1Embuwa Bey Lamitu
5Yene Nesh Wey (Amalele)
1Wede Harer Guzo
4Anchin Kifu Ayinkash
Tape | 2022 / US – Original | New
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Hailu Mergia & DahlakBand's Wede Harer Guzois the third release onAwesome Tapes FromAfrica for Ethiopiankeyboard and accordionmaestro. In the yearssince Shemonmuanaye,Mergia has revamped histouring career, playingfestivals and clubsworldwide, including arecent tour supportingBeirut. By 1978, AddisAbaba's nightlife wasfacing challenges. Theruling Derg regime imposed curfews, banning citizens from thestreets after midnight until 6:00 am. But that didn't stop some peoplefrom dancing and partying through the night. Bands would play fromevening until daybreak and people would stay at the clubs untilcurfew was lifted in the morning.One key denizen of Addis' musical golden age, Hailu Mergia, waspreparing a follow-up to his seminal Tche Belew LP with the famedWalias Band. It was the band's only full-length record and it had beena success. But his Hilton house band colleagues were a bit tied uprecording cassettes with different vocalists. Still Mergia, amidstrecording and gigs with the Walias, was also eager to make anotherrecording of his instrumental-focused arrangements. So he went tothe nearby Ghion Hotel, another upmarket outpost with a popularnightclub. Dahlak Band was the house band at Ghion at the time.Together they made this tape Wede Harer Guzo right there in theclub during the band's afternoon rehearsal meetings, with sessionslasting three days.Dahlak Band catered to a slightly more youthful, local audience, whileMergia's main gig with the Walias at Addis' swankiest hotel had amixed audience that included wealthy Ethiopians, foreign diplomatsand older folks from abroad. Therefore, their sets featured lighter fareduring dinnertime and a less rollicking selection of jazz and r&b.Meanwhile, Dahlak was known more for the mainly soul and Amharicjams they served up for hours two nights a week to a younger crowd.Mergia released Wede Harer Guzo ("Journey to Harer," a city ineastern Ethiopia) with Sheba Music Shop, which was located in...