Preview: Bwani Junction, Graceland

Diane Garisto is one of the singers helping Bwani Junction celebrate Paul Simon's Graceland album on its 30th anniversary year

Bwani Junction: Graceland

'Hearing Paul Simon on my voicemail absolutely blew me away.' Diane Garisto is one of the voices on the original recording of Simon's Graceland. A message from the man himself summoned her to a recording studio where she found herself collaborating with him and a handful of other singers on what would become Simon's seventh solo album.

'Paul was friendly, although very serious about getting the vocals right. You've got to remember that this was quite a musical leap for him at the time. No one had yet melded world music and pop music in the way he did with Graceland.'

Now, 30 years since its release, she's one of the singers helping Bwani Junction revisit the album. Their Graceland show was performed at Celtic Connections in January this year, and the reception it received was enough to decide to bring it out one more time for the Fringe.

'Bwani Junction did such a brilliant job of honouring the music,' says Garisto. 'You could feel the energy coming off the audience. And because the lads in Bwani are relatively young, they brought in a nice crowd of younger people who I imagine weren't as familiar with the album as the older audience.'

The concept of the show is simple: the band perform the album in full, honouring the original pretty much to the letter, save navigating the songs' fade-outs and other album-specific quirks. It's a one-night-only affair, but Garisto is excited to be visiting Edinburgh, particularly during the Fringe.

'I know it's a great city and I can't wait to explore it a little. Also, to be surrounded by people creating art all around me is one of the things I love the most. And of course, I'm looking forward to playing Graceland again with the lads in Bwani Junction. It was a blast the first time around and I know it will be again.'

The Liquid Room, 5 Aug, 7.30pm, £14.


Rock and Afrobeat from this Edinburgh outfit.


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