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

La Chiva Gantiva: Pelao (Crammed Discs)

La Chiva Gantiva: Pelao (Crammed Discs)

With horns and electric guitars, this outfit which was formed in Brussels by expat Colombian percussion players bring as much funk and Fela Afrobeat as they do rocked-up South American sounds... > Read more

Shankar Tucker: Filament (shankartucker.com)

Shankar Tucker: Filament (shankartucker.com)

The idea of an East-West crossover between Indian music and whatever else is out there in the European traditions (jazz, classical, rock, pop, hip-hop, you name it) is so familiar it hardly... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Mavis Staples; We'll Never Turn Back (2007)

Mavis Staples; We'll Never Turn Back (2007)

The great gospel-soul singer Mavis Staples -- 76 at the time of this writing -- was a member of the legendary Staples Singers founded by her father Pops Staples, a close personal friend of Dr... > Read more

TERESA PATTERSON INTERVIEWED (2016): The business end of the music business

TERESA PATTERSON INTERVIEWED (2016): The business end of the music business

No one has ever been in much doubt that the music business is very much a business. It revolves as much around money and contracts and management and copyright as it does the songs at the heart... > Read more