Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars|
Rise & Shine
Genres: World Music, Pop
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars were introduced to the world in 2006 by a moving film that documented the band's formation in West African refugee camps and the challenges they faced returning to a homeland racked by year... more »
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Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars were introduced to the world in 2006 by a moving film that documented the band's formation in West African refugee camps and the challenges they faced returning to a homeland racked by years of bloody warefare. For the follow up to their acclaimed debut album "Living Like A Refugee" , the band began recording back home in Freetown, Sierra Leone, then traveled to New Orleans to work with renowned producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Angelique Kidjo, Michelle Shocked, Rickie Lee Jones, Ozomatli). Much like the band members themselves, the residents of New Orleans know firsthand both the bitterness of exile and the redemptive power of music. The spirit of Crescent City permeates the album thanks to the participation of local favorites Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Bonerama and Washboard Chaz. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars have risen like a phoenix from the ashes of destruction to create this infectious and celebratory new record.
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Quality Roots Music via Sierra Leone and New Orleans
Barry McGloin | Canberra, Australia | 05/24/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very strong album, a quality production; the booklet, the musicianship, and the actual production. Some background to the name. Sierra Leone is a West African nation bordered by Guinea and Liberia and like Liberia it has had a succession of Governments and has suffered
horrific civil war with resultant fleeing of population. Some of these band members have seen more in their lifetime than any human might expect. Two have lost their limbs, one saw his family executed. The band formed out of refugee camps with Canadian refugee aid and UNHCR assistance. Yet despite it all their music is optimistic, buoyant and exhilarating. It resonates and pulses with life.
The musicianship both vocally and instrumentally is impressive. Their reggae could well be the best outside Jamaica, rootsy and not turgid as some reggae gets, but very danceable. The African material whether traditional or (for example) the fast soukous style of Tamagbondorsu (The Rich Mock The Poor) has the percussive complexity and vocal call and response harmonies you might expect. All tracks except two were recorded in studio at New Orleans and Freetown, Sierra Leone. The excellent production is by saxophonist Steve Berlin whose credentials include Los Lobos, Angelique Kidjo, Michelle Shocked, John Lee Hooker, Leo Kottke, Rickie Lee Jones and Ozomatli.
All tracks are written and sung by various band members except Oruwiebe/Magazine Bobo which is traditional being a blend of "secret society'' meeting song and spiritual incantations, and Bute Vange, a medley of traditional songs recorded live in Japan. The informative and attractive booklet contains lyrics both in Sierra Leone's predominant tongue, Krio, and English.
The subject matter includes the power and pain of love, global pollution and warming, slavery, poverty, songs of the spirit, political satire with the intriguing title, Goat Smoke Pipe, and parental responsibility. While some of the lyrics tend towards the didactic, some also use metaphor which adds interest. But the overriding sense is one of optimism and love of life. It is indicative that a number of guest New Orleans musicians appear, a town which shares displacement and the healing power of music.
Rise and Shine is a terrific marriage of West African and West Indian musics. It is not clichéd like much studio manufactured pop but is immediate, fresh and lively with many highlights. Check guest New Orleans muso Troy Andrews' fabulous trombone solos, the punchy organic Bonerama horns (and I hope they are included in future recordings), Bobby Lewis' eloquent harmonica, the articulate guitar work of members and guests but most of all the great vocals of the various lead vocalists and the harmonies of the group itself. Even the Krio rapping on a couple of tracks by young band member Black Nature with his gruff sandpaper voice in rapid toasting style - and I'm not a big rap fan - is attractive. In conclusion if you enjoy real music do yourself a favour and buy it. You won't be disappointed."
Make your heart sing, buy this CD!
JD Milo | Grass Valley, CA USA | 04/05/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You can't feel bad and ya gotta dance when listening to this incredible reggae/African music. This is the real deal from some of the most talented musicians of the genre. Global Threat is the best tune of this album and I have it on repeat on my iPod, and you will, too! Remember that money from this CD goes both to Haitian earthquake and African refugee relief."