Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Capleton 'I-ternal Fire' Review (VP)

Clifton George Bailey III....King Shango....The Prophet....The FyahMan.....Capleton. He's a man of many names and titles. You could also quite rightfully add 'Legend' to the list.When Capleton first burst on the scene in the late 1980s, the dancehall was a very different place than it is today. Slackness and gun talk were the order of the day. This bright promising newcomer announced his arrival with a string of hit songs from “Bumbo Red” to “Number One on the Look Good Chart” and “Lotion Man.” Everything he touched hit the sound-good charts, and the youthful artist with the nimble vocabulary and hardcore voice quickly established himself as one of dancehall's most reliable hit makers. But even he could not have predicted that eleven years later, at the start of the new millennium, he would be dancehall’s ruling voice. Since reinventing himself in 1994 with a string of hit songs that declared his new found faith he has effectually ruled both ends of the reggae/dancehall spectrum. His musical dexterity is unsurpassed. Capleton's latest effort 'I-ternal Fire' quite possibly is his best album, top to bottom, to date. One thing is for certain: 'I-ternal Fire' is without a doubt his most soulful album yet. King Shango treated all to a fore gleam of this when he showed off his singing skills on 2005's "I Love You Jah" on Courtney McIntosh's Giddimani Riddim. Yes, 'I-ternal Fire' is melodious and deeply soulful yet the FyahMan's volubility remains completely intact. He simply injects versatility into his already distinct style and flow.
Some Day, the album's first single, is an ode of hope and salvation that will definitely go down as one of Capleton's best tunes. Selvin McRae's production work is quality while Jerome Felix, credited as a co-writer, plays nearly every instrument on a well-crafted, slow-paced riddim.
Clive Hunt lends his production skills to the scathing When I Come To Town. Capleton is at his lyrical best in denouncing Babylonian ways. Same Old Story sees the Fyahman riding the massively popular 'Rub A Dub' riddim by Kemar 'Flava' McGregor. Mama You Strong will conjure up images of Sizzla's massive tribute tune 'Thank You Mama'. Producer James Peart puts some interesting effects on Capleton's voice which creates a nice change of pace on the record. I'm In Love, produced by Norman 'Bulpus' Bryan, has a smooth and soulful chorus with Shango's dexterous delivery intact on the verses. Babylon Go Down contains the usual fire-pon-babylon subject matter in the gruff delivery that Capleton fans have come to know and love. Bobby Digital helms the excellent Global War. The driving riddim is heavy drum and bass complete with a bridge. Ffrenchie of Maximum Sound puts forth the wicked 'Vineyard Town' riddim for Capleton to ride on All Is Well
Them Get Corel is a definite highlight of I-Ternal Fire if only because Capleton sounds right at home on a riddim that's unlike any he's ever performed on. A flamenco guitar and incessant clapping dominates throughout with Capleton firing verse after verse in a way that only he can. Junior Kelly and producer Elvis 'Flego' Grant deserve 'big ups' for the arrangement! Long Way is hard-hitting in every way, shape, and form.
The live riddim is pure wickedness. Blessing is another gem all the way around.
The set closes with the stand-out tune 400 Years.
'I-Ternal Fire' is unquestionably a great album. In fact, it's arguably Capleton's best. Fans of his hardcore dancehall tunes will take issue with that statement because there is none of that here. However, from the opening note of Some Day to the abrupt ending of 400 years there are nothing but quality tunes. All the listener has to do is press play and sit back and relax. The only interruption will be when one of the boomshots (and there are several) wants to be heard again and again and again. Highly Recommended!

RELEASE DATE: Tuesday July 6

Track Listing:
1. Some Day
2. Acres
3. When I Come To Town
4. Same Old Story
5. Mama You Strong
6. I'm In Love
7. Babylon Go Down
8. It's On
9. Global War
10. Call I
11. All Is Well
12. Them Get Corel
13. Long Way
14. Blessing
15. 400 Years

Mishka 'Stir It Up' Video

Mishka does a nice cover of Marley's 'Stir It Up'. Country Music Star Kenny Chesney and actor Matthew McConaughey are featured as well. Mishka was the first artist signed to McConaughey's J.K. Livin Records.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ziggy Marley Goes Wild and Free!

A TuneCore Artist since early 2006, Ziggy Marley is back with a new single, Africa Land, in honor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. I had the chance to chat with him about the new release that is close to his heart, and his thoughts on how focusing on single releases and offering free downloads is helping him get his music, and message, out to more listeners than ever.
Africa Land, which features brother Stephen Marley and Beninoise singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo, is a celebration, meant to promote the idea of African unity, as well as global unity, during this time when "all eyes are on Africa." Marley drew from many different sources to create the sound and vibe of Africa Land. His concept was to bring together the sounds and groove of African reggae and dancehall beats to create something that could be danced to. This was a collaboration in cultures, styles, and artists, and in this way, the bones of the song itself symbolize unity as much as the meaning that comes through in the lyrics.
According to Marley, Africa Land went through many phases, or as he calls them, "growing pains," in its creation. "It changed so much from the first idea to how it ended up," he told me. One of the most notable changes was the tempo; it started out as a very slow song and became much faster as the development went on. Marley explained that for him the creation process is all about experimenting, seeing what goes and what doesn’t, and learning what new form the music can take.
Africa Land is the first release in a series of free singles by Marley, called the Wild and Free Singles. And according to Marley, these singles can be described as exactly that, "wild and free." When I asked if there is a thread that will tie together these releases, Marley explained that more than a central theme is a central spirit: "Something that is wild and free really doesn’t have any rules, it just does what it does." Each single will have its own energy. There is no specific time frame for the releases each single will come as it comes, as Marley allows it to unfold and truly be wild and free.
The Wild and Free Singles demonstrate that in this digital world of music, releasing music is not dependent on whether or not a full album’s worth of tracks are complete for distribution. Got only one song ready? No need to wait for the rest of the album to come together before your music can get heard. "It just goes back to what it was before put out a few singles before the album," Marley commented. "Doing one song at a time as singles is also interesting because you can focus on one song, you’re not worrying about 9 or 10 songs."
I asked Marley why it was so important for him to distribute Africa Land, as well as the other Wild and Free singles, to stores that would sell it at no cost. His answer? "I don’t need to sell everything, everything is not about selling, buying, and commerce. Some things are just about giving." He sees this "giving model" as a way for any artist, no matter how well known, to get music out and generate interest. If the object is to be heard, the music needs to be out there, and easily obtainable: "Let people get more exposed to your music so they may be willing to buy some music eventually."
So how has digital distribution shaped him as an artist? For one, it has gotten him much more involved in music creation as well as the music community in general. "When I started out doing music, everything was physical. I’m really starting to want to communicate more with the fans over the internet and get a feel for what they’re feeling and work with them to make some good music for them. I like that interaction actually, it helps me to make better music."
And we certainly like that interaction too. Look out for more Wild and Free singles, which will be released, well, whenever they’re ready. Though he’s currently in the "single" mindset, Marley is looking toward an album release next year. -by Jacqueline Rosokoff, TuneCore Newsletter


Thursday, June 24, 2010

'The Disney Reggae Club' Review (Walt Disney Records)

On June 8, 2010 Disney Records reggae-fied some classic disney songs with the release of 'The Disney Reggae Club' on CD and digital download. "The genius of Disney songs is that they are timeless and adaptable to every musical genre," says executive producer Brian Malouf. "Reggae is so joyous and spirited, we knew these songs would lend themselves perfectly. I’m happy to say the artists, many of them true legends of reggae, all jumped at the chance to participate." Malouf couldn't have said things any better.
Reggae is truly unlike any other music when it comes to being able to adapt various genres to a reggae beat. Ras Records 'Reggae for Kids' series showed that even children's music could be given a reggae flavor and still garner attention from seasoned reggae listeners. 'The Disney Reggae Club' proves this again. Malouf wasn't exaggerating when he said that many reggae legends participated. Essentially this record is a who's who of reggae. What is important to note is that this record will appeal to both children and adults, to reggae listeners and non-reggae listeners. Simply put: It's fun. What's more, many of the artists included on the set have grabbed the 'Disney Classic' and taken complete ownership by infusing their own unique style into the song. Hasidic reggae star Matisyahu does this perfectly on Circle of Life. The music is strictly one drop reggae at it's finest with Matisyahu's rapid-fire, unique delivery present on the verses while the chorus remains recognizably intact. One of the best tunes on the record! Cedella Marley does an admirable job on another song from the Lion King, Can You Feel The Love Tonight. Older brother Ziggy Marley lends his talents to the Louis Armstrong classic What A Wonderful World. Although it's not a Disney song it is a perfect fit for this record. Steel Pulse showcases their experience and prowess on the Jungle Book's The Bare Necessities. The Wailing Souls express themselves as only they could on True To Your Heart from Mulan. After 30+ years in the business, Pipe and Bread haven't skipped a beat. Their ability and originality remains firmly intact. Winston Rodney aka Burning Spear offers one of the highlights of the record on Kiss The Girl from the Little Mermaid. His interpretation is simple and presented in genuine Burning Spear fashion. Heavy drum and bass, horns, and fervid vocals. Morgan Heritage handles The Lion Sleeps Tonight beautifully with Peetah, Gramps, and Mr.Mojo each taking their turn on vocals. Gramps usual 'rockaz' is an ever-present and welcome touch. Toots and the Maytals version of Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah is passionate and resonant. Michael G and the Easy Star All-Stars do an absolutely brilliant job on the Aristocats' Ev'rybody Wants To Be A Cat. They are talent personified! Their strict attention to every detail and nuance is notable and appreciated.
Two other legends feature here also, namely Gregory Isaacs and Yellowman.  Sadly, neither song is worth mentioning. Unfortunately, the years have not been kind to either of their voices for different reasons, mind you. They both lack the smoothness and precision of yesteryear.
Overall, 'The Disney Reggae Club' is a pretty good album. There is something here for everyone. Kids, Adults, people who simply 'like' reggae music but don't necessarily classify themselves as listeners, and people who absolutely 'love' it and would appreciate many of the music's finest artists on one record.


Track Listing:
1. Circle of Life- Matisyahu
2. Can You Feel the Love Tonight- Cedella Marley
3. The Bare Necessities- Steel Pulse
4. The Lion Sleeps Tonight- Morgan Heritage
5. What a Wonderful World- Ziggy Marley
6. True to Your Heart- The Wailing Souls
7. You’ve Got a Friend in Me- Sly & Robbie featuring Peter Gee
8. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah- Toots & the Maytals
9. I Wan’na Be Like You- UB40
10. Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat- Michael G & the Easy Star All-Stars
11. Kiss The Girl- Burning Spear
12. Under The Sea- Gregory Isaacs
13. Find Yourself- Yellowman

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ride, Bob's natties, Ride!

Reggae legend's sons 'lively up themselves' with road trip across South Africa
They heard horror stories about South Africa but brothers Ziggy, Rohan and Robert Marley - sons of reggae legend Bob Marley - are in the country to see it for themselves.
The trio's trek, on Ducati motorbikes, is being filmed for a documentary. They haven't planned their trip and say they will travel to wherever the roads take them.
The brothers, who live in Los Angeles, have already stopped in the Free State town of Parys where they said they it was "cool to meet regular village folk away from the city".
The filming of their Marley Africa Roadtrip has already begun.
The inspiration for their motorbike epic was their father's journey across the continent 30 years ago to perform at a freedom celebration concert in Zimbabwe.
His sons say they are now reviving "a dream our ancestors and family had in mind".
"We're having fun, but with a purpose." Ziggy said.
The brothers were at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium on Sunday for the match between Brazil and Ivory Coast. They also watched Nigeria lose 2-1 to Greece in Bloemfontein on Thursday.
Ziggy said: "It's been wonderful to get back after a long day and relax by watching football. We love it."
Ziggy, a reggae star in his own right, said it was the brothers' first trip to South Africa: "We had no perceptions, but people told us Johannesburg was dangerous."
The brothers have sampled some local cuisine - including samp, which Rohan said was "very nice".
The trio's bodyguard told The Times that one of the brothers discovered that he had packed only one pair of jeans and would need to get more clothes.
Yesterday, the guard said he was planning to book accommodation for tonight because they still didn't know where they were going to stay.
Marley Africa Roadtrip is being directed by David Alexanian, who filmed Ewan McGregor's motorcycle trips the Long Way Round and Long Way Down for the BBC.
Alexanian said filming began in Los Angeles: "We've been travelling a lot since we arrived in South Africa a week ago.
"Our goal is to spend the next few weeks with people. Not just city but village folk, and bumping into unfamiliar territory."
"Joburg is a magnificent city. People want to give you a different idea, but this country is like watching Brazil play football - you're never left disappointed." -Times Live, South Africa

Monday, June 21, 2010

'Box Guitar' Riddim Review (Tiger Records)

Every so often someone comes along that adds brilliance to the reggae landscape. In 2006 SherKhan, a talented musician and producer, quietly presented reggae listeners with the 'Wharfedale' Riddim. Any true fan of roots reggae was highly appreciative of this classic, easy grooving, and timeless one drop riddim. SherKhan forced everyone to stand up and take notice. His label, Tiger Records had officially arrived on the scene. More than 4 years have passed since the 'Wharfedale' riddim and SherKhan has continued to inject quality into the lifeblood of what is roots-reggae.(Namely the 'Ol Sitt'n', 'Arena', and 'Sufferah' riddims.) His latest riddim project, 'Box Guitar', testifies to that fact. It is a smooth, one-drop with a constant and delicate guitar that nicely compliments the riddim without expressly defining it. Several tracks include a welcome saxophone piece or horn section that adds a beautiful dimension, if not depth, to the riddim. SherKhan shows there are many possibilities available to a producer in order to make a seemingly repetitive process one that shows diversity and distinction. He enlists the services of several of Jamaica's hottest artists while at the same time calling on a couple of reggae veterans to round out a fabulous set.
Junior X's Cross My Heart is absolutely sick! Lyrically potent with a ridiculous flow and hook! The best song of his young career and possibly of any song this year! Lutan Fyah blazes on Feliesha, a tune begging a beauty he has his eye on to let him in. Veteran Mikey General is as smooth and poignant as ever on Time Soon Come. 'Tigress' Diana Rutherford holds a vibe on Still A Lady. Likkle Devon does his best Jah Cure on Pain. Terry Ganzie returns strong on The First Time We Met. 'The Outlaw' sounds as crystal clear and unique as he did when he debuted for Donovan Germaine in the early 90s. Perfect provides his usual craftiness on Once Again, while Norrisman stands strong on the ever-conscious We Are The People. Zamunda's No Place In Babylon is solid, while French born newcomer Bazil, recently signed to the Tiger imprint, impresses on the timely and topical Critical Situation. SherKhan has done it again. Crucial!!


Track Listing:
1. Box Guitar Riddim (Sandfly Version)- SherKhan
2. Feliesha- Lutan Fyah
3. Cross Me Heart- Junior X
4. Still A Lady- Diana Rutherford
5. We Are The People- Norrisman
6. Pain- Likkle Devon 
7. Critical Situation- Bazil
8. No Place In Babylon- Zamunda
9. Once Again- Perfect
10. Time Soon Come- Mikey General
11. The First Time We Met- Terry Ganzie

Box Guitar Riddim by The Reggae Review

Monday, June 14, 2010

‘Major’ Riddim Review (Don Corleon)

Donovan ‘Vendetta’ Bennett continues to add extreme quality to his catalog of productions.
Fresh on the heels of the hardcore dancehall riddim, Pulse, Vendetta treats us to a wicked one-drop riddim entitled ‘Major’. Vendetta brings something different with ‘Major’.
He brilliantly brings the stage to the studio by strategically breaking the riddim down. The result is something truly special. If you’ve ever experienced a live stage show, complete with a live backing band, than you know the effect breaking down a riddim can have. It catapults the performer to new heights as he/she feeds off of the response from the frenzied crowd. Listening to ‘Major’ puts you at a stage show with every track! When the riddim breaks down, frenzy ensues. ‘Hand inna de air… bouncin’ to and fro… wheel an come again!’
Every track is pure quality! Newcomer J Boog shines on Let’s Do It Again. Jah Vinci’s sing-jay flow and ‘put your gal to the curb’ lyrics on Gwan Home are first class. Kris Kelli is solid on Sunshine. Prolific roots man Lutan Fyah’s Come Over, his first tune for Don Corleon, is straight-up wicked! It’s as if Vendetta created the riddim for the young veteran. A perfect fit!
Professor’s Fi Her Type is a classic tale of a woman who is never satisfied. ZJ Liquid’s Fraid Fe Go Home laments the difficulty of a controlling and paranoid woman. Professor and ZJ Liquid are prime examples of Corleon’s uncanny ability for recognizing and developing talent. The hot- like- scotch- bonnet -pepper Tarrus Riley offers the timely Wildfire, a chune asking that Jah protect the innocent people caught in the crossfire of Jamaica’s garrison violence. The ‘Captain’ Wayne Marshall is ever-expressive on Work Hard, helping his lady to appreciate that his being away pursuing his music, as difficult as it may be, is only in an effort to provide a better life for the family. ‘Major’ is hands-down one of the best roots riddims of 2010! Donovan ‘Vendetta’ Bennett continues to impress with his versatility and creativity. With ‘Drop Leaf’ he started an impressive run of roots riddims. Although each subsequent riddim was very similar musically, they were, nonetheless quality. Is ‘Major’ a new trend for Corleon? Let’s hope so! Crucial!!


Track Listing:
1. Let’s Do It Again- J Boog
2. Gwan Home- Jah Vinci
3. Sunshine- Kris Kelli
4. Come Over- Lutan Fyah
5. Fi Her Type- Professor
6. Wildfire- Tarrus Riley
7. Work Hard- Wayne Marshall
8. Fraid Fe Go Home- Liquid
9. Take My Heart- CeCile

NOTE: ‘Major’ is the 1st part of Corleon’s latest riddim project ‘Major and Minor’.
‘Minor’ will be released in the next few weeks.

Major Riddim- Don Corleon by The Reggae Review

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Story of a Song: Junior Reid's 'One Blood'

Junior Reid's One Blood is both a gung-ho party song and an appeal for unity, a combination which guarantees movement on the dance floor and an attendant spirit of bonhomie, if even for the moment. However, the song was intended to create, if not a spirit of brotherhood, then at least an awareness of a common humanity not so much at a party but between supporters of Jamaica's two main political parties.

Junior Reid tells The Sunday Gleaner that the 1988 song was written because "an election was coming up". That would have been the 1989 election in which Michael Manley became prime minister again, after the People's National Party's (PNP) resounding defeat in 1980 and the 1983 snap election which they did not contest.
"There was a tension, people can't move from here to there. Same time me a hear 'bout (Los Angeles, USA gangs) Crips and Bloods. When me check it, a people a fight people, an' we all bleed blood," Reid said.
So he wrote:

"Modern vampire of the city
Hunting blood, blood, blood
Yuh coulda come from Rema
Or yuh come from Jungle
Coulda come from Fiyah house
Or yuh come from Tower Hill"
One blood, one blood, one blood
Yuh coulda come from Libya
Or yuh come from 'merica
Coulda come from Europe
Or yuh come from Africa
One blood, one blood, one blood
Yuh coulda be Irish man or a English man
Coulda be a Mexican or wedda Indian
One blood, one blood, one blood"

He also revisited a previous song and used part of its lyrics to change the tone - literally and figuratively - of One Blood. "Me did have a song name Hey Mate, I Want You Get This Straight," Reid said. He used lines from that song spontaneously in his studio while recording the demo for One Blood, which personalised the message in the voice and vernacular of other cultures. In those lines Junior Reid sings:

"Hey mate, wooie a want you get this straight cooperate hey
Hey mate, hey mat,e a want you get me straight
Hey gov, do you believe in love love, love
Hey bloke, hey bloke, this is no joke"

After the demo at his own JR Studio, Reid finished One Blood at Anchor, where Clevie played drums, Chris Meredith was on bass, Tony Asher on keyboards, Dalton Brownie on guitar and Dean Fraser played horns.
Reid says the version with the horns went on the disco 45 mix, which was not the one which hit in Jamaica.

Hit song
While he naturally had confidence in One Blood, Reid said he did not consider whether it would become a hit. "No man can record a song and say dem know say is a hit," he said. "Sometimes what you think going to hit is not it hit." So there are times when a performer is putting all of his or her energy into a song, and the public picks up on another. "You just have to leave what you a do and focus on it, go with what the people a focus on," he said.
Jamaica had One Blood squarely in its sights in about three months and, in another three months, the United States market had taken on to the song. "It take about a year for all of the people know it," Reid said. "And as big as One Blood is, some people don't know it."
But its impact has transcended generations, as Reid points out that rapper, The Game, was six years old when One Blood was released and was 26 years old when he sampled it for his own recording, featuring Reid. That song, It's OK (One Blood) was the lead single from The Game's second album, Doctor's Advocate. "Him hear 'bout it through him parents and him community," Reid said.
One Blood hit in Jamaica, Reid saying that it made multiple trips to the top spot. Plus, he earned a number of JAMI and Rockers awards in the process. The song continues to have a strong impact on his live performances, Reid noting that he uses it to calm audiences when there is a disturbance in the crowd at a concert.-The Sunday Gleaner

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad ‘Slow Down’ Review (Self-Released)

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad?! Yes, their name is a bit odd. For simplicity’s sake we’ll refer to them as GPGDS from this point forward. If ever the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” were true it’s with GPGDS. They describe themselves as a ‘relentless reggae sound’, ‘Roots reggae and experimental dub’, and ‘North American International Body Music.’ (Not sure about that last one but that’s neither here nor there.) Honestly, don’t let the name fool you. GPGDS is a group worthy of mentioning. ‘Slow Down’ is GPGDS’ debut release from 2006. Considering The Reggae was not around back then we take the opportunity to review the album now.

‘Slow Down’ is a solid debut album. The bass-heavy, dub-inspired, original music is pure quality. In part, due to the fact that they use all live instruments, including a 1947 Hammond B3 Organ and a Fender Rhodes. The variety of sounds and instruments shows GPGDS’ appreciation for classic roots reggae but it is most definitely not a dub album, so don’t be confused by the name. In fact, there’s only one actual ‘dub’ on the album, that being Sunshine Dub, complete with an Augustus- Pablo- would- be- proud clavinet, which closes the set.
What really grabs your attention on ‘Slow Down’ is the music. It is raw and rugged, yet precise and polished. GPGDS are excellent players of instruments and here they thoroughly prove they have a feel for roots reggae. Every track is slow, heavy roots. The lead-off tune Buffalo is very reminiscent of the classic ‘Real Rock’ riddim. This song, along with a great deal of the album has a very ‘live’ feel to it. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. Some of the songs lack the continuity you would expect from a studio session.
There are some definite highlights on ‘Slow Down’. Burkina Faso has a smooth flow and feel and some excellent harmonies as well. Portions of the verses smack of Bob Dylan’s ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’, and that’s okay. It’s catchy. Other tracks worthy of mention are Hiroshima and On The Moon.
Missing You More is a boom tune. The music sounds like it’s straight from The Wailers ‘Catch A Fire’ sessions of the early 70s. Even the harmonies and background vocals vibe of the early Wailers music. This is without a doubt the most complete song on the album. It is well-arranged and precisely-played. The lyrics are solid and the delivery is tight.
Overall ‘Slow Down’ is a worthy first-effort. GPGDS shows tremendous potential.
They have managed to capture the organic sound of 70s roots reggae, and that is no easy task.
If GPGDS is able to elevate their lyrics and vocal delivery to the level of their music than the reggae world better look out! There may soon be a new sheriff… sorry… Guerilla… in town.
Recommended for reggae-rock listeners and fans of Golden Era roots-reggae.


Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad - Slow Down

Track Listing:
1. Buffalo
2. Creation
3. Burkina Faso
4. Hiroshima
5. Conspire
6. Incognito
7. Forever Party
8. On The Moon
9. Seasons Change
10. Ginger Juice
11. Missing You More
12. Sunshine Dub

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Beres Hammond 'Just A Man' Review (VP,17 North Parade)

On June 1st VP Records/17 North Parade released the reissue of 'Just A Man' by the Legendary Beres Hammond. With over 30 years in the business and an impressive history of hit songs, Beres Hammond has earned his place among the firmament of reggae singers. 'Just A Man', his second album, reveals an early version of Beres: R&B/ Disco crooner and quite a convincing one. This 1979 album, produced and recorded with Joe Gibbs contains the highly sought after UK Soul hit Do This World A Favour plus 9 other full length vintage tracks that treat listeners to a different side of Beres’ roots. This newly re-mastered disc also includes the song Set Me Free recorded with Joe Gibbs but never released on album before! 'Just A Man' is a real rarity. It is not a reggae album so the die-hards may not find it to their liking. However, if you are a fan of Beres Hammond and/or 70s smooth-groove soul this record is definitely for you!


Beres Hammond - Just a Man

1. Music Is A Positive Vibration
2. John Crazy
3. Do This World A Favour
4. Keep My Wheel Turning
5. Just A Man
6. I’m Lonely
7. I’m In Love With You
8. Let Me Love You Tonight
9. Seasons (Previously Released As 7" Only)
10. Set Me Free (Bonus Track, Previously Unreleased)

Friday, June 04, 2010

Winston McAnuff 'Nostradamus' Review (Makafresh)

Veteran producer meets veteran artist with Clive Hunt handling the production on ‘Nostradamus’ from Winston McAnuff. When you produce an album using some of the finest musicians in reggae music there’s a good chance it’s likely to be a quality one. Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace (Drums), Earl “Chinna” Smith (Guitar), Uzziah “Sticky” Thompson (Percussion), Bongo Herman (Percussion), and Lymie Murray (Backing Vocals) all lend their expertise to the project. It’s often said that ‘less is more’ and on ‘Nostradamus’ Winston McAnuff proves this to be true. The song writing is simple, yet concise. There is brevity in the melodies also. Mix Up Moods sets the pace. McAnuff’s sparse words fit neatly on the riddim. Fixi’s accordion is a nice touch. Slave Driver, and Sunday Morning are stand- out tracks. Takin’ It All is a break from traditional reggae, as is Love Is The Song I Sing, something that McAnuff has done a few times over the years. ‘Nostradamus’ will not go down as one of the classics but it is nonetheless a good album that is easy on the ears. The music is of the highest quality and McAnuff uses this to his advantage in creating some good tunes.


Winston McAnuff - Nostradamus

Track Listing:
1. Mix Up Moods
2. Nostradamus
3. Slave Driver
4. Vain Imagining
5. Takin’ It All
6. Love Is The Song I Sing
7. Sunday Morning
8. The Bait
9. Pick Up
10. The Pack
11. Set Us Free