Album Review

Birituro, Isaac and The Rail Abandon – “Small Small” – [Wah Wah 45s]

aarbor   4/14/2023   12-inch, International

Small Small is a very Ghanaian saying. In English it could be ‘bit by bit,’ ‘one step at a time,’ or ‘slow and steady’. Sonny Johns (British singer songwriter) was first introduced to the phrase on his first trip to Ghana in 2016, when he met Isaac Birituro (Ghanaian xylophone player) in Kalba, and the phrase popped up over and over ever since. Sonny and Isaac are The Rail Abandon. They finished this album (their 2nd) over the intense year of 2020 influenced by the difficulties that they, and the world, had been through. The album is about loss, frustration and struggle, but it’s also about the light at the end of the tunnel; about overcoming difficulties to find a brighter future and no matter what separates us, whether that be language, culture, continents or boarders, when we listen to each other and learn from each other, there’s really not much that separates us.  The music is a poignant mix of European and African sounds. Vocals are in English and in Birifor (Isaac’s language). “Fun Tony” is audibly a tribute to Tony Allen (whose mother was Ghanaian). AArbor

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