Hailing from Sierra Leone, the Refugee All Stars have developed a strong following in North America, thanks in large part to a documentary about them by Zach Niles and Banker White. The film, which won the runner-up audience award for music docs at SXSW, has been gaining raves and prizes throughout its festival run. And now, the band is getting a little love from Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. Billboard reports:
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry is sponsoring a performance tomorrow (June 30) by the Refugee All Stars Of Sierra Leone in Woodstock, Vt., where he owns a farm. The musicians were the subject of the 2005 documentary “Refugee All Stars,” which chronicled their formation in an African refugee camp and subsequent rise to international acclaim.
Perry and his wife were so inspired by the film that they jumped at the chance to expand the All Stars’ summer North American tour itinerary. “As it turns out, they had some dates available to play up in this area,” Perry tells Billboard.com. “The producers were asking around to see if they could get some funding, and asked my wife and I for a contribution. We just said, ‘Give us the bill. We’ll take care of it.’ We want to help, if even in a small way.”
The band also performed at the SXSW Music Festival this year, a visit that landed them a publishing deal and a couple of major label offers, according to Niles.