By Vanessa Obioha
The two-time Grammy winner, Sikiru Adepoju, renowned for his dexterity in talking drums, has dropped his second single ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ on MansMark Records.
The new track which is now available on all digital platforms is a vibrant remake of John Denver’s iconic classic. Adepoju brings the African flavour to the beloved country classic with his talking drum.
“The Mozart of Talking Drum by longtime musical collaborator Mickey Hart found deep inspiration in John Denver’s timeless ode to the quiet splendour of nature and the universal yearning for a place to call one’s own,” reads a statement by Founder of MansMark Records, Prince Ayo Ajisebutu.
He adds that Adepoju’s “sunny, buoyant re-imagining of the beloved country classic melds African stylings with global musical influences in a collage of intricate guitar articulations, shimmering steel drums and the sonorous undulations of talking drum, all layered beneath the resonant timbres and easygoing phrasings of vocalist Rashida Clendening, a.k.a. Audio Angel”.
For the percussionist, the recording is a testament to the power that a great song has to transcend genres, as well as an opportunity to showcase the talents of his A-list collaborators.
“I couldn’t resist adding my African touch to the song after I heard how sweetly guitarists Peter Fujii and Dave Schools played it — and how beautifully Audio Angel [Rashida Clendening] sang it — the first time in the studio. I believe the listeners will support my decision,” he says.
The recording artist is widely celebrated for his Grammy Award in 2009 for an album titled ‘Global Drum Project’ alongside Hart and two others as members of the group he met through the respected Nigerian drummer, Babatunde Olatunji. He had earlier in 1991 won a Grammy Certificate with the same group as a collaborator in the Planet Drum group.
Distributed by DashGo, ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ is the second single off ỌPẸ (Yoruba Nigerian for “gratitude”), Adepoju’s upcoming debut nine-track album and collaboration with Riddim Doctors project.
The Riddim Doctors project aims to celebrate African roots music while also infusing it with diverse new flavours.
“The hope behind this album is to unite people in celebration of life and goodness,” says Adepoju.
The all-star international ensemble features Adepoju, sibling and fellow percussionist Saminu Adepoju; fusion guitarist Peter Fujii; Latin jazz percussionist Giovanni Hildalgo; drummer Ian Herman; singer and multi-instrumentalist Richie “Shakin” Nagan; producer and songwriter Femi Ojetunde and steel drummer Douglas Val Serrant. Guest artists that will feature in the album include tabla virtuoso, Zakir Hussain; Widespread Panic bassist, Dave Schools; Dead & Company keyboardist Jeff Chimenti; vocalist Bola Abimbola among others.
The Riddim Doctors’ debut album, ỌPẸ will be released on MansMark Records, the AfroWest Music Hub, on September 24, 2020.