Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, "Rise & Shine"
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars' latest release, "Rise & Shine," not only solidifies the group's spot in the world music galaxy, but also affirms that roots reggae is alive and well beyond Jamaica. Evidence of this is first heard in the backbeat of the new album's opening track, "Muloma," and reggae also steps front and center on following song "Global Threat," which offers a bit of social commentary before reverting to a more African-traditional mood on "Oruwiebie." One of the highlights on "Rise & Shine" is the roots-reggae number "Living Stone," an endlessly catchy track written by Mohamed Kamara. And the All Stars put the hammer down most convincingly on the vibrant ska tune "Jah Come Down," an original from band member Reuben M. Koroma. The All Stars have definitely come a long way from the West African refugee camps, and with the release of "Rise & Shine," it sounds like music will keep the group busy for quite a while.