Louis Ribeiro and Jive Nation. Under African Skies.

africaI was introduced to Louis Ribeiro by Terry Britten, who had just heard his demo tape. Louis Ribeiro was playing the South African Music circuit around the time that I left South Africa. He had moved to London in 1986 where he was working the pubs and clubs  prior to sending me a cassette with some of his songs.

At that time we had a studio in Ripley (Black Barn Studios) and after listening to the songs with Charlie Morgan, we decided to produce a proper recording of this fine writers work using ‘down time’ in the studio as well as introducing some session musicians to supplement Louis regular band. Charlie Morgan was instrumental in arranging the recordings. Liane Carrol, Roy Villanis and Ken Anselm came in to help the vocal side. Doug Boyle added his distinctive guitar sound, and Mo Foster came and did the bass parts in two cheerful sessions.

The end result shows the songs in an honest and accurate way. The artwork is by Stuart Catterson, who also contributed greatly to adding the CD-ROM aspect to the CD, which was one of the first ‘Enhanced CD’s’ including a multimedia ROM part on the disc.

The album promotes great affection after one listen, and I receive many nice comments from those who bought the album.
Sadly on presentation to the trade I was told it ‘fell between two markets’ – World Music and Rock. This created a problem for selling into retail, and on the advise of my distributor, the album was not given a mainstream release.
Instead, we concentrated on Web sales and sales at Jive Nation gigs. This reached about 2 500 sales at time of writing.
Louis and Jive Nation continued working the London circuit, establishing a loyal fan base.

Louis always enjoyed a good smoke, and it may be that this contributed to his early departure, to cancer on 23 October, 2007.  A lovely musician and a kind person who helped the lives of a great many people.

Under African Skies is a quite beautiful reminder of this uniquely talented musician, and this version of Shoshaloza is my favourite.

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