Wednesday, May 13, 2015

AfroPop at the PoHo...

African traditional music, blended with
jazz, calypso, hip-hop, took over the stage last night at the Pour House.

The Nigerian band LAGBAJA, meaning "the mask" in Yoruba, features the leader on sax wearing a mask.

He is accompanied by percussion, core drums, chants and Western instruments, and, obviously, the saxophone.

The 8-person band is on its first U.S. tour in 9 years.

The night before they performed in Atlanta at the Variety Playhouse.

The mask symbolizes somebody, nobody, anybody or everybody. His emphasis is on social issues and pure entertainment.

As he said, the lyrics often get them in trouble. Then he showed an example, going after equivocating politicians with the musical title "Just answer with a Yes or with a No."

Lively doesn't come even close to describing the pulsing music and the evening of gyrating adventure for the diverse crowd.

Dancers swayed to the beat and my feet shuffled a little too.

Well, I never have been a dancer but it was impossible to not be swept up with the rhythm and motion.

Described as "my little sister," the lone female contributed greatly to the sound and the fury.

Colorful outfits contrasted with the stark traditional white "baggy" pants of the leader.

The core drums varied from the upright conga-type carved wooden ones to small, hand-held drums, pounded by hand and with a curiously curved stick.

Everyone had a solo or two and the music jumped from frantic pace, back to slow and melodic then pounding again.

In the background there was an accomplished keyboard player and a solid bassist who had the easiest job in the world.

A conventional drum kit added its effort to the musical melange.

It has been an interesting several weeks of music for me. First the Doobies, followed by the Two Man Gentleman Band, the spirited March Fourth, Shrimp City Slim, John Fogerty doing his CCR hits and Francine Reed belting the Blues.

Last night the "opener" was Lee Barbour and his Cubano surf rock band, Post-Cobra.

(Click on the photos for more detail.)

Use the link to hear sounds of Lagbaja.

Did I mention I love and support Live Music?

Well, I do.

And I have pictures - and memories - to prove it.

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