Guest DJ Raul Midón’s Eclectic Influences Make Perfect Sense – NPR

Raul Midón’s latest album is Bad Ass And Blind.

Blair Allen/Courtesy of the artist


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Blair Allen/Courtesy of the artist

Raul Midón’s latest album is Bad Ass And Blind.

Blair Allen/Courtesy of the artist

I’m always fascinated to learn what kinds of music influence a musician and how those are manifested in that artist’s own creative output. Sometimes the references are obvious; other times, they’re not so obvious, but make perfect sense once explained.

The latter is the case with singer-songwriter Raul Midón. His Guest DJ session offers insight into what inspires his mashup of soul, jazz and Afro-Caribbean music and results in one of the most eclectic collections of music we’ve presented on the show. Flamenco, tango, Spanish-language pop, Afro-Cuban rumba, South American nuevo canto — how often do you get all of that in one sitting?

We also talk about his new album, Bad Ass And Blind, which continues his streak of records that cross boundaries with ease and head-turning musicality. And, since Midón brought along so much great music that we didn’t have time to cover it all in the show, you can read on for an extended playlist that includes all of his picks.

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