LABELS: Label Bleu/Indigo
PERFORMER: Mahotella Queens (vocals)
CATALOGUE NO: LBLC 2571
QUEENS means divas – you’re in Africa now. This trio of stalwarts, Hilda Tloubatla, Mildred Mangxola and Nobesuthu Mbadu, having kept township music in the international ear through South Africa’s desperate days and outlived some of their staunchest musical allies, seem to have made more comebacks than Frank Sinatra. Still they come up fresh, now with a new generation of supporting musicians.
Their various voices, well matched in timbre to make up three-part harmony, spin off solos from sparky chordal choruses and forthright unisons, some a cappella and most with a light, pulsing guitar accompaniment. Maybe the buoyant, optimistic tone remains Africa for export, but it’s still Africa and there’s a proper quota of barbed wit and scathing social comment.