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Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars were at Terminal West last night on a beautiful Sunday evening to deliver their rich, cultural music as only they could play it. The band definitely had a song in their heart in an ode to their beautiful homeland of Sierra Leone, a country that is rich in minerals but yet its people struggle and remain poor. Reuben Koroma spoke to the crowd in Atlanta about the civil war in Sierra Leone and how he and his wife had to flee the country and became refugees in nearby Guinea. It was there where he formed the group and the All-Stars were born.
The harmonizing and perfect blend of instrumentation made for a marvelous evening of music from the band as they played songs from their entire catalog of hits including songs from the new album Libation. From the time the band took the stage concert goers were not able to remain seated, as they danced all night to the West African rhythm. A few of the concert goers were from Sierra Leone, and their chests swelled with pride as they listened and danced to the music from their fellow countrymen. It was amazing to see people show their appreciation for the band by throwing money on the stage as the band continued to play. The band remained humble and they were so gracious for the love from the crowd. In between songs they wanted to make sure that people were enjoying themselves and having a good time by actively engaging and interacted with the people.
One of the highlights of the evening was when the band performed their song Maria, off the Libation album. Reuben spoke briefly about a beautiful Spanish lady who lives in Sierra Leone, and that is who the song was written about. The melody of the song was beautiful and you couldn’t help singing along and feeling the groove. For a moment last night we were whisked away under the stars and beautiful moonlit sky of Sierra Leone as we were serenaded by the Refugee All Stars. By the end of the night we didn’t want the show to end and neither did the band. After the last song they went into a jam session that could have gone on all night and I’m sure no one would have mind at all. It was the end to a perfect evening and we are surely glad we had the opportunity to be a part of and share in the amazing show by the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars.
Photos: Carolyn Grady
Recap & Interview: Kedric Barrett