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Published: 2010/12/13

Hot Buttered Rum’s Nat Keefe Heads to Ghana

Hot Buttered Rum’s Nat Keefe will travel to Ghana, West Africa this January. The guitarist has scheduled a week of workshops with Ghanaian musicians and dancers. Several additional musicians will join Keefe on the journey, including Erik Yates & Lucas Carlton (Hot Buttered Rum), Bonnie Paine (Elephant Revival), Eli Jebidiah (Poor Man’s Whiskey), Murph Murphy & Jeff Coleman (Izabella), singer Kate Gafney and HBR founding member and banjo player Ian Waight. While in West Africa, the musicians will also spend a few days recording with engineer Armando Tobriner. The entire journey will be filmed by Eli Jebidiah.

“Ghana has a rich and diverse music culture,” Keefe said in a statement. “Xylophones, drums, guitars, harps, bells, and clapping illuminate dance and singing. Modern and ancient influences converge. Ghana has a special relationship with North America; many African-Americans have ancestry from the coast and inland of West Africa. I’ve found the music and dance of Ghana to be strangely familiar. Though I’m of European ancestry, American culture and music especially have benefited from a West African influence. Much of my favorite music, from oldtime banjo to James Brown to Stravinsky to Radiohead, has roots in Africa.

“This will be my third trip to Ghana in the last 12 years,” he continues “The first trip I made a CD of field recordings ‘Ghana BOKO PAA 1999’ and researched ideas for my senior composition recital. The second trip I made a short film called “Music and Dance of the Awudome Villages” (which was featured at the Santa Cruz Film Festival!) On this trip I am excited and motivated to share my knowledge and connections with friends. We’re producing a recording project and film based on what we come up with in Ghana. These, and live music, will be featured at the Nat Keefe Concert Carnival march 4 at the San Francisco Independent.”

Keefe is currently raising funds to offset the recording costs of the album. Fans interested in contributing can pre-order a copy of the CD and read more about the project here.

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