Best Song Ever (This Week): Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family's "Coffin Maker"
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 3:39 PM
Is this the most uplifting song ever with the word “coffin” in it? It’s certainly more joyful than Fela Kuti’s “Coffin for Head of State,” although Thee Oh Sees’ “Corrupted Coffin” could give it a run for its morbid money. “Coffin Maker” comes from Chrissy Zebby Tembo’s 1974 LP My Ancestors. Both the song and the album are Zambian garage-psych classics. Paul Ngozi’s eloquent fuzz-tone guitar is a goddamn delight and Tembo’s vocal is at once heartbreaking and heartwarming. Plus, the buoyant rhythm-guitar riff is worthy of an appearance on the Velvet Underground’s third album (this is what goes on in my mind).
Shadoks/QDK Media reissued My Ancestors in March. Forced Exposure distributes it in the US, or you could look for it in your finer local record shops (Now-Again also reissued the vinyl last year. Cop it on all formats and editions.)