africa in heart and soul

Well, now. That’s a way to spend a Sunday evening.

Tonight Burlington hosted Ugandan artists Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa for the very last stop on their 10-month US tour. Their past couple of days playing at the Vermont International Festival must have been a great warmup, tonight they were in fine form! The show got underway a little past 7 and was sponsored by Events for Tom, Young Tradition Vermont and the UVM Old Time Music Club.

Armed with a soulful collection of original songs, heartfelt vocals and good-naturedness, the band also featured an impressive collection of traditional African instruments: a kora, a kalimba, adungus, endongos, ngonis and all kinds of drums. (Since they mentioned they’re on the way home tomorrow, it did lead me to consider for a moment what it must be like to be a musician and try to get through international airport security with luggage like that…metal, large, sharp, odd-sized, overweight and numerous pieces…pretty much breaks every rule, I’d guess. Except the 3 oz. of liquid limit.)

Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa sang well-crafted, well played songs of hope, encouragement, and reflection. Their opening tune had a wistful, melancholic feel and it was described afterward as a song about the many differences between living in a city, and having a homebase in a more rural setting. “We live in both,” Kinobe explained, “especially on tour. Tomorrow we go home again to live on our farms.”

Their new (self-titled) recording will be released in mid-February.

Here’s wishing them all the best for the return trip to Uganda, and hoping the next one here isn’t very far in the future.

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