February 06, 2009

Shangara


Some even claim that Joshua Dube was the first to adapt mbira music for the electric guitar, but I seriously doubt this. And I base this doubt on the musical evidence, and on the words of both Thomas Mapfumo and Jonah Sithole.

It doesn't mean, however, that Joshua Dube was not a great guitarist. As you can hear from this cassette from 1993, which he himself gave to me in 1996, when both he and Jonah Sithole were playing with the Blacks Unlimited.

Unfortunately Joshua died in 2001, at the relatively young age of 49.

CC Shangara 001

8 comments:

Andrew said...

Superb!

Thanks for this one - fantastic classic guitar tone, nice vocals and production - also seems to be more rockin' than a lot of Mapfumo's tracks which, although I love them, don't have as much of the powerful choral singing...

Nqobile said...

great album, I'm glad Joshua managed to branch out on his own years after playing guitar on the 1972 Ngoma Yarira with a fellow little-known musician by the name of Thomas Mapfumo, and then spending much of the 80's as the rhythmic force behind The Devera Ngwena Jazz band, who sold more records than anybody during that decade. And yes, Joshua Dube played the first mbira-inspired guitar riffs for Thomas Mapfumo. The liner notes on the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band CD Take One, as well as the interview with the founding members clearly detail the early history of the band and Joshua's crucial role.

hulaboy said...

Thank you very much - I would probably never had heard this wonderful music without your generosity.

Tony said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog, but I'm curious why you dismiss Joshua Dube as the "inventor" of mbira-guitar. Not to dismiss the contributions of Jonah Sithole, but on Mapfumo's first piece based on the mbira, Ngoma Yarira, it is Dube who is playing the guitar, not Sithole. Also, Lipopo Jazz Band (not Limpopo as it is sometimes erroneously spelled) played a version of Dande on guitar that I'm confident predated any of the Mapfumo's early efforts. Rather than giving Sithole all of the credit (with Mapfumo), I think it is more accurate to suggest that several guitarists were experimenting with mbira on the guitar at the same time, including Sithole, Dube, the Lipopo guitarist, and M.D. Rhythm Success. Heck, John Nkomo played Nyamaropa on the acoustic guitar in the 1950s. That said, great blog.

Anonymous said...

The late Leornard "Picket" Chiyangwa was the first to put mbira music on guitar.

WrldServ said...

@Anonymous: I am afraid am not sure how I should quote you. "An anonymous source claims that Leonard Chiyangwa was the first to put mbira on guitar?"
I find it hard to contradict Thomas Mapfumo and the late Jonah Sithole on the basis of this rather flimsy evidence....

Tamuka said...

@ Anonymous, Leonard Chiyangwa was the lead guitarist when Thomas Mapfumo released Hokoyo as the Acid Band, but that was only after Thomas had been been fired from the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band in 1974. As fate would have it, a bandless Mapfumo would meet up with Jonah Sithole shortly after. Read Jonah Sithole's interview on the Afropop website and he explains just how he merged his band with Mapfumo's Acid Band to form the Blacks Unlimited. He also explains how Leonard was eventually dismissed for being drunk all the time.

Anonymous said...

Just cross-fertilising in thanks to you both:

http://rhythmconnection.blogspot.com/2011/07/ephat-mujuru-spirit-of-people-mbavaira.html

Cheers and dank U wel! Dave Sez.