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Music from the Axis of Evil and Other Thorns in America's Side

All your friends are here! Let's hear a tune! Featuring music from North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan and France, compiled by the inimitable Nathan Salsburg.


Unidentified: Ahl Al Aqil (Oh, People Of Reason) (3:31)

Choubi Choubi! Folk and Pop Sounds from Iraq (Sublime Frequencies)


Amir Jan Khushnawaz and ensemble: Badil ghazal (5:45)

Traditional Music of Herat (Unesco-Auvidis)


Farid Al-Atrache: Erhamni We Tammenni (6:00)

Erhamni We Tammenni 45 (Dounia)


Unidentified: unidentified love song (5:30)

Folk Music of Iran - The Luristan and Fars Provinces (Lyrichord)

"Remove the scarf which you wear on your chest / So that I can touch your breasts. /
What kind of politics are you doing now?"


Trio Cantaclaro: Polo (3:50)

World Library of Folk and Primitive Music: Venezuela (Columbia Masterworks)


Unidentified group: Canto a Asoyin (3:15)

Conjunto Folklorico Nacional De Cuba (Areito)

North Korea

Korean People's Army Concert Troupe: Song of the Dear Comrade Kim Jong Il (1:55)

Courtesy of


Jacques Brel: Une Ile

Encore (Vanguard)

Granted, Brel was Belgian. But Neil Young's Canadian. You know what I mean.

(32.5 minutes)


Goodbye Dear Old Stepstone


Traditional, folk, vernacular, endangered, and extinct music from America and elsewhere. Hosted by Nathan Salsburg, an archivist, producer, and writer based in Louisville, Kentucky.

He has worked for the The Alan Lomax Archive since 2000, for which he currently serves in the capacities of production manager, photo and video archivist, and general digital catalog editor. Salsburg maintains an index of online vernacular music resources at his blog,, contributes occasional music writing to the Louisville Eccentric Observer and the Other Music weekly update, and is curator of Twos & Fews, a vernacular music imprint in collaboration with Chicago's Drag City label.