Youssou N’ Dour: One of Africa’s most famous singer-percussionists, Youssou recently released Rokku Mi Rokka, which received much critical acclaim last year (#30 on Rolling Stone’s 2007 Albums of the Year), but largely got overlooked in the 4th quarter blitz of releases last year. Click here for a track from the album courtesy of All Songs Considered (you'll also find a track from Extra Golden--see below).
Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi: I first heard this Zimbabwe musician’s “Hear Me Lord” on a Laser’s Edge (R.I.P.) sampler a few years back. This song has stuck on my Ipod ever since. Makes me think of Rusted Root. I have downloaded a few more of his songs and he is definitely worth a listen--very upbeat.