“”We’re all handicapped people, ain’t we?””

Staff Benda Bilili are like nothing you have ever seen or heard before. A group of paraplegic street musicians who live in and around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, Congo, they make music of astonishing power and beauty. The band’s mesmerising rumba-rooted grooves, overlaid with vibrant vocals, remind you at times of Cuban nonchalance, at other times of the Godfather of Soul himself. You can hear echoes of old-school rhythm and blues, then reggae, then no-holds barred funk. Four senior singer/guitarists sitting on spectacularly customized tricycles, occasionally dancing on the floor of the stage, arms raised in joyful supplication, are the core of the band, backed by a younger, all-acoustic, rhythm section pounding out tight beats. Over the top of this are weird, infectious guitar-like solos performed by young Roger Landu, (an ex-street kid the band took under their wing), who plays a one-string electric lute he designed and built himself out of a tin can. – more on their myspace page

I had to put this up. I think you will agree Staff Benda Bilili (myspace) is amazing and their album Tres Tres Fort (amazon) worthy of an actual purchase.

Don’t Sleep: Staff Benda Bilili – Poliomyelite (don lowed)

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Read an article from the san Fran Bayview profiling Staff Benda Bilili.

Posted under Slumber Party Sunday. Comments: 2 |


Comment from HERMo
Time: April 6, 2009, 12:16 am

Sweet, I can get this on emusic! Thanks Anthony!

Comment from Mary
Time: July 9, 2009, 4:52 pm

I love this track, thank you!
Found it on hypemachine.

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