No related articles
Soundway return to the Caribbean and proudly present ‘Ifetayo’ by Black Truth Rhythm Band originally released in 1976. Led by the charismatic Oluko Imo, ‘Ifetayo’ was the only release from the Afro-centric, Trinidadian band and is re-issued here for the first time on CD, vinyl and digital. Whereas most of their peers were taking inspiration from US funk and soul artists such as James Brown, Black Truth Rhythm Band looked to Africa, fusing rhythms from Africa & the West Indies with elements of jazz, funk, calypso and soul.
Oluko Imo was born into a musical family, both his father and uncle were respected musicians on the local scene. Fellow Trinidadian Bert Bailey and his Jets was an early influence on
the young aspiring musician who joined the Blue Veils as a guitarist before switching to bass and vocals.
From an early stage in their career it was the African influence that set Black Truth Rhythm Band apart from other West Indian bands. Formed in 1971, the group looked further afield than the USA for their influences, more specifically to Africa, even going as far as giving themselves African names and dressing in African clothes. At the time finding African records in the West Indies was particularly difficult, making the bands choice of influences even more rare.
The group became an instant hit on the local scene with their blend of African & Caribbean rhythms, calypso, jazz, funk and soul. Although the line up would change in the run up to the album being recorded, song-writer, bassist and singer Oluko Imo remained at the heart of the band.
In 1975 Imo took his musicians into the studio to record the album ‘Ifetayo’. Imo played bass, kalimba, conga, flute and percussion as well as lead vocals. The album was released the following year in 1976 and despite being released in the US, remained an underground, albeit unique and forward thinking record that has remained out of print ever since it’s initial release.
‘Ifetayo’ was to be the only release from Black Truth Rhythm Band but Imo continued his music and love of African rhythms, going onto record with Fela Kuti in 1988 and later on perform with members of Fela’s Egypt 80 band.