Vusi Mahlasela

Sing to the People

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In 1992, folksinger, guitarist, and activist Vusi Mahlasela, simply known as "The Voice" in his native South Africa, released an album, When You Come Back, that took him onto the international stage. To celebrate that 20-year anniversary, Vusi assembled his fluid, jazzy band and threw a concert at the Lyric Theatre in Johannesburg, performing several of his signature songs in front of an enthusiastic and very involved audience, and the whole affair was recorded and has now been released as an album. Well-tracked and full of Vusi's trademark acoustic guitar and soothing, soaring voice, it makes a wonderful introduction to this South African treasure. Among the many highlights are Vusi's magnificent "Say Africa," a lovingly rendered "River Jordan" (which is dedicated to his mother), and the lovely, sad, but still comforting "Loneliness," although every song here has the grace, joy, and dedication that are the cornerstones of Vusi's impressive career.

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