THE GOOD ONES renown is evidenced by the stellar musicians who collaborated with them on their new album: Wilco’s Nels Cline, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker, My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, and Fugazi’s Joe Lally. In 2009, Grammy-winning producer Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott) traveled to Rwanda in search of local music with his Italian-Rwandan wife, filmmaker and photographer, Marilena Delli. After two weeks of crisscrossing the country and listening to countless artists, they met THE GOOD ONES.
For The THE GOOD ONES’ new album, Rwanda, You Should Be Loved, bandleader Adrien Kazigira composed over forty songs. The recording was done live without overdubs on Adrien’s farm in Rwanda. Since they live without electricity and have had little access to devices to reproduce musical recordings, THE GOOD ONES’ vocalizations are based on the singing traditions and dialect of their local immediate, agricultural district more than by outside and Western influences. Primary songwriter Adrien Kazigira interweaves intricate harmonies with co-singer, Janvier Havugimana, in a style frequently referred to as “worker songs from the streets.” With the musicians 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. From the moment he laid eyes on them, Brennan said he knew, “What these guys do is precious and rare. Don’t f*** it up!”
THE GOOD ONES formed the band as a healing process after the Rwandan genocide, which marks its 25th anniversary in 2019. The band will be touring in the US for the first time this Fall, playing dates with Glen Hansard in the North West and performing at bookshops nationwide along with producer Ian Brennan, as he travels the US speaking about his latest book “Silenced By Sound.”