First album from Osaka's highly rated Soul Flower Mononoke Summit for nine years., the acoustic version of a rock band who got together to cheer up the victims of the Kobe earthquake in 1995. A lot of water has passed under the bridge, probably most notably for this album that the group's leader Hideko Itami has moved to Okinawa with Irish producer and bouzouki player Donal Lunny. The group have maintained their basic sound and original members, Okinawan sanshin, the characteristic chindon drum (also the name of the music, a kind of early form of street advertising) plus accordion, clarinet (the wonderful Wataru Ohkuma) guitars, hayashi backing vocals and Takashi Nakagawa's rasping vocals. They still play Japanese soshi enka (political street songs) dating back up to 100 years, but there's a definite Okinawan leaning to this album. Most of it was recorded in Okinawa and there are four local tunes including Kunjyan Jintoyo and Chon Chon Kijimuna, while Natsuki Nakamura, one of Okinawa's best young musicians (in the UK recently with Ryukyudisko) plays Okinawan shima daiko drum and is among the hayashi chorus. Donal Luuny adds his considerable skills and experience as bouzouki player and co-producer. Elsewhere is a great version of the Korean classic Toraji, old sing-along party tunes and the Kawachi ondo flavored Kamagasaki Ninjyo. Probably the album's highlight though is Takeda Koi Koi Bushi, their version taken from a buraku (former outcast) community in Kyoto. This may be SFMS third album, but seeing as the first two included mostly live tracks, this feels almost like the first. And highly recommended it is too.