An American/Brazilian collective, NYC based Nation Beat belongs to both sides of the equator. You can catch them on the festival circuit both in Brazil and in the US, and on either side fans of roots music recognize the band as one of theirs. There is probably no better metaphor than an enthusiastic Willie Nelson calling himself 'overwhelmed' upon hearing Nation Beat for the first time. So overwhelmed in fact, that he invited the band to perform with him at Farm Aid - about as literal a celebration of American roots as it gets.
In many ways their new album, Growing Stone, is a result of that encounter. Playing 'Americana music from both Americas' it is an album about true roots, about the American south and its Northeastern Brazilian parallels - and not coincidentally, it is dedicated to the American farmer. After nine years of experimenting with Northeastern Brazilian music, Nation Beat has released an album that is as deep as their mixed roots - and is their best album to date. Far from being a fusion album, it is a record with a complete unity of sound and style. From forró to swamp rock, maracatu and funk - the rhythms are grounded by the musicians' own history and years of collaboration. Fans of American roots music - from country, to zydeco, blues and second line - will have no problem embracing it. Brazilians, of course, have been embracing American influences for decades with no one calling the result fusion.