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Dead Men Don't Smoke Marijuana

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Album Review

The title of this album proved to be tragically ironic, as the 68-year-old Rogie died shortly before his international debut was released. But if there's any justice in this world, the deceptively simple charms of Dead Men Don't Smoke Marijuana will leave the singer/guitarist from Sierra Leone immortalized by his music. Rogie is a master of palm wine music, which is named for a drink made from the milky white sap of Sierra Leone's palm trees, and the atmospheric, carefree feel of the tunes conjures up images of relaxing times on breezy beaches watching lush, tropical sunsets. Rogie's lilting guitar, backed only by standup bass and subtle percussion, has a rootsy folk-blues feel, while his soothing, buttery baritone caresses you like a warm Caribbean wind. With traditional African call-and-response vocals, the music comes off like a cross between the laid-back island rhythms of reggae, the back-porch vibe of rustic blues, and the spiritual feel of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, making this a sweet, stirring testament to an undeservedly little-known talent.


Born: 1926 in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Gentle, fingerpicked, acoustic guitar melodies and smooth-as-silk baritone, vocals were combined via the palm wine music of S.E. Rogie. While remaining rooted in the high life music of his birth place, Sierra Leone, Rogie incorporated influences of western pop and folk music to create his unique, heartfelt, music. As a youngster, Rogie was heavily influenced by the country music and yodeling of Jimmie Rodgers. Emigrating to England, in 1973, he worked frequently in schools as a cultural ambassador,...
Full bio
Dead Men Don't Smoke Marijuana, S.E. Rogie
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: World, Music, Africa
  • Released: 23 May 1994

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