Living Like a Refugee is the realization of a lifelong dream for this inspiring band of Sierra Leonean musicians. Each song is an original composition written during their years in exile in the refugee camps. The powerful lyrics speak to the suffering and injustice they have seen but also reverberate with hopeful, optimistic rhythms.
Made up of former displaced persons from the killing fields of Sierra Leone, members of the Refugee All Stars (a.k.a. R.A.S.) were forced to flee for their lives during the 1990s, fanning out into nearby West African nations. Through continued hard times, bandmates Reuben M. Koroma, Francis (Franco) Langba, and Abdul Rahim (Arahim) Kamara entertained and heartened their compatriots with truthful, gently satiric, liltingly infectious tunes. Filmmakers Banker White and Zach Niles made a prize-winning documentary about the band's courageous struggle, thereby bringing their story to an international audience. Backed by Keith Richards, Sir Paul McCartney, and other socially conscious celebrities, R.A.S. embarked on a rapturously received world tour and were at long last able to augment their earlier, but nonetheless invaluable, field recordings with professionally engineered studio tracks. The resulting seventeen songs travel through deceptively relaxed Sierra Leonean Palm Wine music, triple-rhythmed gbute vang and reggae-like sounds (complete with toasting), Nigerian Afro-Beat, and even echoes of Congolese soukous. Backed by sweet yet astringent vocal harmonies, sultry guitars, homemade percussion, and playfully retro-sounding organ riffs, each selection reveals still another facet of a bittersweet but ultimately triumphant saga of survival. At long last, Sierra Leones Refugee All Stars are poised to become the superstars they were always destined to be. --Christina Roden
- Size Other
- Color Other
- Age group Adult
- Gender Unisex
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