After reading the story on the front page of Sunday’s NYT about a youth soccer team made up of children who were all refugees from places like Iraq, Sudan, Congo, Liberia and Kosovo, all of whom had relocated to the town of Clarkston, Georgia, in the outskirts of Atlanta – it’s a story that really got me all choked up a few times – I was reminded of this excellent track from an excellent (and underappreciated) record from last year, the title song from The Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars’ Living Like a Refugee. It’s fascinating music because it demonstrates the boomerang effect of many styles the sprang from the African diaspora and how they’ve managed to circle back and re-influence music on the African continent. Take your pick – funk, Cuban son, jazz, blues, hip-hop, they’ve all touched base back in Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Congo and elsewhere. You can hear serious hints of calypso and reggae on this disc. Dig the handclaps, dig the mouth-wah-wah. These musicians from Sierra Leone all met at refugee camps in neighboring Giuinea. These guys have known hardship. Once again it poses the perplexing question of how people who’ve had such a shitty time of it can make such uplifting music.