Nigeria, BLO and the origins of Afro-Psychodelic Funk

I was first introduced to BLO in the late 1990s by my friend the multi-instrumental gardener named Jake. These were the last days of Napster, when grow-houses were not yet legal, and music circulated "freely" across time zones and geopolitical borders. Named for band members, Berkely "Ike" Jones on guitar, Laolu "Akins" Akintobi on drums and percussion, and Mike "Gbenga" Odumosu on bass), BLO was new orientation of Afro-Beat and psychedelic rock-and-roll that came to be known as afro-psychedelic funk.

During the early 70s, British drummer Ginger Baker, who had formed Cream with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, had lived and travelled in Africa, primarily Nigeria. Working with Fela Kuti, Baker also collaborated with BLO members on the project Salt. Check out Phases: 1972-1982 here. Or the album Chapter One from 1973, recently re-issued by Mr. Bongo (no relation to Mr. Boing Boing) here. Jones and Laolu, the B and L of BLOW can be seen performing with Baker in the travel/music documentary, Ginger Baker in Africa DVD.