Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars - Radio Salone by Cumbancha
For a group that emerged from the horrors of the Sierra Leonean civil war, band leader Reuben Koroma and the Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars create music that is surprisingly life-affirming and optimistic. Perhaps that’s what has really made them so appealing to audiences worldwide as well as with cynical music critics. The music is simply irresistible and infectious and embraces all that is best in the human spirit. For their third record, the group decamped to Brooklyn to record out of the Dunham Studios with Victor Axelrod (founding member of stellar bands Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, and the Easy Star All-Stars) as producer.
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars went for a naturalistic sound using analog recording with mid-‘70s mics and 16-track tape. That lent the process a feel of spontaneity and warmness ideal for these complex tunes, as well as evoking the golden era of Afrobeat. Radio Salone releases April 24th via Cumbancha. You can pre-order now via Amazon.
Frontman Reuben Koroma chats with PopMatters about the album’s creation, the documentary that brought the group world-wide exposure and working with Victor Axelrod…