by marc amigone

It’s not often you’ll hear Portuguese lyrics sung over a Cajun blues backdrop, but Legends of the Preacher, the new album from Nation Beat, set to release July 15th on Modiba Productions, has a groove and character all its own. Blending sounds of Southern blues with Brazilian maracatu and a whole lot more, their sound is definitely unique. With Liliana Araujo’s beautifully full, soulful voice gliding gracefully over the red hot multi-layered rhythm section composed of Mike Lavelle on bass, Scott Kettner and Eduardo Guedes on percussion, and Raphael McGregor and Sky Steele adding their southern blues sounds with lap steel and fiddle, Nation Beat maintains an intricate multi-layered melody and tight groove.


Legends of the Preacher displays a delightfully wide range of sound and influence, which comes as little surprise from a band that is at the heart of the Brooklyn music scene, one of the most diverse in the country. In a given song, Nation Beat will give you a taste of bluegrass, funk, Brazilian macaratu, and rock. They blend it all together to create their own signature style which is downright infectiously danceable.

As if Nation Beat didn’t already have a style jam-packed with different influences from all over the musical globe, they recorded three tracks on Legends of the Preacher with Grammy Award winners The Klezmatics, a klezmer-fusion band out of the East Village. The Klezmatics, particularly their horn section, add to the already rich texture of Nation Beat’s non-traditional sound.

Nation Beat personifies the growing trend in contemporary popular music–fusion. As the world, and the music industry, become increasingly globalized, sounds from all over the world are not nearly as far away as they once were. Bands are incorporating more and more diverse sounds into their repertoires, and appreciation for heterogeneous danceable music is growing as well. The energy and passion exhibited on Legends of the Preacher is even more in-your-face and alive in their live concert. If you like to dance, make sure to check them out as they will be touring all over the east coast and mid-west with dates in Montreal, Milwaukee, New York and Boston to name a few.

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