I originally got interested in world music, which was perhaps an outgrowth of my parents' penchant for folksongs, as a direct result of looking at the Ladyslipper catalog, and browsing through the descriptions there. Here's CNN's current top 30 list of music.

My first venture into listening to some was, luckily enough, Ofra Haza's 50 Gates of Wisdom. "Galbi" and "Im Nin'alu" were hits off this album, and more folks are familiar with these than her other work. They're traditional Yemenite music, heavily modernized, and a perfect showcase for Haza's amazing voice.

Other albums by Ofra Haza
Ofra Haza Links

One of the nicest sources of world music that I've found is Putamayo Music, which specializes in compilations, organized around a central theme. Of all the ones they've put out, my favorite has to be Dublin to Dakar, which contains Celtic-inspired music by artists from Italy, France, Spain, Norway and more. My favorite on the disc is Oysterband's "Street of Dreams", with "Soiridh Leis" a close second.
Other Favorites from Putamayo
A recent couple of great discoveries. The first is a band from Newfoundland, called "Great Big Sea." A lot of celtic feel to it, upbeat without being overpoweringly cheerful, and a great remake of "The End of the World As We Know It". Another is Afro Celt Sound System, which I wish I had found a long time ago -- great mixture, at least in the album I found, which is their second, called, strangely enough, Vol. 2, Release... more to come, with links. Here's where I'll insert a brief apology about the state of this page -- it's something to tinker with every once in a while on a lunch hour, and it's not intended to be exhaustive or even particularly informative -- it's just a collection of reccomendations and stuff I particularly love.

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