Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars: Libation (Cumbancha)

 |   |  <1 min read

Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars: Chaimra
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars: Libation (Cumbancha)

The decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone (which ended in 2002) made many people refugees, among them the musicians who formed the Refugee All Stars in 2004.

They had a wonderful documentary made about them in 2005 (see the clip below) and have recorded occasionally since their debut album Living Like a Refugee in 2006.

This fourth album effortlessly pushes together Afro-shuffle beats with reggae (It's So Sorry, the groove-riding Rich But Poor), some upbeat juju guitar-cum-dance-pop (Chaimra, Ghana Baby), a real folksiness, and throws in a few songs in English (plus the snappy production) by American Chris Velan who also did the knob-twiddle job on their debut.

The SLRAS have been together for more than 10 years and have survived privation and geographical -- as well as emotional -- dislocation. Despite all that there's an overwhelmingly joyous vibe here which is extraordinarily infectious . . . although you also get musical missives about what actually matters in this life.(Money No Do).

Allow yourself to be taken away by this one. It is infectious and life-affirming. And reminds you of the power of music which gives voice to people speak their truths, and to celebrate life against the odds.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Various Artists The Rough Guide to the Best African Music You've Never Heard (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists The Rough Guide to the Best African Music You've Never Heard (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Smart people don't believe the hype . . . or album titles which overpromise. But surprisingly this one -- which attempts both -- actually delivers quite a number of lower-totem pole African names,... > Read more

Yasmin Levy: La Juderia (Southbound)

Yasmin Levy: La Juderia (Southbound)

Levy from Israel has one of those exceptional voices which could be as at home singing emotionally dramatic Spanish ballads or Middle Eastern songs: and to some extent she does both. Levy is... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Buggs: Liverpool Drag (1964)

The Buggs: Liverpool Drag (1964)

Elsewhere takes no end of cheap delight in unearthing various Beatles tributes (by dogs, by the soon-to-be Cher), copyists, weird cover versions and so on. But to find the Buggs' sole album for... > Read more

10 ALBUM COVER PARODIES: It looks familiar but . . .

10 ALBUM COVER PARODIES: It looks familiar but . . .

There are any number of books dedicated to the art of the album cover, and at Elsewhere we've indulged ourselves in articles about 10 Shameful Record Covers I'm Proud to Own (four columns, see... > Read more