Today Rwandan trio The Good Ones have shared the new song “Where Did You Go Wrong, My Love” featuring Wilco’s Nels Cline.
The song is about a father’s attempt to rescue his daughter from going down a bad path in life. Listen to it HERE.
The Good Ones also start their first-ever US tour tonight – the first time an original music band from Rwanda has ever toured the US - opening for Glen Hansard at Seattle’s Moore Theatre. They will also perform in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and more through the first part of October. All upcoming dates are listed below.
For The Good Ones’ new album, Rwanda, You Should Be Loved, bandleader Adrien Kazigira originally composed over forty songs. Most were meditations on his now thirteen-year-old daughter, Marie-Claire, and the life-threatening tumor that has afflicted her left eye. The recording was done live without overdubs on Adrien’s farm and was imbued with the passing of producer Ian Brennan’s mother during the days that they were there together as well as a former founding band member recently having succumbed to his own demons.
Since they live without electricity and have had little access to devices to reproduce musical recordings, The Good Ones’ vocalization is based on the singing traditions and dialect of their local agricultural district. They utilize one-of-a-kind instruments as well, often incorporating their own farming tools as percussion. As primary songwriter Kazigira interweaves intricate harmonies with Havugimana in a style frequently referred to as “worker songs from the streets.” With their rural and remote hilltop origins, the harmonic similarities to American Bluegrass vocals is often eerie. Third member, Javan Mahoro, lends additional background vocals and percussion on select songs.
Beginning in 1978 when they were still children, the group’s core members were first taught music by co-lead singer Janvier Havugimana’s older brother, who was blind and later perished in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. They formed the band as a healing process after the genocide and the original trio’s membership reunited Rwanda’s three tribes, with one member each from the Tutsi, Hutu, and Abatwa tribes. It was an active attempt to seek out “the good ones,” after having endured and witnessed unthinkable horrors.
Their music and original songs have received great global acclaim and the group has appeared on various BBC radio programs. “They create a compelling sound which is traditional yet fresh,” said the BBC. They also have been publicly praised by the likes of legendary Led Zeppelin lead-singer, Robert Plant, and Grammy-winning, platinum-selling group, Mumford & Sons.
9/24 – Seattle, WA – Moore Theatre ^
9/25 – Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall ^
9/26 – Berkeley, CA – Ivy Room
9/27 – San Francisco, CA – The Masonic Auditorium ^
9/28 – Washington DC – Rhizome
9/29 – New York, NY – McNally Jackson Bookseller’s Café
9/30 – New York, NY – Joe’s Pub
10/1 – Baltimore, MD – Red Emma
10/3 – San Francisco, CA – City Lights Bookstore
10/5 – Los Angeles, CA – Largo at the Coronet
^ - with Glen Hansard