Brought to the attention of the world through Paul Simon’s Graceland album in the 80’s, Ladysmith Black Mambazo have been around making music for over 50 years.
The group are about to release a collection of African folk songs that they would have learned and sung themselves as children growing up on Zulu farms in the 1940s and 50s.
Songs From A Zulu Farm is the first of a trilogy of albums that sing of the group’s life experiences in South Africa, taking listeners back to the ways of life and nature of group members who were born and raised on the farms outside of Ladysmith.
The release of this collection of traditional folk songs will coincide with a world tour that will see the group heading to the UK in May and June for an extensive 26 night stay.
Songs From A Zulu Farm comprises sixteen songs steeped in the riches of Zulu traditionand begin with troublesome fowl, Yangiluma Inkukhu (The Biting Chicken) and some top-of-the-class animal noises from the group before they apply the familiar balm of Ladysmith’s matchless harmonies.
This is followed by Laduma, a praise song to thunder and to the power of the Zulu people and the voices of the group itself. And after the thunder, the rain, and the tender call of Children Come Home, its descending group harmonies and Joseph Shabalala’s counterpoint lead voice as warm and encompassing as a blanket and open fire.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Songs From a Zulu Farm is released by Proper on 7 February.
The group tour the UK from 19 May until 22nd June 2011