Hishou - The Yoshida Brothers
There has been much debate in world music circles about whether contemporary fusions are diluting the purity of folk tradition. The Yoshidas are two brothers from Hokkaido, Japan who have found balance between the modern and the ancient. At an early age, their love for Japanese culture inspired them to take up the Tsuguru shamisen, a traditional three-string instrument, kind of like a banjo. But, like most kids, the Yoshidas also wanted to rock out. Their recordings manage to merge Japanese convention and driving, contemporary innovation. But, when they made their first tour of the US last year, they recognized their duty, as Japanese musical ambassadors, to showcase the shaimisen’s unique sound, pure and simple. They elected to perform the tour without a band, which drew even more attention to their awesome style and technique. Kodo, the lead off single from their newest album, Hishou is a pure and powerful performance that strips away the western trappings to reveal the raw and rare talent these brothers possess.