Magic Man – Neill Solomon and the Uptown Rhythm Dogs (Wise man sings Magic Man)
Not many songs on this list start with an mbira introduction, but this one does, albeit very brief. (The mbira, in case you don’t know is a traditional African music instrument made of a piece of wood with metal keys that are played with the thumbs – Google it if you still don’t know what I’m talking about). This leads into a melancholic bout of guitar plucking into which Neill’s rough, plaintive cry is fed.
It takes 1 minute and 5 seconds before the vocals arrive and a further 1 minutes 57 seconds into the 4 minute and 43 second song the rhythm section appears, but each section of the song holds its own magic. The instrumental introduction has its beauty in the crystal twang of the strings, the first vocal section has an edgy plea that draws you further into the song and then the bongos rattle away as the song gets into full swing. By now you are completely mesmerised. And then it
suddenly stops and the spell in broken.
Where to find it: