Ghana 45 Mix :: Highlife and Afro Blues 1969-‘76

Following the release of last year's Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band, Strut Records returns with Coming Home, a career retrospective compilation for the Ghanaian highlife master and " Golden Voice Of Africa”, spanning his late ‘60s big band highlife recordings to the “burger highlife” movement of the early ‘80s. As such, we asked the collection's compiler, Duncan Brooker, to spin some of his favorite records of the era. Brooker's notes, below.

This mix started with Pat Thomas at its core, featuring three tracks from my latest Strut compilation,  Coming Home. I wanted to showcase some of the sounds that were happening across Ghana during the early to mid 70's, selecting music that features some of Pat’s friends and associates, as well as some of the other contemporary highlife groups of the era. I included everything from guitar bands to the post-big band collectives that were around during this time. There are some of the more well known bands from this period, like The Boom Talents and then there is the more bluesier guitar highlife sound, like the F. Micah’s Band track, which was just as popular domestically at that time.  Guitar highlife remained popular throughout this period and remained so after the demise of the larger highlife bands — guitar groups were a more manageable size and format.

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