Published Jan 12, 2010TRACK OF THE DAY: Cumbancha Records is one of the most active world music labels of the last several years. They've released good albums by Nova Lima, Kailash Kher and the Idan Raichel Project, all of whom have toured North America in the last year. Adding Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars to their roster is a good move for both parties.
Their 2006 debut album (and its subsequent documentary), Living Like A Refugee, was a critical and commercial success on Anti, a label that specializes in signing artists with long histories of personal and professional adversity. This time, the roots-reggae band formed in refugee camps in West Africa, recorded their new album in Freetown, Sierra Leone and New Orleans with the guidance of veteran producer Steve Berlin. The album, Rise & Shine, is set to be released on March 23, and features cameos from New Orleans musicians Trombone Shorty, Bonerama and Washboard Chaz.
The band sound even tighter after years of steady touring, and, with their notoriety are sure to be a big priority for Cumbancha. To stoke interest, the label has made a song available for free download, which surprisingly doesn't happen all that often among world music labels.
Download "Living Stone" by Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars here.