Throughout the 1990s, the West African country of Sierra Leone was wracked with a bloody, horrifying civil war that forced millions to flee their homes. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of popular bands who have written songs about war over the past 50 years, but few who have seen its tragedy first-hand like Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. As their name implies, the group originally came together in refugee camps in the Republic of Guinea after a bloody, brutal war broke out in their West African home.
Founded by Reuben Koroma and his wife, Grace, the group gradually attracted new members as they moved from one refugee camp to the next. They also built up a increasingly fervent following, as word spread of the amazing musicians who brought joy and elation to people drowning in misery.I’m delighted to say that they are over in Studio 8 this morning ahead of their concert tonight in the National Concert Hall. Newsweek wrote that it’s as easy to fall in love with these guys as it was with the Bueno Vista Social Club. They came into us this morning.