by Satoru Sadisco

So just who are the Southern All Stars?

They are found on iTunes and other popular music sites very easily, mainly because they are a very popular Japanese band and considered by many as the most influential Japanese group ever.

Internationally their presence is not that well-known. I would guess the reason for this is because of their local popularity as a commercial music group which is why people overlook them. But I would like to suggest them to the rare groove maniacs and world music heads.

If you dig a little deeper, you can get a feel their superb musicianship which is a comprehensive mixture of Latin, Brazilian, roots reggae, and Japanese folk music.

In 1974, the band formed with a focus on Keisuke Kuwata & Yuko Hara in Tokyo. The name of Southern All Stars is from “Fania All-Stars” and “Southern rock”. One of their smash hit songs “Itoshi no Ellie” was covered by Ray Charles. Since then they continued making hit after hit records.

Check out this episode of Sadisco to get a feel of their sound: