Dallol - Reggae In The Moonlight
After fleeing their homeland of Ethiopia in the late ’70s to avoid conflict with the Marxist government, a trio of reggae musicians made their way to the United States.
Landing in Chicago, the three musicians began playing their African and Jamaican-flavored jams in reggae clubs around the city.
Fronted by singer/guitarist Mulu Gessesse, the band consisted of Mulu’s brother Zeleke Gessesse and close friend Meluka Retts.
In 1980, the band assumed the name Dallol, and put together a demo tape. Dallol gained a sizable following in Chicago quickly with its distinct Ethiopian-flavored sound. The demo soon found its way all over the country, outside of the United States, across the Caribbean and into the hands of a certain famous family in Jamaica.
“It was 1981, right after Bob (Marley) died,” Mulu recalled. “Our tape made its way to Rita (Marley), and she asked us to go on down to Jamaica. That was our first contact with the Marleys.”
Contacts with the first family of reggae proved to be a good thing for Dallol. Rita Marley produced the band’s first full-length album and helped the band out in a number of ways. Lodging and other commodities were provided to Dallol by the Marleys as the band made its tour of the islands.
It wasn’t long before the Marleys became more than contacts, with friendships forming between Dallol and Bob’s son, Ziggy Marley. “Ziggy was only 10 years old when we met him,” Mulu explained. “As a matter of fact, he played his first show with us.”
Good ties with the Marleys continued, and soon Dallol was asked to tour with Ziggy’s newly formed band “Ziggy and the Melody Makers.” Dallol’s Ethiopian and reggae roots served as a perfect backdrop to Ziggy’s continuation of his father’s style and heartfelt messages.
In the late ’80s, Dallol toured and recorded with Ziggy. The result of the combined effort was heard worldwide. One platinum and one gold album elevated Dallol to superstar status in the reggae industry.
“That experience was great because it enabled us to go all over the world,” Mulu said.
After about five years with Marley, Dallol returned to its second home in Chicago. Included in the move were a couple line change ups and a change of name for the group. Upon the addition of three more members, including two female vocalists, Dallol changed its name to Baaro.
Zeleke Gessesse - Bass, Vocals
Ruphael Wolde Mariam - Drums, Vocals, Cover
Dereje Mekonnen - Keyboards
Mulaku Retta - Keyboards, Vocals
Abdul Hakim - Lead Guitar
Asrat Aemro Sellasie - Percussion
Mulugetta Gessesse - Rhythm Guitar
Executive-Producer – Rita Marley
A1 - Dallol - Selam (4:48)
A2 - Dallol - Genesis (4:16)
A3 - Dallol - Love Is Coming (4:16)
A4 - Dallol - Reggae In The Moonlight (4:40)
B1 - Dallol - Hoye Hoya (3:20)
B2 - Dallol - Sail Along (5:07)
B3 - Dallol - Nice Feelings (3:50)
B4 - Dallol - Ashkaroo (traditional song) (3:40)
B5 - Dallol - Mr. DJ (4:50)