Dominic Kakolobango
African Acoustic
Africassette (

cd cover Kakolobango is a Zambian guitarist, raised in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), where he learned a guitar style that is now "relegated to the local equivalent of the 'oldies' bin," as the liner notes so aptly put it. The resulting album, in its updated traditional style and grassroots sound, recalls not only the legendary Jean-Bosco Mwenda, and Euro-American folk and blues singers, but diverse modern artists from the continent like Cameroonian Francis Bebey and Malian Neba Solo. While the style is inherently charming and intriguing, the appearance of this album is also made possible by recent releases of other African artists who play more contemplative music; Gabin Dabire, Habib Koite, and Geoffrey Oryema to name a few.

"Baba Na Mama"
In addition to paying homage to the style's greats on songs such as "Masanga" and "Doris," Kakolobango takes on "Take Me Back" by Texan Mance Lipscomb, and shows an adroitness on songs like "Baba Na Mama," both recalling blues themes and structure as well as Zimbabwean chimurenga in the staccato picking style. Throughout, Kakolobango's acoustic guitar is supported by the electric guitar lines of soukous sideman Dizzy Mandjeku and Belgian blues harpman Ludo Beckers. - Craig Tower

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