I Have No Everything Here

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Data

Released December 2015
Format MP3
Type CD
Added on Wednesday, 09 December 2015
Genre Local
Number of discs 1
Edition date December 2015
Country Malawi
Label Six Degrees Records
Tags malawi Local grammys

Review

There’s a long history of great music being created in prison. After all, John and Alan Lomax “discovered” the great Lead Belly in Angola prison farm, Louisiana back in 1933. Now the much-travelled Ian Brennan, the man who recorded the Malawi Mouse Boys, has checked out the music in Malawi’s overcrowded maximum-security jail. It’s an intriguing set, and he concentrates on diversity rather than promoting one potential prison star; there are 16 singer-songwriters featured in the 20 tracks. The male prisoners seem to get the better musical deal, as they have access to guitars that provide the backing for Chikondi Salanje’s slow and soulful opener Listen to Me (Or I Will Kick Your Ass) or the acoustic finger-picking of Thomas Binamo. From the female inmates, there’s a powerful hymn, Prison of Sinners, from Elube Chalema, and a mysteriously brief but rousing traditional song from the Zomba Prison Women.

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