Arts + Music » Music

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars

Libation (Cumbancha)



Three albums in a dozen years are sufficient to mark the Refugee All-Stars as distinct among African groups for their varied attack. The North American ear generates a physical response to hearty brass-guitar throwdown, even while wishing for more distortion in the latter. We like to rock. Reggae rhythm is reserved for sad songs about love and a lament, "Rich But Poor," on the troubles that drove them from their West African home. Lyrics alternate between English and dialect, even intriguingly within "Money No Do." Not every number will compel you to dance, but none will deny you the opportunity


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