World-renowned master of Nigerian talking drum and two-time Grammy- winning artiste, Sikiru Adepoju has released his second single, “Take Me Home, Country Roads” off ỌPẸ, his upcoming debut nine-track album and collaboration with Riddim Doctors project.
Distributed by DashGo across all digital platforms, the single, which drops on Thursday, August 20, on MansMark Records, is a vibrant remake of John Denver’s iconic “Take Me Home, Country Roads”; giving African flavour to the beloved country classic.
Founder of MansMark Records, Prince Ayo Ajisebutu asserts, in a statement that Adepoju, dubbed “the Mozart of Talking Drum” by longtime musical collaborator Mickey Hart, found deep inspiration in John Denver’s timeless ode to the quiet splendor of nature and the universal yearning for a place to call one’s own.
According to Ajisebutu, “His sunny, buoyant re-imagining of the beloved country classic melds African stylings with global musical influences in a collage of intricate guitar articulations, shimmering steel drums and the sonorous undulations of talking drum, all layered beneath the resonant timbres and easygoing phrasings of vocalist Rashida Clendening, a.k.a. Audio Angel.”
For Adepoju, the recording is a testament to the power that a great song has to transcend genres, as well as an opportunity to showcase the talents of his A-list collaborators.
“I couldn’t resist adding my African touch to the song after I heard how sweetly guitarists Peter Fujii and Dave Schools played it—and how beautifully Audio Angel [Rashida Clendening] sang it—the first time in the studio,” adding that, “I believe the listeners will support my decision,” he said.
The percussionist and recording artiste is widely celebrated for his Grammy Award in 2009 for an album titled “Global Drum Project” alongside “Hart” and two others as members of the group he met through the respected Nigerian drummer, Babatunde Olatunji. He had earlier in 1991 won a Grammy Certificate with the same group as a collaborator in the Planet Drum group.
The Riddim Doctors project aims to celebrate African roots music while also infusing it with diverse new flavors: “The hope behind this album is to unite people in celebration of life and goodness,” says Adepoju. The Riddim Doctors’ debut album, ỌPẸ (Yoruba Nigerian for “gratitude”), will be released on MansMark Records, the AfroWest Music Hub, on September 24, 2020.