Obiaa!

08/10/19The “Golden Voice of Africa” Returns With A New Album Of Ghanaian Highlife

Ghanaian highlife music is as alive as ever and so is the irresistibly charismatic and no doubt iconic "golden voice of Africa" , Pat Thomas. At 72 years and after approximately 50 years in music with the likes of Ebo Taylor, Fela Kuti and Tony Allen, he just delivered his second album alongside Accra's Kwashibu Area Band on Strut Records, proving yet again that age is but a number. And just like its self-entitled, 2015-released predecessor, "Obiaa!" (which translates to "Everybody!") will be sure to have everybody on board in no time. 

Produced yet again by the team of multi-instrumentalist/bandleader Kwame Yeboah (Cat Stevens) and saxophonist Ben Abarbanell-Wolff (Ebo Taylor "Love and Death" and "Appia Kwa Bridge") at Lovelite Studios in Berlin, "Obiaa!" is described as "a deep and soulful journey into the heart of Ghana's indigenous highlife music." But don't let the laidback vibes and smooth arrangements distract you from the mastery and musicianship on display from start to finish, led by Pat Thomas' extraordinary vocals and guitar.

"Obiaa!" is highlife performed in a modern-day context, or as Ben puts it: "Playing highlife around the world taught us what we had to do to move our sound forward.” No sooner said than done, the nine track strong album includes "the modern parables ‘Onfa Nkosi Hwee’ warning against arrogance and ‘Odo Ankasa’ about the value of real love and trust as well as a great new cover of Thomas’ Afro-disco favourite ‘Yamona’." You can listen to the full release in the player below.

Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band are currently on tour across Europe. The following dates remain:

Oct 8th Schlachthof, Wiesbaden, DE
Oct 10th YAAM, Berlin, DE
Oct 11th BERLIN – PR DAY
Oct 12th Alice, Copenhagen, DK
Oct 13th Atlas, Aarhus, DK
Oct 16th 0osterport, Groningen, NL
Oct 18th Grounds, Rotterdam, NL
Oct 19th Paradiso, Amsterdam, NL
Oct 20th Doornrosje, Nijmegen, NL
Oct 25th Biko, Milan, IT
Oct 26th Moods, Zurich, CH

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom