Welcome to the Highlifeturntable. The purpose of this blog is to provide a way for people to listen to rare highlife music from Ghana and Nigeria. I plan to post tracks from my private collection along with a little commentary on what I know about the artist and what I like about the LP.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Igwilo Igwilo and the Rainbow aka nakpo ubo 1 of aguata - Ezifinite Special

For the next selection on the Highlife Turntable I have selected the track Ezifinite Special by the band Igwilo Igwilo and the Rainbow off a Foss Sound release from the early 80's.

There was no information on the band, but Aguata is a local government area in the Anambra state and Ezifinite is a town in the district.

The song is simple, but I found it relaxing.  The vocals are unhurried and the lead singer creates a nice dialogue as he moves through the song cajoling and singing to the audience.  The guitar work and muted horn playing add to the laid back ambiance of the whole song.  Not usually my style but this track caught my ear.

 I hope you like it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Anthony Cockson and his Oyadongha dance band of Tarakiri - Okubo Izom Ke Emi

For the next selection on the highlife turntable, I have selected the track Okubo Izom Ke Emi by Anthony Cockson off a Julie Records release dated 1988.

John Beadle has written about this artist before, but he did not have a lot of information other than he was an Ijaw musician from Tarakiri in the Bayelsa State who had an oddly poetic voice and a hypnotic bass line.

His name came across my musical radar when I asked Peres Bestman Doupere, the son of the singer Bestman Doupere, who the people were in some pictures I found on the back cover of a King Ebizimor LP.

He identified one as his father and the other one as Antony Cockson.  He told me that Ebizimor, his father and Cockson were all from the Angalabiri Community in Sagbama.  Both men were backup singers in Ebizimor's band before going off on their own solo careers.  It also appears that Cockson had his own record label called Cockson records.

It took me a while to find this LP, but it was worth the wait. The song is a 16 minutes long and the vocals and bass line are complimented by some nice percussion work.   John was right about the vocals and the bass line.

There are several points in the song where Cockson just goes off and does some really pretty cool singing.  You'll know what I am talking about when you hear it.

 I've been listening to this a lot lately and it has peaked my interest in Izon highlife.

I hope you like.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ogbanshiegbe Onuora and his Star brothers International - Anam Ene Uwa

For the next selection on the highlifeturntable, I have selected the track Anam Ene Uwa by the group Ogbansiegbe Onuora and his Star Brothers International Band off their 1978 release Isi Buka Ani Eric

There was no information on the sleeve or the record about the band or where they were based, but the music is definitely Ibo highlife.  The playing is pretty much flawless.  What real stands out for me is the vocals and raucous guitar playing.  .  Its hard to describe what makes it so special, but once you listen to it I think you will know what I mean.   For me the vocals are a great example of the depth, warmth and range of sound these singers were capable of.  The fluidity and soulfulness cadence of the vocals are accompanied by some screaming guitar riffs.  The seller aptly described the music as the Ibo highlife equivalent of musical heroin.  I've been listening to it nonstop

See what you think.

Happy Holidays from the Highlife Cave

I'll be posting a Ghanaian track I really like in the next few days.

Friday, July 24, 2015

O.P.K and F.K. - Abraham Medley

For the next selection on the highlife turntable I have selected the track Abraham by O.P.K off a Pan American release O.P.K is back again.

Recorded at Ambassador records in Ghana there is no information on the liner notes about the performers except a note that all tunes were written by O.P.K and F.K.  Part of me wants to believe that F.K. is F. Kenya, but I have no way of knowing although the lead vocalist does sound like him.

The medley takes up all of side 1.  The vocals are sharp and are carried along by a guitar rhythm has that laid back psychedelic Ghanaian back beat that was the hallmark of all the great Ghanaian bands of the late 70's. I was also grooving on the nice percussion work in the background.   I've been playing it alot lately.  I hope you like it.

Let me know if you can identify who F.K. and O.P.K.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Osita and his Seven Brothers Band

For the next selection on the highlife turntable. I have selected the track Ezi Okwu Di Nnua by Osita and his Seven Brothers Band from their 1979 Jicco release Ofu Osisi Adi Eme Ofia.

There was no information on the liner notes about the band, but they sing in Igbo.  The rough translation of the song title is truth is the husband/father. The two things that really stood out for me were the vocals and the horn playing. Check out the horn riffs at the beginning, at the 4:30 mark and towards the end. Classic stuff.  I hope you like.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Akashiada International Band led by Pat Enebeli

For the next selection on the Highlife Turntable I have selected the track Odindo Kua Enwe by the Akashiada International Band led by Pat Enebeli off a 1982 release entitled Charity Special.

I do not know much about the Akashiada International Band but the Umu-Akashiada is a sub group of the Ukwauni people in the Ndokwa land.  Akashiada records appears to be a label that was active in the early 80's.  Pat Enebeli went on to become the lead singer for one of my favorite Ukwauni bands Obiajulu and his Sound Power of Africa.

The Ukwauni song is minimalist in structure and focuses on the thready guitar rhythms supporting the lilting vocals of  Pat Enebeli.   I really like the way the guitarist bends the notes and the chorus hovers in the background occasionally joining the lead vocalist.  I think the simplicity of the song is what I find most attractive.  I have been listening to it a lot lately and thought I'd share it to see what you think.

I hope you like it.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

amaica brothers band led by john okpor

For the next selection on the highlife turntable, I have selected the track Oh Chukwu Nna by the Amaica Brothers Band led by John Okpor off an O.E.I. Records release.

I've written about John Okpor before.  John Okpor was one of the great Ukwauni vocalists and appears to have had a long and varied career.   I've never heard of the Amaica Brothers Band or this label before I came across this record.

This song appears to be a reworking of the Igbo gospel song Chukwa Nna Mu.  Chukwu in Igbo culture is the source of all the other Igbo gods and controls everything on earth and the spiritual world.  Nna is another word for Fathers.  The song sounds like a praise song to the creator and father: Chukwu.  The label says the song is a Ukwauni Continental Highlife.

The three things that stand out for me are the beauty of the vocals, the simplicity of the guitar lines and the way the percussion instruments keep the tempo moving.  A beautiful little song.

I hope you like it