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Moving the Mountain 2023!

Artists Profile – The Congo Cowboys

Sep 14, 2023

The Congo Cowboys blend the twangy sounds of American roots music with the rich rhythms of African traditional music. The band was formed in 2016 by three members of the South African band Freshlyground: Simon Attwell (banjo), Julio Sigauque (bass), and Congolese singer Chris Bakalanga (vocals and guitar).

The Congo Cowboys have performed across the globe, electrifying audiences with their foot-stomping performances. In 2019, they released their self-titled EP, which showcased their distinctive sound, and in 2021 they followed up with another EP, YOKA.

In 2018, The Congo Cowboys were named highlight of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) in Zimbabwe, cementing their reputation as one of the most exciting and innovative bands to emerge from South Africa in recent years.

2023 saw the launch of Apple TV’s “My Kind of Country” – a reality music show produced by Reese Witherspoon, and which featured The Congo Cowboys performing “Jolene” to renowned director Adam Blackstone in Nashville, Tennessee. The series is currently streaming on Apple TV+.

In July-August 2023 The Congo Cowboys performed at festivals throughout Europe – most notably playing MainStage at Germany’s biggest World Music Festival: “Bardentreffen” in Munich. The tour saw the band perform in Germany, the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

The band’s music draws on the foot-stomping qualities of Bluegrass and Country, reimagined through Kwassa Kwassa African rhythms and Soukous guitar. The result is a gritty exploration of Americana and old-timey ditties, with a distinctly African twist.

You can find out more about the band and their music on their website:

Please contact Kerri or call +27 82 579 2689 for bookings or queries.


Unity Mzi

Simon Attwell

Julio Sigauque

Photography by Jonx Pillemer



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