Inspired by an article I read last night on Bandcamp about Nigerian artist, Joe Kink Kologbo, I dug out my copy of Psychedelic Afro-Rock & Jazz Funk in 1970’s Nigeria and gave it a good blast in the car whilst driving about today!
When I got home this evening I started listening to lots more of this music and found (and purchased) another great album called, The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia in 1970’s Nigeria. This is where I found today’s song and began reading more about the sounds of this era..
The Nigerian psychedelic rock scene emerged in the late 60’s at a time when the Western world was in the throes of peace, love and flower power and Nigeria was descending into Civil War. The rock scene that developed during the following three years of bloodshed and destruction played an integral part in the country’s healing process, signifying new beginnings and propelling artists such Fela Kuti to stardom after conflict ended in 1970.
Many guitar driven and psychedelic groups sprung up in Nigeria during the years leading up to 1970 and their sound was heavily influenced by The Doors, Santana, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and James Brown. What came from late 60’s Nigeria was a new breed of music: a dazzling blend of psychedelic afro-rock and fuzz-funk..
Today’s song is titled Rough Rider but I can tell you now that there’s nothing rough about this smooth bit of psych-funk! Performed by the Hygrades, I’ve copied some info about the band from my Nigeria Rock Special CD booklet below. Listen above:
“The Hygrades were the creation of Enugu-based guitarist and producer Goddy Oku. They released a string of 45s for HMV/EMI in the early 70s including the tracks ‘Keep On Moving’, ‘ Gonna Lose or Win’, ‘Rough Rider’ & ‘Jumping Cat’. Oku was a very talented musician and his bluesy rock-guitar licks got a chance to shine on the instrumental sides of all the 45s. He had a reputation as a technical genius, always building sound equipment, amps and even his own guitars. He still runs his Godiac studio in Enugu in the east of Nigeria.”