Exuma (album)

Exuma is the self-titled debut studio album by Bahamian folk musician Exuma. It was originally released in May 1970 on the Mercury label.

Cover for Exuma's debut album, it is a self-portrait of Exuma looking shocked.
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 1970
RecordedRegent Sound, New York City[1]
ProducerDaddy Ya Ya
Exuma chronology
Exuma II
Singles from Exuma
  1. "Exuma, the Obeah Man"
    Released: 1970


In the early 1960s, Exuma (born Macfarlane Gregory Anthony Mackey) had moved to Greenwich Village, New York and started playing guitar and singing in the cultivating folk rock scene developing in that area. After producer Bob Wyld came up to him offering a record deal, he chose to adopt "Exuma, the Obeah Man" as his name. The pseudonym draws from memories of Junkanoo festivals from his childhood.[2]


Wyld adopted the pseudonym "Daddy Ya Ya" and recruited a few musicians for the album, including Peppy Castro of the Blues Magoos (who was credited under the pseudonym "Spy Boy Thielheim"). During recording sessions, Exuma would often turn off the lights and set up candles, recalling songs from his dreams.[1] The album cover was painted by Exuma himself.

Release and receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]

The album received positive reviews and moderate airplay at the time of its release.[4] The opening track on the album, "Exuma, the Obeah Man", was released as a single.[5][6]

In a retrospective review, Richie Unterberger of AllMusic wrote, "Exuma's debut album was a real odd piece of work...it's kind of like a combination of the Bahamian folk of Joseph Spence with early Dr. John at his most voodooed-out...It's a little surprising that this stuff hasn't undergone a sizable cult revival."[3]

In popular cultureEdit

Nina Simone recorded a cover of "Dambala" on her 1974 record, It Is Finished.

"Exuma, the Obeah Man" was featured (playing from vinyl, with the album cover visible) in the 2022 film Nope, with the song being featured on the film's soundtrack.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Exuma.

Side one
1."Exuma, the Obeah Man"6:16
3."Mama Loi, Papa Loi"4:32
Side two
2."Seance in the Sixth Fret"7:14
3."You Don't Know What's Going On"3:27
4."The Vision"7.59
Total length:38:41


Adapted from LP liner notes:[7]

  • Exuma – lead vocals, guitar, bells, foot drum
  • Daddy Ya Ya – producer, vocals, bells, foot drum, "sacred sand"
  • Spy Boy Thielheim – backing vocals, triangle, cabasa, whistle, bells
  • Lord Wellington – congas
  • Frankie Gearing – backing vocals
  • Geraldine McBride – backing vocals
  • Mildred Vaney – backing vocals
  • Princess Diana – backing vocals
  • Sally O'Brien – backing vocals


  1. ^ a b Ehrlich, Brenna. "'Exuma' at 50: How a Bahamian Artist Channeled Island Culture Into a Strange Sonic Ritual". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone, LLC. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  2. ^ Gruno, Linda. "Into the Mystic". Westword. The Westword. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  3. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "Exuma - Exuma". AllMusic. AllMusic, Netaktion LLC. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  4. ^ Merlis, Bob Moore (May 16, 1970). "Exuma Man for All Seasons" (PDF). Record World. 24 (1196): 50. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  5. ^ Rommen, Timothy (2011). Funky Nassau: Roots, Routes, and Representation in Bahamian Popular Music. University of California Press. p. 191. ISBN 978-0520265684.
  6. ^ Cooper, Kim; Smay, David, eds. (2004). Lost in the Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415969987.
  7. ^ "Exuma - Exuma (1970, Gatefold, Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 15 December 2020.

External linksEdit

Exuma at Discogs (list of releases)