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Ebo Taylor – “Yaa Amponsah”
Appia Kwa Bridge
Ebo Taylor has had an incredible resurgence in the past couple of years. While he may be in his 70s now, he is still touring and recording. Today Strut Records releases his latest album, Appia Kwa Bridge, his second record of new material since 2010’s Love and Death, which was his first album in thirty years. He recorded both Love and Death and Appia Kwa Bridge with the help of Berlin’s Afrobeat Academy. Jochen Stroh mans the controls once again at Berlin’s Lovelite Studios for this release. While you can hear Afro-beat in Ebo Taylor’s music, he comes from a highlife background, which still contains the same funky, well arranged and harmonically static sounds heard in Afro-beat, but with a gentler approach in terms of both groove and message. For Appia Kwa Bridge, Ebo wanted to return to the highlife music he is famous for.
“I wanted to go back to a highlife feeling with this album. The songs are very personal and it is an important part of my music to keep alive many traditional Fante songs, war chants and children’s rhymes.” – Ebo Taylor
Ebo Taylor still sounds as fresh as ever although these songs could have been recorded in the 70s, as they are genuine with analog warmth. The album contains seven original tunes and one highlife standard, “Yaa Amponsah,” which is featured above. He tackles personal subject matter on his compositions from the self-titled track which is an homage to a bridge in Saltpond on the Cape Coast where he lives, to the tender lament for his late wife on “Barrima.” Ebo continues to pack energy into a genre he helped make famous. While he spent time playing with Fela Kuti and other African musicians recording in London in the 60s, it is Ebo’s unique combination of traditional Ghanaian material with Afro-beat, jazz, and funk rhythms that draws audiences, young and old, to his music. Pick up the LP/CD at your favorite record store today. If you want to learn more about this terrific album, watch this informative interview with Ebo Taylor regarding the recording of Appia Kwa Bridge. Keep on the lookout as Ebo Taylor will be touring worldwide in May.