Friday, August 20, 2010
Hell With John Canoe, We Shall Junkanoo!- Exuma- Exuma (1970)
"A Bahamian visionary, humanistic philosopher and people's poet. Exuma gives expression to the beauty and power of the cultural life of the Bahamas - the people's every day experiences, folklore, myths, stories, junkanoo, rake and scrape, pain, joy, struggle and survival. His life and art reflect the wonderful cultural heritage and personality of Bahamians, drawing on the roots of Africa and the branches of the Amerindians, Europeans and Americans." -Alfred M. Sears
Exuma is the name of the musical force manifest in Tony Mackey (or Macfarlane Gregory Anthony Mackey, by birth), a Bahamian from Cat Island who possessed a rare and wild gift for unique and ecstatic musical expression. Resembling, at times, a spectral and divine demonic Siamese twinning of Nina Simone and Dave Van Ronk, summoned to create a Bahamian rejoinder to Dr. John's Gris Gris, this album and this artist are truly essential listening. With enough crazy clatter and free-folkiness to satisfy the No Neck set of more "current times", sufficiently feral jams for the pot smokers and psych junkies, and more than enough folk, soul, blues and culture to grease the ears of music hunters, lost-sound seekers, folkies, calypsomaniacs, slave song lovers, and traditional attic spiders, this is, again, Essential Stuff.
This is a record about freedom, but also about zombies. An Obeah Record, a transcendent folk exorcism from another dimension within nicking distance of the equator. A Human piece of Human music for magnificent Peoples in all states of Pain and Passion.