Meaning ‘Everybody!’ in Ghanaian, Obiaa! is the sophomore album from Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band. Arriving four years after their energising debut, the double-LP promises an insight into the country’s musical soul, led by the brilliant 72 year old singer Pat Thomas, known as the ‘Golden Voice of Africa’.
Vinyl Double LP £20.99 STRUT201LP
2LP on Strut.
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CD £12.49 STRUT201CD
CD on Strut.
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Oh my goodness, the Strut label are really coming through (still… of course...) with the beautiful African grooves at the moment. Here’s a lovely record, the new one from Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band! Their album has a compact title to make up for all those words in the artists’ collective handle; ‘Obiaa!’ Translating to ‘Everybody!’, it’s an expansive invitation to good-times partying, and not just indicative of the number of superb musicians in their band.
Ghanaian music, and in particularly the lighthearted / full-hearted style known as Highlife, is a wonderfully joyful and celebratory sound which uplifts me immediately every time I hear it. Something about the shuffling drums, bubbling and bouncy bass-lines and lilting, sing-song guitar and crisp horns, all together in harmony, temporarily transport me away from all troubles and into a happier, more carefree world. A transitory illusion, perhaps, but a very welcome one.
Pat Thomas does indeed have a golden voice and here it is in all its magisterial glory, a musical instrument as powerful and evocative as any other known to humankind. Full of warmth, generosity, and yes, humanity, the voice belongs to a man aged 72. Yes, 72… I needed a bit of time to process this information, myself. Anyway, I’ll not mention any of the stunning 9 songs on the record as they’re all golden. Truly golden. Buy it, you won't regret your purchase.
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- Obiaa! by Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band
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