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Rise & Shine

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 23, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cumbancha
  • ASIN: B00354NBX6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,208 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

5 star
86%
4 star
14%
3 star
0%
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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.
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The band brilliantly combines traditional and contemporary music styles to create a timeless classic. Reggae, traditional styles of Sierra Leone, influences of Caribbean music, play of voices and instruments. Watch the DVD on their story: Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. This album is a great deal. And if you get an opportunity to see them - they're touring now- don't miss them. Their live performance, and this CD, will get you dancing, or at least moving your whole body. I had an opportunity to see them live, and danced, and watched the band dance. It was uplifting, healing, and entrancing. My heart danced with joy, then lied down, at peace and love. It's my new favorite album.
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Format: MP3 Music
The album is very strong, a great listen. It is a very enjoyable album if you are into that nice funky reggae blasting down the walls
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Loved it. Very upbeat and inspiring. I particularly liked the English translations of the lyrics. A must have
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