Long Walk To Freedom Features Guest Performances By: Melissa Etheridge, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, Joe
McBride, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant and Zap Mama

Two decades ago, Paul Simon introduced the musical genius and boundless spiritual energy of Ladysmith Black
Mambazo to the pop music world via his groundbreaking 1986 recording, Graceland. Eight years later, due in large
part to the efforts of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and other South African artists bearing witness to racial inequality in
their homeland, the centuries-old practice of apartheid came to an end in South Africa.

In recognition of the twentieth anniversary of their ascendancy to the world stage and the dawning of democracy in
South Africa twelve years ago, Ladysmith Black Mambazo will release Long Walk To Freedom (HUCD 3109, and on
SACD in 5.1 Surround Sound, HUSA 9109) on Heads Up International on January 24, 2006. The album is a collection
of twelve new recordings of classic Mambazo songs, featuring guest vocal performances by some of the most
progressive voices of the contemporary pop music scene: Melissa Etheridge, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, Joe McBride,
Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant and Zap Mama. Also appearing on the guest roster are a virtual who’s who of
South African artists: Lucky Dube, Bhekumunzi Luthuli, Vusi Mahlasela, Hugh Masekela, Nokukhanya, Phuezkhemisi,
and Thandiswa

Taj Mahal, wielding his raw vocal style and sparse electric guitar, brings an earthy and visceral
dimension to the familiar melody of “Mbube.” The resulting track is a seamless union of traditional South African
vocal music and American delta blues (make no mistake, this lion is wide awake tonight). “I’ve received a tremendous
boost over the years from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, in terms of what they’ve done musically and socially,” says Taj
Mahal. “The tendency of music from oppressed people is to be pretty dark and melancholy, but this group refused to
let the spirit of their music veer in that direction. They’ve always chosen the high road.”

Long Road To Freedom