“Yaa Amponsah” is one of the oldest Highlife standards, with recordings dating back to the late 1920’s. With lyrics praising the beauty of a woman, the song has remained a popular in the repertoire of Ghanaian artists throughout the last century. It fits then that modern Highlife master Ebo Taylor chose to perform the song on his latest album, the deeply personal Appia Kwa Bridge. With two complementary plucked guitar lines, the song is one of the most restrained yet disarming tracks on the album. You can see a description of the lyrical content and a demonstration of the performance technique from Mr. Taylor below. Appia Kwa Bridge comes out in April on Strut Records.
“I wanted to go back to a highlife feeling with this album,” explains Ebo Taylor. “The songs are very personal and it is an important part of my music to keep alive many traditional Fante songs, war chants and children’s rhymes.”
Appia Kwa Bridge, released this April, is a strident return from the Ghanaian highlife guitar legend. Featuring six new compositions, his sound is more dense and tightly locked than ever with the goup of musicians with whom he records, Berlin-based musicians Afrobeat Academy. Ebo and the Afrobeat Academy have formed a rock solid unit, having toured worldwide following their Love And Death album in 2010, including a string of dates for WOMAD. Jochen Stroh works his analogue magic once more from his base at Berlin’s Lovelite Studios.
The album features a number of special guests within the credits including incomparable drummer Tony Allen, original Africa 70 guitarist Oghene Kologbo and conga maestro Addo Nettey a.k.a. Pax Nicholas. Representing the younger players, keyboard genius Kwame Yeboah, son of Ghanaian legend S.K. Yeboah, makes full use of Lovelite’s famed collection of Farfisa and Wurlitzer organs.
Ebo Taylor’s Appia Kwa Bridge is released on Strut as a 1CD, 2LP and digitally on April 16th 2012. He will be touring worldwide from May 2012.
Watch the video!