George Mukabi is a mythic figure across East Africa, known for
his incredible fingerstyle guitar and hard living.
Mukabi invented a solo technique in which melody, rhythm and bass lines all merged in two hands on one guitar. Combined with his gentle raspy voice, wood and glass percussion, and the harmonies of his companion
Jack Malenya, he created a sweet and thriving “omutibo” music that belied his tough reputation and untimely death.
An imposing man who was both respected and feared, he sang of the tumults of marriage, morality and life in Kenya on the cusp of independence. He sold hundreds of thousands of records in East and Central Africa before his murder in 1963, leaving behind just a few dozen beautiful songs and a complicated legacy.
This is the first comprehensive release of his music outside of East Africa. We traveled to Kenya to meet Mukabi’s surviving son Johnstone, as well as a generation of the artists he inspired. Their stories are included in a 12-page oral history which includes lyrics in Swahili and English and full color photos.
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We are attempting to present a full discography of George Mukabi in streaming digital format. Many thanks to contributions by: Michael Kieffer, Warren Hill, Matt Knowles, Fredrik Lavik, Douglas Paterson.
Several songs are still missing - if you can assist our project, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
released December 7, 2020
Produced by Cyrus Moussavi and Gordon Ashworth
Liner notes by Peter Akwabi and Cyrus Moussavi
Restoration and Mastering (tracks 1-12) by Timothy Stollenwerk at Stereophonic Sound
Restoration by Tony Klein and Mastering by Gordon Ashworth (tracks 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27)
Co-released by Raw Music International and Mississippi Records