This is a serious late post. I stumbled across this track a while back listening to Gilles Peterson’s BBC Radio 6 show one afternoon a few months ago. The DJ/Broadcaster chanced upon the record on a visit to London record shop Love Vinyl; he heard the Holy Forest’s album playing. When he asked about it, he was told it was a sample sent to the store and was, in fact, the only copy in circulation. Gilles left the shop with it in his hands and the next day featured the song “Africa Calling” on his show, introducing it to his massive audience worldwide.
The project is the brainchild of songwriter & documentary filmmaker Jon Fine who in the past has made videos for Herbie Hancock, Lionel Loueke, Kaki King, Soulive, produced, shot and edited the Bill Wither’s documentary “Still Bill”, directed “Herbie Hancock: Possibilities” and co-wrote and produced “The Afterparty” featuring Andre 3000.
With an intimate knowledge of music across genres and styles, Fine reached out to a number of critically acclaimed musicians including members of Antibalas, singer-songwriter Morley, Grammy nominated kora master, Youssoupha Sidibe and rising Gambian star ST. Digging even deeper, he brought in BK afro-punks No Surrender, Bay area songstress Sparlha Swa, and the criminally underrated Harlem soul man, Ed “Preachermann” Holley to craft a collection of songs about love and distance. Recorded in The Gambia, NYC, Woodstock and San Francisco, Holy Forest is 21st-century cross-continental roots music.
Throughout the course of the album, he incorporates different elements into each song that will have you wanting to hear a bit more from him. This 11-track project is a breath of fresh air and yet another contender for one of the top albums of 2015.