V.A. / IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A LOVER Palm Wine, Akan Blues & Early Guitar Highlife, Pt. I & Pt. II


Pt. I
1.The Three Night Wizards – Money! Money! 02:44
2.Aigwe & Group – Ebe Awalam Di 02:25
3.Edmund Tagoe & Frank Essien – Mami Dede Dsi Mi Lobi 02:49
4.Kumasi Trio – Yaa Amponsah Pt. 1 02:51
5.E.K. Anang’s Band – Onua Do 03:13
6.Nicholas De Heer – Insu Aimuna 03:03
7.Appiah Adjekum’s Band – Owu Atwere 03:12
8.Gyak’s Guitar Band – Kumasi E.D. 02:49
9.George Williams Aingo – Mboko 02:57
10.Instrumental Trio (Conducted by George Williams Aingo) – Chidei Wydul 02:53
11.Kumasi Trio – Yaa Amponsah Pt. 2 02:50
12.Nicholas de Heer – Kuasie Awissa 03:00
13.Daniel H. Acqaah & George Williams Aingo – Bira David Dzi Hin 03:03
14.Irewolede Denge – Orin Asape Eko 02:57
15.Ononkwo Aigwe & His Musical Group – Oye Ilom 02:33
16.Nkonu & His Party – Maka Ifi Ego 02:50
17.Owoo Kodjo Band – Maa Ye Mobo 02:37
18.Manukure’s Band – Ohiani Asem Nye Asem 02:41
19.Kwasi Gatsey’s Band – Nusianu Si Adzo 02:53
20.Kwame Boakyi & His Band – Kohwe Wo Kunu Ayease 02:40
21.Kwaa Mensah & His Fanti Trio – Wa Sun Szi Domo 02:43
22.Kosi Gatsey Band – Hadizan Mairam 02:30
23.Kojo Bio’s Band – Ode Brebre Be Ko 02:47
24.Ishie Brothers – Agi Onyeasaba 02:45
25.D.O. Willies Band – Sika Tu Se Anomaa 02:40
26.The Three Night Wizards – Nwaoba 02:37
Pt. 2
1.The Three Night Wizards – I Love Yoruba Girl 02:45
2.Onyina’s Band – Kumasi Bus Aba 02:41
3.Piccolo Pete & Congo Abana Band – Fatau Jalaku 02:40
4.Manukure’s Band – Daakye A Mewo No Aeko 02:35
5.Kwame Boakyi & His Band – Nkobesie 02:59
6.Fanti’s Star Band – Dr Nkrumah ko Liberia, Pt. 1 02:51
7.D.O. Willies Band – Obrapa Ye Wura Fe 02:39
8.Kumasi Trio – Womma Onye Bi 02:58
9.Domingos Band – Fika Go Mato 02:23
10.George Williams Aingo – Suantsi 02:58
11.Kakaiku’s Band – Aboa Apatupre 02:51
12.Asaba Youth Orchestra – Nata 02:30
13.D.O. Willie’s Band – Bra Begye Mani 02:52
14.The Three Night Wizards – Anwusalie Lam Anya 02:48
15.Adjin’s Band – Osidsa 02:19
16.George Williams Aingo – Fine, Fine, Sha’t Are 02:50
17.Kojo Seido’s Band – Akyikyiri Wasem Ye Mo Bo 02:32
18.Kwaa Mensah’s Guitar Band – Sika Ho Yena Blues 02:58
19.Nkonu & His Party – Ebe Chosa Love 02:43
20.Kojo Bio’s Band – Odo Onto Nceh 02:27
21.Fanti’s Star Band – Dr Nkrumah ko Liberia, Pt. 2 02:36
22.Ojoge Daniel & His Band – Late Olusholanke 02:41
23.Kwasi Gatsey’s Band – Xi Xiame Fe Nye Wo 02:38
24.Kumasi Trio – Yaw Donkor 03:02
25.Piccolo Pete & Congo Abana Band – When I Dede 02:44
26.The Three Night Wizards – Owerri Baram M Ihi 02:42

★The first part in a collection encompassing Akan blues, palm wine and early guitar-based highlife music, with recordings dating from the late 1920s through to the end of the 1950s.

The music included here can probably all be said to have all stemmed from a style that initially took root in the Fanti region of coastal southern Ghana. Fusing local percussion instruments with the introduction of western (most notably Portuguese) guitars that had made their way to the Fanti region of southern Ghana via the Kru seamen of Liberia, who are said to have pioneered the distinctive two-fingered style of playing while sailing the high seas.

Mingling amongst the Kru as well as with other sailors and local working-class people during the 1920s & 30s, the guitars infused with the traditional Akan seprewa harp-playing technique, creating a style known as ‘odonson’ or ‘Akan blues’ – a rootsy highlife style also commonly referred to as palm wine music, so named after the palm wine bars where the music was commonly performed. Western record companies such as Zonophone, Columbia, Odeon, HMV, and later Decca/EMI’s West Africa imprint, released much of the recordings included here – with the earliest inclusions appearing courtesy of George William Aingo, Nicholas De Heer, Edmund Tagoe & Frank Essien, and Jacob Sam’s Kumasi Trio (all recorded in London during the late 1920s). The form would become a key element in the popular development of both Ghanaian & Nigerian highlife, as well as the maringa of Sierra Leone, the juju of western Nigeria, and the Congolese “dry” guitar music of central Africa.

★The second part in a collection encompassing Akan blues, palm wine and early guitar-based highlife music, with recordings dating from the late 1920s through to the end of the 1950s.

The music included here can probably all be said to have all stemmed from a style that initially took root in the Fanti region of coastal southern Ghana. Fusing local percussion instruments with the introduction of western (most notably Portuguese) guitars that had made their way to the Fanti region of southern Ghana via the Kru seamen of Liberia, who are said to have pioneered the distinctive two-fingered style of playing while sailing the high seas.

Mingling amongst the Kru as well as with other sailors and local working-class people during the 1920s & 30s, the guitars infused with the traditional Akan seprewa harp-playing technique, creating a style known as ‘odonson’ or ‘Akan blues’ – a rootsy highlife style also commonly referred to as palm wine music, so named after the palm wine bars where the music was commonly performed. Western record companies such as Zonophone, Columbia, Odeon, HMV, and later Decca/EMI’s West Africa imprint, released much of the recordings included here – with the earliest inclusions appearing courtesy of George William Aingo, Nicholas De Heer, Edmund Tagoe & Frank Essien, and Jacob Sam’s Kumasi Trio (all recorded in London during the late 1920s). The form would become a key element in the popular development of both Ghanaian & Nigerian highlife, as well as the maringa of Sierra Leone, the juju of western Nigeria, and the Congolese “dry” guitar music of central Africa.

With thanks to John Collins and the Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation.

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