Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir Say Yo' Business

Tillery and the CHC reside in a unique place bounded by gospel, soul, blues, a cappella and world music. Consisting primarily of a bunch of amazing voices and slew of eclectic African and South American percussion, it'd be easiest to lump them in with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Zap Mama, but that would be selling them short. The 16 tracks, recorded at three Canadian Folk festivals and a pair of San Francisco Bay-area homecoming gigs, are pretty damn magical. Check out "Jaime Moreno's Jam," an a cappella and percussion James Brown medley that breaks down the barriers between African music and hip-hop. Guests like Wilson Pickett, Richie Havens, Odetta, Kelly Joe Phelps and Colin Linden - all of who acquit themselves admirably - lend a voice, and sometimes guitar, in the time honoured folk fest tradition. "Po Polu," a Russian folk song from Kitka, sounds like it could have come from Africa. There are actually five accomplished lead singers in the CHC, and Laura Love absolutely nails the lead in "Wayfaring Stranger." Say Yo' Business is an amazingly eclectic yet remarkably cohesive LP and it shows why the human voice will always be essential to music. (EarthBeat!)