First Things First (Obama Obama Keep the Fire)

by The TaxiCab Verses

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Since 2008, James A. Wilson has been traveling to and from Accra, Ghana to collaborate with Ghanaian group Kofi Atentenben & the Warriors on an album for his project, The TaxiCab Verses. The TaxiCab Verses is a project that combines Wilson's musical experiences both in Africa and here in Athens. What results is a whole new kind of music, a melding of more traditional African music with that quintessential Athens rock sound.

Wilson writes, "I was in Accra, Ghana in May of 2008—two months after President Bush had visited to commemorate Ghana's 50th anniversary of their independence. We will just say he did not leave a great impression. The U.S. had two clear candidates for the upcoming election in Barack Obama and John McCain. Every cab driver I ran into wanted to know who I was voting for. All eyes were on the United States. From what I could gather, the general public felt that our decision in who would be president would affect the world immediately and for years to come. They didn't want Bush. They didn't want McCain. They were rooting for Obama.

It was during this first trip that I noticed many of the decal stickers on the back windows of taxicabs were personalized thoughts for not only the taxi cab drivers, but also somewhat exemplary of what the general public was witnessing or thinking of at the time. This included thoughts on politics, religion, and life in general. I have collected hundreds of different phrases from the backs of taxis all over Ghana and have put them into the form of a story and song in an attempt to capture and share the mindset of the wonderful people in Ghana from a specific moment in time. So here is 'First Things First,' a snapshot from me, the 'photographer,' in Ghana in May of 2008."


released October 16, 2012
Vocals, Cue Giver: James A. Wilson.
Backup Vox: Trish Scurry, Melissa Colbert-Taylor
Electric Guitars: Matt Stoessel, Craig Lieske, Jef Whatley
Bass: Chuck Bradburn, Chris Herron, Bryan J. Howard
Drums: Brad Morgan

African musicians courtesy of Kofi Atentenben and The Warriors (Accra, Ghana)
Gome: Agbo Kofi
African Drummer: Okoe Yartey
Bells, Rattle: Akuetteh Yartey
Crazy cool vintage amps provided by Marc Tissenbaum
Engineered and mixed by Drew Vandenberg
Mastered by Joel Hatstat
Produced by James A. Wilson, Patterson Hood, Drew Vandenberg



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The TaxiCab Verses Athens, Georgia

Athens, Ga based High Life/Rock band with members in USA and Ghana, West Africa

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