Extra Golden aren’t the only hybrid afropop/indie rock outfit around. The Occidental Brothers Dance Band International are led by Nathaniel Braddock, a Michigan-raised, Chicago-based, Sonic Youth loving guitarist/record collector who has played with Edith Frost. The group formed after Braddock returned to the Windy City from a trip to Ghana where he soaked up old-school highlife music via live sounds and records. Braddock joined up with Ghanaian singer/trumpet player Kofi Cromwell, Ghanaian percussionist Rambo Asamoah, Chicago jazz and gospel scene sax player Greg Ward, and Puerto Rican bassist Joshua Ramos. The group has reached back to Franco’s Congolese rumba as well as Ghanaian highlife (Cromwell and Asamoah were in Ghanaian band Western Diamonds) but its their cover of New Order‘s “Bizarre Love Triangle” that has gotten them the most attention. While some cynics might dismiss the choice as a cheap gimmick, Braddock asserts in the group’s press release that he introduced the song to the band because it “followed a similar chord progression as the older highlife Sikyi (pronounced SEE-chee) style he and his band were reviving.”
Occidental Brothers Dance Band International performs from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, 2700 F. St NW. FREE.