World-renowned Nigerian talking drummer and two-time Grammy winner, Sikiru Adepoju, has dropped his second single, Take Me Home, Country Roads off Ope, his forthcoming debut nine-track album and collaboration with Riddim Doctors project.
Distributed by DashGo across all digital platforms, the single, which dropped on August 20 on MansMark Records, is a vibrant remake of John Denver’s iconic Take Me Home, Country Roads; giving African flavour to the beloved country classic.
Founder of MansMark Records, Prince Ayo Ajisebutu, asserts in a press statement that Adepoju, dubbed “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.
According to Ajisebutu, “His 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, aka Audio Angel.”
For Adepoju, 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. He says: “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.”
The percussionist and recording artiste 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.
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,” Adepoju says.
The Riddim Doctors’ debut album, Ope (gratitude) will be released on MansMark Records, the AfroWest Music Hub, on September 24, 2020. 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 artistes include tabla virtuoso, Zakir Hussain, Widespread Panic bassist, Dave Schools, Dead & Company keyboardist, Jeff Chimenti, pianist/composer, Osam Ezzeldin, vocalist Audio Angel (Rashida Clendening), guitarist Paul Tao El-Shaddai, drummer Joel Smith, vocalist Bola Abimbola, percussionist/vocalist, Lindsey Schust, bassist Sammy Fayoseh and longtime Bob Weir collaborator and onetime Primus drummer, Jay Lane.