12 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The tragic backstory (first told in an acclaimed film documentary) of how the rotating members of this group came together in Guinean refugee camps is an inspiring story of hope and the healing power of music. Now more than 10 years into a career that's taken the West African musicians around the world, the band return with their fourth album. Where the previous two efforts focused more on electric African funk and reggae, Libation often has lighter, acoustic-based sound (particularly on “Obaenya” and “Ghana Baby”) that's highlighted by such sunny African genres as highlife as well as old-school styles like maringa, palm wine, and gumbe. Of the plugged-in songs here, the midtempo roots reggae of “It’s So Sorry” and “Rich but Poor” are deeply indebted to Bob Marley and The Wailers yet are also real highlights. These latter two are complemented by the lovers rock of “Treat You Right,” which offers a more tender side of reggae. This album is named after the tradition of pouring out a little booze to remember friends—but this time it’s more about the party that comes next.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The tragic backstory (first told in an acclaimed film documentary) of how the rotating members of this group came together in Guinean refugee camps is an inspiring story of hope and the healing power of music. Now more than 10 years into a career that's taken the West African musicians around the world, the band return with their fourth album. Where the previous two efforts focused more on electric African funk and reggae, Libation often has lighter, acoustic-based sound (particularly on “Obaenya” and “Ghana Baby”) that's highlighted by such sunny African genres as highlife as well as old-school styles like maringa, palm wine, and gumbe. Of the plugged-in songs here, the midtempo roots reggae of “It’s So Sorry” and “Rich but Poor” are deeply indebted to Bob Marley and The Wailers yet are also real highlights. These latter two are complemented by the lovers rock of “Treat You Right,” which offers a more tender side of reggae. This album is named after the tradition of pouring out a little booze to remember friends—but this time it’s more about the party that comes next.

TITLE TIME
3:49
3:28
4:23
4:38
4:37
3:04
4:18
3:42
3:57
4:10
3:47
3:45

About Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

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 to travel with the group, capturing their performances as they visited and played at various camps. The resulting documentary, released in 2002, captures the band’s story, including their safe return to the capital of Sierra Leone. There Koroma invited members of his old band, the Emperors, to join the Refugees line-up, and the group commenced a world tour. In 2006 the band’s studio debut, LIVING LIKE A REFUGEE, appeared, delivering an irresistible blend of traditional West African music, reggae, and various worldbeat influences.

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