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Bedouin Soundclash weathers doubts, rekindles enthusiasm

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011

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“Light the Horizon” is the multicultural Toronto group Bedouin Soundclash’s fourth studio album. But during the interim since 2008’s “Street Gospels” there was some question about whether the group would even be around to record it.

After losing longtime drummer Pat Pengelly, bassist Eon Sinclair and singer-guitarist Jay Malinowski took some time off “to take stock of how we were doing and how we were doing things.”

“We took time to see if we even wanted to continue playing in a band or what we wanted to do,” says Sinclair, 29. “We were tired and not really as happy as we could be. We’d come to a point where we just said, ‘Hey, let’s take some time and figure out what we need to do to be happy. If it’s the band, we’ll do it. If not, we’ll still be friends and hang out. Let’s just be honest.’

“I’d say maybe it was a 50 percent chance we’d (end the band). It wasn’t great odds, but after about a month we decided we still wanted to be a band and moved forward from there.”

Bedouin Soundclash revived itself on “Light the Horizon” with both new drummer Sekou Lumumba and also by heading to Philadelphia to work with King Britt, who put the trio in the historic Larry Gold Studios and surrounded it with some players from the area — including legendary string arranger Gold himself.

“There’s definitely a great feeling in that studio,” Sinclair recalls. “You walk down the hallway and it’s just all platinum and gold and double-platinum records lining the balls, all the way back to McFadden & Whitehead and coming up to R. Kelly.

“We were in Studio A most of the time, and getting to work will Larry Gold, who played cello as well, felt like a huge honor. It definitely makes you feel like you’ve been fortunate to do what you do, because now you have access to music history you’ve grown up with and been influenced by, and how you’re in it. It was really great.”

Bedouin Soundclash and Bear Lake perform Friday, June 24, at the Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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