Happy Holidays all! Once again, we've released "Ukisimusi Omuhle! A South African Christmas Digital 45" for the holidays!

These 2 festive songs were part of a South African Christmas project that Sis Thuli Dumakude and I tried to launch a number of years back, but never quite got it off the ground. Last year, I got all caught up in the festive spirit, fished the rough tracks out of the archives and finished them off in time for Christmas release. It got such a nice response, we thought we'd make it available again.

The songs are loose interpretations of 2 popular Christmas carols that convey the lyrical and emotional spirit of their western counterparts, but draw more on South African traditions for their musical character.

Side "A" features Sis Thuli giving an intimate and chillingly beautiful vocal performance on "Ubusuku Obuhle" while I accompanied with a slow and tender maskanda style guitar part. This was the first tune we attempted for the project and every part was done "first take" with no edits.

The "B" side - "Jingle Mbira" is (as you can probably guess) an interpretation of "Jingle Bells" on mbira. The original track was just a single raw mbira part that introduced the basic changes and the "suggested" melody followed by an improvised interlude that kinda fizzled out. I went back in and brought the melody back around at the end, added a second mbira, sprinkled a little "Mthakathi muti" on it and tossed in some sleighbells for a soupcon of kitsch (heh heh)...

We're going to keep it available through the holidays so why not give yourself or a loved one some musical "Kisimusi" joy in a unique little digital stocking stuffer?! Click on the pic below to take you to the download page, download it to your system or smart device, brew up a nice hot chocolate or a lovely rooibos and enjoy Christmas, South African style!

Ukisimusi Omuhle Abantu Bakithi

And as always, my little elves: a million years of peacetime.