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Shem Tupe Archive

released March 15, 2021

Rare recordings of rural Kenyan acoustic guitar music from the archive of legendary guitarist, singer and songwriter Shem Tupe (often spelled “Tube”). In the late 1960s, Shem Tupe, Justo Osala and Enos Okola formed Abana Ba Nasery (Nursery Boys), a trio characterized by cascading dual-guitar melodies and vocal harmonies in a pure Luhya style. These songs have been digitized and restored directly from Shem’s personal collection of 45s, and have never before been issued outside of Kenya. This release includes a PDF with liner notes and photos by Cyrus Moussavi, who traveled to Bunyore, Kenya in 2016 to meet, interview and record Shem Tupe. Originally released on cassette in 2017 with all proceeds sent to Shem Tupe and Enos Okola, the surviving members of Abana Ba Nasery. Sadly, Shem Tupe passed away in February, 2021. A second edition of this cassette is being made available as a fundraiser for the family of Shem Tupe, and to help keep this beautiful music alive and appreciated.

Co-released by Raw Music International and Olvido Records.


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