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iTunes Review

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars were formed while its members were living in exile in Guinea during the Sierra Leone civil war. Much of the group’s debut, 2006’s Living Like a Refugee, was recorded in Guinea but the band eventually returned to its homeland. 2010’s Rise & Shine, which was produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos fame, presents a nice set of reggae songs and West African material. The album kicks off with traditional drumming that morphs into the flowing highlife of “Muloma (Let Us Be United).” “Global Threat” rides a solid reggae rhythm and New Orleans-based Trombone Shorty lends his assertive brass tones to the cut. (Rise & Shine was recorded in Freetown and New Orleans.) “Oruwiebie / Magazine Bobo Medley” finds chant-like vocals accompanied by lively percussion along with some nice touches of harmonica. “Living Stone” fuses West African elements with chugging reggae, while “Tamagbondorsu (The Rich Mock the Poor)” is a slice of ecstatic highlife. The album wraps up with the Dancehall stylings of “Gbrr Mani (Trouble)” and the loose, easygoing reggae of “Watching All Your Ways.”

Customer Reviews

great music and great cause

Make a difference in buying this album by purchasing it from - the international rescue committee. you get the CD, a shirt, and it supports the organization and thus the humanitarian work in Sierra Leone. What a great benefit in addition to the music

Rootsy & Righteous

Rootsy & Righteous

Where Fela meets Bob Marley meets Rebirth!

This album is awesome. Some of the more rootsy music I've heard in a long time. roots reggae. bootyshaking afrobeat with some new orleans horns thrown in for flavor. I dig it!


Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Born out of both the pressure of political oppression and the need for artistic expression, the members of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars met in a refugee camp in Guinea, after having fled the attacks of rebel forces in their native Sierra Leone. The group, led by Reuben Koroma, moved to a camp in the Guinean countryside where, with the help of a grant from an aid organization, they were able to procure proper instruments and amplifiers. During this time, two American documentary filmmakers began...
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Rise & Shine, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
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