28 August 2009

Remembering Katrina... from across the Gulf

Tagging along with the Jazz department, and giving credit where it is due: the Crescent city, New Orleans. Four years after Katrina, there are glimmers of hope, but much remains to be done.

Would Jamaican music be the same without those static-y broadcasts across the water in the 50s and 60s?

Perhaps not.

Two hours of storm-related and Second Line Skank...

...and a massive Big Up to our friends at WWOZ Radio (particularly WTJU alumni, Tom "Bartender" Morgan).

"Reggae Sound" - Linton Kwesi Johnson - Reggae Greats [Mango]
"Machete Strike" - Ten Foot Ganja Plant - Bush Rock [I-Town]

"Lightning Flash Weak Heart Drop" - Big Youth - Beyond The Frontline [Caroline]
"Tidal Wave" - Frankie Paul - Tidal Wave [Greensleeves]
"Weather Report" - the Tennors - Rock Steady Classics [Nighthawk]
"Wild Gilbert" - Lovindeer - Why Don't We All Just Have Sex? [TSOJ]
"Sproing-A-Dub" - Burning Babylon - Beat Beat Beat [SoundShack]
"Below The B-Line" - Burning Babylon - Beat Beat Beat

"Louisiana" - Taj Weekes - Deidem [Jatta]
"Rough Out There" - Noiseshaper - Rough Out There [Echo Beach]
"Sufferer" - Aggrolites - IV [Hellcat Records]
"Stab You Back" - Judah Eskender - The Builder [Tan Yah]
"Who Laughs Last" - El Tibby & the Stingers - MP3
"Storm Warning" - Lynn Tait & the Jets - Hole Me Tight [Trojan]
"Smoky Places" - Lynn Tait & the Jets

"Lee Dorsey" - Holy Cow - MP3
"You Never Miss Your Water" - Derrick Morgan - I Am The Ruler [Trojan]
...and Patsy

"Roscoe Gordon" - No More Doggin' - MP3
"Man To Man" - Kendrick Patrick - The Trojan Story [Trojan]
"Cry Tough" - Alton Ellis - Duke Reid's Treasure Chest [Heartbeat]
"Pressure And Slide" - Lynn Tait & the Jets
"Long Story" - Lynn Tait & the Jets

"I Can't Keep It To Myself" - Cool Riddims & Sistah Teedy - Pledge To My People [NYNO]
"Fixing A Hole" - Max Romeo - Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band [Easy Star]
"Still Waters" - Jerry Jones - Studio One Soul [Soul Jazz]
"Follow Into Shadow" - John Brown's Body - Pressure Points [Easy Star]
"Doule Clutchin'/Pass The Dutchie" - Chris Ardoin & Double Clutchin' - Zydeco [Putumayo]

"One Day" - Matisyahu - Light [Epic]
"Home, Home, Home" - Ken Boothe - Mr. Rock Steady [Studio One]

23 August 2009

Jamaica World Championship Gold/Happy Birthday, Hawaii!

As stated in Friday's New York Times:

"Jamaica's Usain Bolt, set a new world record in the 200 meter final during the World Athletics Championships in Berlin on Thursday.

Melaine Walker, the reigning Olympic champion in the 400 meter hurdles from Jamaica, added the world championship by winning in 52.42 seconds, the second-fastest time in history."

The legacy continues.

On This Date, in 1959 (Friday, August 21st), Hawaii joined the Union as the 50th state. Still, "Hawaiian lands should be in Hawaiian hands". The rest of the country could learn much from the Aloha Spirit.

Read To Steal A Kingdom to find out why this is a bittersweet anniversary.

"Sounds And Pressure" - Hopeton Lewis - Roots Of Reggae [Rhino]

"Bush Rock" - Ten Foot Ganja Plant - Bush Rock [I-Town]
"Every Man Ought To Know" - Max Romeo - Open The Iron Gate [Blood And Fire]
"The Gold" - John Brown's Body - Re-Amplify [Easy Star]
"Joggin'" - Freddie McGregor - Tougher Tha Tough [Mango]
"Stay With You" - Tarrus Riley - Parables [VP]
"Cool & Collect" - Ten Foot Ganja Plant

"I Shot The Sheriff (Live)" - Bob Marley & theWailers - Songs Of Freedom [Island]
"Peace In A Time Of War" - Soldiers Of Jah Army - Peace In A Time Of War [SOJA]
"Fu Manchu" - Desmond Dekker - Rockin' Steady [Rhino]
"Just Can't Win" - Versatiles
"Dry & Heavy" - Burning Spear - Dry & Heavy [Mango]
"Natty Dread Kung Fu" - Dub Funk Association - Roots Of Dub Funk [Tanty]

"Is This Love? (remix)" - Bob marley/DUBMATIX - MP3
"It's Alright" - Aggrolites - IV [Hellcat]
"Tomorrow" - Ken Boothe - A Man And His Hits [Studio One]
"Let Me Down Easy" - Derrick Harriott - MP3

"Ramblin'" - Jazz Jamaica - Skaravan [Hannibal]
"Nubia" - Jazz Jamaica - Skaravan

"Men Who Ride Mountains" - Israel Wamakawiwo' ole - Island Roots [Quiet Storm]
"Fish & Poi" - Sean Na'auao - Fish & Poi [Fat Katz]
"Sovereign Land" - Iz/Hawaiian Style Band

"Coming In From The Cold (12")" - Bob Marley & the Wailers - Songs Of Freedom
"Waiting In Vain" - Terence Simien - Tribute Sessions [AIM]
"Crying In The Chapel" - Elvis/Wailers - mashup MP3

14 August 2009

USA Reggae Rock

In the past decade (or more), legions of USA-based reggae bands arose... particularly, thanks to the contact that the internet provided. John Brown's Body is one of the pioneers. Check the playlist, and the podcast: you may agree.

Labelmates Ten Foot Ganja Plant are pretty amazing, too. Their newest, Bush Rock, displays sounds like authentic Augustus Pablo and the Congos. And, who can't love a band named "Ten Foot Ganja Plant"?

"S-90 Skank" - Big Youth - Tougher Than Tough [Mango]
"Z-90" - Trinity - Shanty Town Determination [Blood and Fire]

"Speak Of The Devil" - John Brown's Body - Amplify [Easy Star]
"Push Some Air" - John Brown's Body - Re-Amplify [Easy Star]
"Do The Beng Beng" - Derick Morgan - The Trojan Story [Trojan]
"Feelin' Alright" - Aggrolites - IV [Hellcat]
"Intensified Festival '68" - Desmond Dekker - Rockin' Steady [Rhino]
"Soul Shakedown Party" - Bob Marley & the Wailers - Songs Of Freedom [Island]
"Cool & Collect" - Ten Foot Ganja Plant - Bush Rock [I-Town]

"Vanity" - John Brown's Body - All Time [I-Town]
"Love Is A Fire" - John Brown's Body - Among Them [Shanachie]
"Bush Rock" - Ten Foot Ganja Plant - Bush Rock [I-Town]
"Head Shrinker" - Ten Foot Ganja Plant - Bush Rock [I-Town]

"Joy In The Morning" - Dennis Brown - My Your Food Basket Never Empty [RAS]
"Queen Majesty" - Techniques - Tougher Than Tough [Mango]
"Machete Strike" - Ten Foot Ganja Plant - Bush Rock [I-Town]

"What We Gonna Do?" - John Brown's Body - Pressure Points [Easy Star]
"Tribal War" - George Nooks - MP3
"Throw Some Water In" - Lee "Scratch" Perry - Roast Fish Collie Weed and Cornbread [Lion Of Judah]
"Larger Than Life" - Tarrus Riley - Challenges [VP]
"Storm Warning" - Lynn Taitt & The Jets - Hold Me Tight [Trojan]

"Conquering Heart Dub" - John Brown's Body - Re-Amplify [Easy Star]
"Follow Into Shadow" - John Brown's Body - Pressure Points [Easy Star]
"Give Yourself Over" - John Brown's Body - Amplify [Easy Star]
"Rainbow Country" - Bob Marley - Roots, Rock, Re-mixed [Tuff Gong]

Yes. Really. Elvis Aron Presley. Lurking deep in my iTunes, there was no credit for this masterpiece.
At first, it seemed like it would be a "novelty" song... but it almost sounds "reverential".
"Crying In The Chapel" - Elvis/Wailers - MP3 mashup
"Selassie Is The Chapel" - Bob Marley - The Complete Wailers 67-72 [JAD]

11 August 2009

John Brown's Body/IS Venue, Fri August 14th

Along with openers, Passafire, John Brown's Body appears this Friday at IS Venue, bringing epic reggae music to Charlottesville.

Years ago, at a tiny restaurant/venue in Fredericksburg, VA., I had the opportunity to meet and interview the then-frontman of the band, Kevin Kinsella. Not long before, their debut CD was released, All Time: rootsy, authentic, and seemingly recorded with the sonic "sensibilities" of Lee "Scratch" Perry.

Through subsequent changes in personnel and many more releases, their sound has gotten bigger and distinctive... and takes the music to a whole new place, as it should: Heavy. Message-driven. Authentic.

Check out "What We Gonna Do?" and "Follow Into Shadow" from Pressure Points, and "Give Yourself Over" from Amplify (not to forget the amazing remixes on Re-Amplify).

Then... Get Your Face In The Place.

01 August 2009


"Out the candle... tek off you bangle... turn your neck 'pon the right angle"." It sounds hilarious when Lone Ranger chants it. After all, he claims "Barney 'a de best inna de bizness... Barney chew your neck like a Wrigley's".

Totally the opposite of what the theme of this show is supposed to be. Many may be glamoured by the Children of the Night... but there are real vampires out there, feasting upon the living: Bankers. Insurance/Pharmaceutical Companies. Politricksters. Corporate Executives.

Come... grab a musical wooden stake.

"Sounds And Pressure" - Hopeton Lewis - Roots Of Reggae: Rock Steady [Rhino]
"Coming In Hot" - Peter Tosh - The Toughest [Columbia]
"Too Hot" - The Specials - The Specials
  • "Dawn Is Breaking" - Dry & Heavy - Full Contact [BSI]

  • "Vampire" - Black Uhuru - Sinsemilla [Mango]
    "Vampire" - Devon Irons - Arkology [Island]
    "Barnabas Collins"
    - Lone Ranger - Barnabas (in) Collins (wood) [GG/Wave]

    "Your Teeth In My Neck" - Scientist - ...Rids The World Of The Curse Of The Evil Vampires [Greensleeves]
    "Vampire" - Peter Tosh - Honorary Citizen [Columbia]
    "Bumbo Klaat" - Peter Tosh - Honorary Citizen

    "Dracula" - Bob Marley & The Wailers - Soul Revolution I & II [Trojan]
    "Dance Of The Vampires" - Scientist - ...Rids The World Of The Curse Of The Evil Vampires

    "Natty Champion" - Prince Far I - Sucker Punch [Trojan]
    "Larger Than Life" - Tarrus Riley - Challenges [VP]
    "Small Axe" - Bob Marley & The Wailers - Songs Of Freedom [Island]
    "Shame And Scandal" - Peter Tosh - The Toughest [Heartbeat]
    "It's Not An Easy Road" - Buju Banton - 'Til Shiloh [Island]
    "Conquering Heart Dub" - Blue King Brown/Chris Macro - Re-Amplify [Easy Star]

    "Ramble" - Rico Rodrigues - Countryman [Mango]
    "Three O'Clock Road Block" - the Wailers - Countryman

    "Dreadlocks In Moonlight" - lee Perry - Countryman
    "You Should Have Known Better" - Justin Hinds & The Dominos [Trojan]
    "The Wicked" - The Reggae Boys - 7" [Joe Gibbs]
    "Crooked Beat" - The Clash - Sandinista [Epic]
    "Redemption Song (Live)" - Bob Marley & The Wailers - Songs Of Freedom [Island]