The last two posts dealt with Izon musician Echo Toikumo and guitarist Benjamin Otaru, who eared his chops under Ijaw bandleader Rex Lawson. I'd hoped to continue this informal theme of Rivers State-styled highlife today by throwing up some sound by Ijaw singer George Iboroma, but the record I wanted to post needs a little more restoration than I have the time to perform right now.
So instead I decided to take the easy route and share this album by Benji Igbadumhe instead. That works, doesn't it? Even though King Benji does not originate from the Ijoid clans, he--like highlife cult legend Waziri Oshomah--comes from the Etsakọ group in northern Edo State, so we still have a "highlife from minority groups" thing going ("minority" in Nigerian parlance refers to any ethnic group that is not Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa/Fulani). And to make things better yet, this record is like VG++/NM! I'll have it ripped in a flash!
Alas, this is not how it turned out. For some reason, the record plays funny-style, so there will be a few skips for you, especially on side 2. It doesn't detract significantly from these groovy Okeke sounds, though.
I think the track that fills all of side 1, "Arofu Nemho Okeke" was a "hit" to some extent in 1984. Either that or it was played as the theme music of some TV show or something, because I remember it quite well though I don't think I've ever actually listened to this record before today.
Oh yes, one more thing: His name is misspelled on the cover; it should be "Igbadumhe." (D'OH!)
BENJI IGBADUMHE AND HIS OKEKE SOUNDS INTERNATIONAL - BENJI IGBADUMHE AND HIS OKEKE SOUNDS INTERNATIONAL (SUPREMEDISK, SDP 049, 1984)
1. Arofu Nemho Okeke
2. Atab Okeke