Mama Knows Best

In Zap Mama, Marie Daulne dispenses the wisdom of the world.

Other Western influences turn up on 7 tracks like "Baba Hooker," an earthy and hypnotic number that pays homage to John Lee Hooker via the Gnawa trance music of Morocco; "Telephone," a funky variation on the Mission: Impossible theme; and "Damn Your Eyes," a cover of a blues scorcher popularized by Etta James. Daulne feels a special connection to the last tune. "When I was a teenager I listened to a lot of American blues," she says. "That song brought me happiness while I was going through the pain of a broken love. It helped me to open the door and see the life in front of me. I sing it now and I hope, in my turn, that I can help another teenager to do the same if they are having pain from love."

The title of the collection is just as significant to Daulne. "Seven is a magical number," she says. "When I was in Mali, I met a man who told me that there are people who have seven genies. I didn't understand what he was talking about, but he explained that most people recognize the five senses--the genies of vision, touch, smell, taste and to hear. The sixth is intuition. We follow our intuition. Some people use it, but some don't even know that it is a kind of sense that can help you drive through life easily. And the seventh sense is one not everyone has. It is the possibility, the capacity, to use words and melodies, or just to have the aura to heal the pain of humans. Those who have this sense need to explore it. He told me that's what I had. I understood and I thought, 'Wow, that's very cool.' So that's why I decided to call the Zap Mama album 7."

Appropriately, Zap Mama's Colorado visit is part of a seven-city tour. After it is completed, Daulne plans to return to Belgium to begin work on the fourth Zap Mama recording, and to get down to the serious business of being a mother to her three-year-old daughter, Kesia. "She asks me to be cool now, because she will be going off to school in two years," she says. "I have to explain what school is and to prepare her for that."

In a sense, Daulne sees the average Zap Mama concert in much the same way--as an opportunity to educate the masses. "If people want to feel different, they can come travel with Zap Mama," she says. "Because it will make them feel their body and their soul, and they themselves will become another person as they travel with our imagination through the music."

Zap Mama. 8 p.m. Friday, August 22, Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder, $15-$20, 440-7666.

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