cabelo and Rogério Delayon; and masteurized by André Cabelo. Its graphic design was carried out by Murilo Godoy, the photographs were done by Elisa Cotta and Cecília Pederzoli and it was executively produced by Rodica and Juliana Nogueira.
“The African culture can be compared to an enormous tree, whose roots penetrate the soil of the African continent and whose branches extend throughout the world. When I listen to a song that can be classified as “blues”, I hear much more than musical notes. It is as if the voices of the black people in America were capable of reproducing the spirit and essence of Africa. The same force is in the work songs, jongos, congados, sambas, candomblés, afro-latin songs and rhythms, among many other musical expressions. The voice that sings blues is able to channel ancestral energies, in such a way that it reaches us all, on a universal level”. –Sérgio Pererê
In the repertoire: Death Letter (Son House), Queen Bee (Rupert Holmes/ Taj Mahal), Variante (Edvaldo Santana), Wade in a Water (Vinheta - Tradicional), Testimony (Ferron)/ Corre o Rio (Sérgio Pererê), Oração para Oxum (Tradicional/ Rodica Blues), Kothbiro (Ayub Ogada)/ Deep River (Tradicional), Seven Days (Rodica Blues), Niger Blues (Markú Ribas), Wade in a Water (tradicional), Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (tradicional), People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield), Motherless Child (Rodica Blues) e Hard Working Blues (Vasco Faé) / Come on in my kitchen (Robert Johnson e John William Mark Renbourn).
The following musicians participate in this disc: Adriano Campagnani (bass up right), André “Limão” Queiroz (drums), Augusto Rennó (acoustic guitar), Esdra “Neném” Ferreira (drums), Fábio Zarbato Longo (acoustic bass), Ivan Corrêa (bass), Leandro Ferrari (harmônica), Nestor Lombida Hunt (piano), Paulo Márcio (trumpet), Rodica (vocals), Rogério Delayon (acoustic and nylon guistar, cavaquinho, programming), Sérgio Pererê (percussion and vocals), Serginho Silva (percussion), Titane (vocals) e Vasco Faé (drums, bass, guitar, dobro guitar, harmônica, vocals).
Blues in My Blood
Born in Boston in the United States, and now with roots in Brazil, first in Belo Horizonte, where she released her debut album, in collaboration with Sérgio Pererê – “From Mississippi to São Francisco” – and currently in Rio de Janeiro, Rodica is a dedicated researcher of popular American music forms. She is a bold singer who navigates the terrain of blues with her own original style. In “Blues in My Blood”, which is her second album, Rodica lays bare the construction of the blues, with a fruitful dialogue between multiple musical expressions – folk, jazz, country and soul - as a departure point.
In the process of searching for this diversity in the repertoire, Rodica reveals that the various expressions of Afro-American music, ranging from spirituals and work songs to what is technically considered to be blues, are components of a history rich in tradition, extending beyond the limits of time and space. “Blues in My Blood” aims to transcend its very genre, even while it is intricately immersed in the tradition of blues. Indeed, it is within the realm of blues that the album defines itself from the beginning to the end.
The title of the disc is a direct reference to the unquestionable force that blues style transmits, through its capacity to penetrate the human soul and connect with emotions like desire, love, loss and sadness with intensity and authenticity. The blues that we hear in this album runs through our veins like blood.
Accompanied by a team of Brazilian musicians who dominate this musical language - Otávio Rocha (guitar); Beto Werther (drums); Ugo Perrotta (bass); Marco Tommaso (piano) – the artist establishes a place of importance in the Brazilian blues scene with this particular album. The album is enriched by the contributions of various artists: singer and percussionist Sérgio Pererê, from Minas Gerais, renowned singers Ricardo Werther and Álamo Leal from Rio de Janeiro, and the harmonica player Flávio Guimarães, from the Brazilian band “Blues Etílicos”.
It is Flávio Guimarães, an internationally acclaimed musician and an icon in the blues genre in Brazil, who refers to Rodica and to her album in the following manner: “Blues in My Blood is an album of surprising quality and Rodica is here to stay, elevating the level of blues on a national level.”
In the repertoire: Don’t Let My Baby Ride (Deadric Malone/ Overton Vertis Wright), Grandma’s Hands (Bill Withers), Livin’ on Love (Nicholson & Fuller), Slow Down (Keb’ Mo’), Into My Soul (F. Clary/ M. Bottini/ F. Terrenato), Moanin’ at Midnight (Howlin’ Wolf), Down in Mississippi (J.B. Lenoir), I Want to Go (J.B. Lenoir), Blues in My blood (Rodica Weitzman), Hit the Ground (Lizz Wright), Angel from Montgomery (John Prine), Love Me Like a Man (Chris Smither), Feeling Good (Anthony Newley e Leslie Bricusse)
The following artists participated in the recordings: Julio Bittencourt Trio (Julio Bittencourt – drums; Luciano Bittencourt – guitar; BJ Bentes – bass), Rogério Delayon (guitar and banjo), Bruce Henri (acoustic bass) and João Hermeto (percussion).