Audio

Listen to Wells Fargo, the Revolutionary 1970s Heavy Rock Band From Zimbabwe

Now-Again Records announces the vinyl release of Zimbabwean heavy-rock group Wells Fargo’s album 'Watch Out!'

Now-Again Records announces the vinyl release of Zimbabwean heavy-rock group Wells Fargo’s Watch Out!, an album that intertwines funk with Zimbabwean folkloric melodies.


In an explosion of rock music that spanned from Nigeria to Zambia during the late 1970s, the revolutionary Zimbabwean rock movement, although rarely recognized and widely obscured, played a distinct role in its nation’s musical history.

This is the first time that Watch Out! will be released outside of Zimbabwe. In the liner notes, project curator and researcher Matthew Shechmeister writes, “The people who made this record, and the world it came out of, make for the most compelling and heart wrenching story we’ve ever heard behind an album we’ve featured.”

A culmination of afrobeat, heavy jams and psychedelic sounds, Zimbabwean rock uncovers the underground sound that has come to make up the distinctively African genre. As a part of the counterculture movement that took root in the country during the late 1970s, Wells Fargo rose to fame as Zimbabwe entered the last decade of its war for independence. In the face of a systemically racist and oppressive Rhodesian government, rock became an outlet for expression.

"Power to the People" album cover. Photo courtesy of Now-Again Records.

“Released as a call to arms for a blooming civil war and kept from a full release by racist labels, Watch Out! is the kind of full frontal revolution rock that would have made flower children squeamish and Jimi Hendrix weep,” explains Shechmeister.

The label also plans to release a digital-only album ceremoniously titled Power To the People!, a compilation of Zimbabwean 70s rock hits ranging from groups such as Wells Fargo, to Eye Q and Gypsy Caravan.

“This album matters in the same way all the great ones do. Because of the freedom it brings whenever it’s played,” Shechmeister ends his notes by saying.

Listen to parts of Wells Fargo’s Watch Out! above.

News Brief
Podcast cover art.

Bobi Wine's Release Detailed in Latest Episode of 'The Messenger'

Trauma is the topic on the podcast's latest episode: "The Ballot or The Bullet."

The latest episode of The Messenger is something to behold.

Created by Sudanese-American rapper Bas, The Messenger throws the spotlight on the thunderous circumstances many African countries face, with a close focus on Ugandan politician Bobi Wine.

In his most recent traumatic experience, Wine and his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi were released from a nearly two-week military house arrest following the ruling of a Ugandan court. Keeping up with current events and circumstances that Wine finds himself in, the latest episode of the podcast recounts the traumatic events that led to Wine's very public abuse and eventual house arrest.

Upon his release, Wine spoke with The Messenger and had this to say, "I want to remind the world that we went in this election knowing how corrupt the staff of the electoral commission is. We saw this through the campaign and the world saw how much was oppressed, how biased and one sided the electoral commission was, and how much it was in the full grip of General Museveni. And therefore we are going to test every legal test, we shall take every legal test. We shall take every legal step. And indeed we shall take every moral and morally proactive, nonviolent, but legal and peaceful step to see that we liberate ourselves. The struggle has not ended. It is just beginning."

Listen to Episode 7 of The Messenger here.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 9 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (January)

Featuring Ayra Starr, Reekado Banks x Tiwa Savage, Femi Kuti, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Joeboy, Yung L, Buju and more