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Sunday 3 January 2010

Ghana Part 2: Onipa Nua

More Goggins, More Ghana. Today we bring you a couple of tracks from "I Feel Alright" by Onipa Nua, which I picked up for £1 at Spitalfields market a little while back.

From what I can gather from various sketchy sources, Onipa Nua was a blind street musician until he was discovered in 1980 by Faisal Helwani, of whom more here and here. He made a couple of albums and apparently died in 1990. So "I Feel Alright" was presumably recorded at some point in the 1980s. The sleeve notes list the musicians - of whom more below - and the fact that it was recorded in London, but not the date.

Most tracks are just Onipa accompanying himself on his kalimba, which to be honest I find rather dull. But for the first two tracks on the album he is backed by a full band, and they are decidedly groovy. That is not surprising as the band included four of the founding members of Osibisa - Teddy Osei, Mac Tonto, Sol Amarfio (all Ghananians themselves) and Robert Bailey.

Here are those two tracks:

"I Feel Alright"

"Auntie Rosina"

And here are Osibisa performing "Sunshine Day" in what appears to be an attempt at a fake snowstorm. I wonder what creative genius thought of that?

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