Rise & Shine by Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars on Apple Music

13 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.”

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5:12
2:52
4:54
3:16
4:02
6:04
2:23
5:21
4:54
2:49
4:40
4:12

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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