Sunday, October 1st, 2006

Nana Kwame Ampadu 1 now has a website where you can read his biography, view a photo gallery, see his achievements and awards, list of albums, and more. Under new release and compilations, you can purchase CDs, and hear samples from the CDs. These are well worth a listen. Nana Kwame Ampadu and the African Brothers Band have long been a driving musical force, and a source of brilliant and biting commentary on politics and society.

Nana Ampadu of Ghana formed his African Brothers Band in 1963 as one of the many guitar-based highlife groups that rose in Ghana in the ’60s. The trademarks of the group are their adherence to performing only their own songs (as opposed to the common practice of simply covering other groups’ compositions), as well as putting forth a political message within each of their songs. During the ’70s, they became one of the more innovative bands on the scene, as they experimented with influences from other areas, including the rumba, reggae, and a form of music meant to incorporate all of the African forms, Afro-hili, which was also made as a competitor to Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat. After some time, they have returned to a purer form of guitar highlife, though hundreds of albums (mostly in Ghana) can attest to their longevity and creativity. ~ Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

Ghana’s African Brothers Band has thrived and survived through three decades of social and political transition and turmoil throughout their homeland. They have reigned supreme atop the highlife hierarchy almost since their inception. They’re currently led by Nana Kwame Ampadu the Third, and record at Ambassador studios in Kumasi. A couple of years ago, they did their first shows in England since 1984. The African Brothers emerged as superstars in 1967, with their first hit “Ebi Tie Ye.” They were part of the new highlife sound that fused rock and reggae bits into a tight, multiple guitar front line, accenting lyricist and leader Nana Ampadu’s exhaustive, metaphor-driven sermons drawn from stories of the animal kingdom. They have several releases available on the international market, plus many other cassette-only items not sold outside Ghana. ~ Ron Wynn, All Music Guide

Bush has finally told us his real message, and what he has to offer us and our country. He has been telling us this for a long time. Now he spells it out, captured by billmon.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Inaugural Address
March 4, 1933

“The only thing we have is fear.”

George W. Bush
Radio Address
September 30, 2006

And to quote Sarah Vowell:

Whenever I hear the president mention, oh, every 12 minutes, that his greatest responsibility is ”to protect the American people,” the insufferable civics robot inside my head mutters: ”Actually, sir, your oath, the one with the Bible and the chief justice and the Jumbotron, is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. For the American people are not mere flesh whose greatest hope is to keep our personal greasy molecules intact; we, sir, are a body politic — with ideals.”
Down With Torture! Gimme Torture!; [Op-Ed]
Sarah Vowell. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). Feb 5, 2006. pg. 4.13