S. E. Rogie – Palm Wine Guitar Music
The sweet, old West African tradition of palm wine guitar has few great players left. Palm wine music dates back to the days when Portuguese sailors first introduced guitars to West African port cities. Early African guitarists and bottle percussionists played at gatherings where revelers drank the fermented sap of palm trees, a traditional alternative to bottled beer. S. E. Rogie, palm wine music’s greatest ambassador, began his career as “The Jimmy Rodgers of Sierra Leone.” His early hit “My Sweet Elizabeth” stands as the most popular song Sierra Leone has produced to date. After he left home in 1973, Rogie’s long, up-and-down career took him around West Africa, to the US, and ultimately to England, where he recorded, taught, and performed vigorously until his sudden death at the age of 68. [Taken from Afropop.org]
Just to add a few words of my own, I picked this up without knowing what it would sound like and was immensely happy once I got it home. This is joyous music, filled with life. The slightly rough production makes it sound even more real and authentic (if that makes sense) and it all just makes me want to get some palm wine and waste an afternoon kicking back and listening to song after song.