Archive for July 29th, 2009

Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Live!

Ladysmith Black Mambazo became popular with Paul Simon’s album Graceland (1986). The song Homeless was often released on numerous albums of this group. Ladysmith Black Mambazo (The black axe from the town Ladysmith) was founded in 1964 by Joseph Shabala. He is creator, writer, composer and the genius of the group. He is still the spirit and leader of this vocal formation.

The DVD Ladysmith Black Mambazo LIVE! was recorded in Akron, Ohio, in 2008. The DVD listed 10 songs and two further songs as encore. All songs were composed by Joseph Shabala with the exception of Homeless, which is a collaboration with Paul Simon. Shosholoza and Amazing Grace are traditional compositions.

The concert starts with Nomathemba, which means in Zulu mother of hope. “I wrote Nomathemba in 1965 and it was the first song I ever composed after it came to me in a dream”, comments Joseph Shabala, founder, leader and musical director of the group. It was the first hit single on their album Amabutho (1973). Joseph’s lithe alto coos and growls above two tenors and more basses that make soothing, rhythmic textures punctuated by breathy bursts is the typical vocal art of LBM.

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