The Ethiopian musician will release Lala Belu in February 2018.
It's the Ethiopian keyboard and accordion player's first new album in more than 15 years. Three archival releases on Awesome Tapes From Africa (including a reissue of his sought-after 1977 album Tche Belew in 2014) led to a newfound appreciation of his work, and he's been touring globally these past few years. His current bandmates Tony Buck (drums) and Mike Majkowski (bass) both feature on Lala Belu.
"I am extremely excited," says Mergia, who moved to from Ethiopia to Washington D.C. in the early 1980s. (He still lives in D.C., working as a taxi driver when he's not touring.) "All of it feels like a big comeback. A different kind of audience, playing with a different kind of band and working with a different kind of record company."
Listen to "Gum Gum."
02. Addis Nat
03. Gum Gum
04. Anchihoye Lene
05. Lala Belu
06. Yefikir Engurguro
Awesome Tapes From Africa will release Lala Belu on February 23rd, 20178.