African Dream / The Message



Cat Nº: DSCBOX01-4


VAT included



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The Scepters were a band from the Paraíso province, a township just north of the Panama Canal’s Pedro Miguel Locks. Guitarist Celso Spencer initiated the group in Paraíso High School in 1967, and it featured Celso as lead guitarist, Lionel Best on rhythm guitar and bass, Lorenzo Anderson on drums, and José James on woodwind instruments. Celso, Lionel, and James all rotated as vocalists. They first got their start performing for American soldiers at different military bases, running through the Teen Clubs circuit, and playing at different high school dances throughout the Canal Zone. The band would mainly perform Top 40 hits of the day, along with covers of rock and roll acts like Santana and Jimi Hendrix, eventually releasing two 45s on the Taboga label, including “Message,” which was written by José James and first performed at Panama’s first National Soul Music Festival in 1971. They’d continue to tour and perform throughout the Canal Zone until they broke up in 1972.
Conjunto Raza is another of Agustín Leiro’s side projects (whose work with Cizaña was featured in the first round of the “Walk On” reissues) and consisted of an ever-shifting constellation of Zonian and Panamanian musicians, all of whom met and played together at The Golden Key bar in Panama City during the early 1970s. Though the roster often changed, their only known 45 single, first released on the Onda Nueva label sometime between 1973 and 1975 (an exact date is unfortunately unavailable), presumably features Leiro on guitar and lead vocals, Julio Sosa on keys, Guillermo Franco on congas, Ruben Lachman on bass, and Jorge Carrizo on drums. Several of the participants of this recording are known to have performed with other rock ensembles throughout the Canal Zone, including Almafuerte and Hot Apple Pie.