18 September 2009

To Whom Respec' Is Due, Respec' It Must Go T'roo

It has been my great fortune to have witnessed some excellent reggae radio, here on the east coast.

A prerequisite to spending many years in the DC area was having access to excellent broadcasts, of which WPFW Radio was instrumental. In that time, this radio station representing Howard University was host to two icons of reggae radio: Papa Wabe, who presented "Shock Waves", which not only forwarded conscious reggae, but instructed with the "Rastafari Voices" segment... and Sydney White, whose weekend show exposed a young roots-rock lover to the bedrock of rock steady.

Though other influences are legion, these performers and Selectors helped define my inspiration and appreciation with Forwarding reggae music.

And, with respect, I begin today's program with "Natural Progressions", Mr. White's sign-on theme:

"Natural Progression" - Aswad - New Chapter [CBS]
"Natural Aggression" - Aswad - New Chapter Of Dub [Mango]

"Natural Mystic" - Bob Marley & the Wailers - Countryman soundtrack [Mango]
"We Rock It" - Noiseshaper - CD single [Cat N' Roof Records]
"Music My Rock" - Bedouin Soundclash - MP3
"Run The Plan" - Groundation - Here I Am [Groundation Music]
  • "Dance Of The Vampires" - Scientist - ...Rids The World Of The Curse Of The Evil Vampires [Greensleeves]

  • "Your Teeth In My Neck" - Scientist - ...Rids The World Of The Curse Of The Evil Vampires [Greensleeves]

    "Party Time" - Heptones - Best Of Studio One [Heartbeat]
    "Fist To Fist" - Lone Ranger - Collection [DGV]
    "Conquering Heart Dub" - Blue King Brown/Chris Macro - ReAmplify [Easy Star]
    "Johnny Was" - Bob Marley & the Wailers - Songs Of Freedom [Island]
    "Since I Throw The Comb Away" - Twinkle Bros - Since I Throw The Comb Away [Sunsplash Records]
    "Struggling" - John Brown's Body - ReAmplify [Easy Star]
    "Machete Strike" - Ten Foot Ganja Plant - Bush Rock [ROIR]
    "Mystic Man" - Peter Tosh - Honorary Citizen [Columbia]
    "National Herb" - Lone Ranger - Collection

    >"Ramble" - Rico Rodrigues - Countryman [Mango]
    "Dos Lenos" - The Toyes - Viva La Rasta [Aztlan]
    "Besame" - Pericos - Yerbabuena [EMI]
    "Quem Aviso" - Djambi - Keep This Feeling

  • "Big Shot" - Noiseshaper - CD-EP

  • "Crystal Blue Persuasion" - Heptones - Deep In The Roots [Heartbeat]
    "White Man In Hammersmith Palais" - The Clash - Clash On Broadway [EPIC]

    16 September 2009

    Groundation at State Theater, Falls Church, VA Sept 17 (tomorrow)

    It is said that if you don't know your past, you don't know your future; well Groundation knows its past, and they're stepping into the future. While capturing the essence of true Roots Reggae, internationally acclaimed Groundation aims to take the art of genre-bending to new heights by blending elements of both Jazz/Funk fusion and transcendental Dub in their progressive amalgam of sound.

    The name 'Groundation' came from the Rastafarian ceremony of the same name. Its goal: using the vibration of music to get everyone on the same wavelength in order to forward positive consciousness.

    Groundation was founded in the fall of 1998 when three long time musicians Marcus Urani (organ/keys/piano), Ryan Newman (bass) and Harrison Stafford (guitar/lead vocals) came together in the jazz program of California's Sonoma State University to form the core of Groundation's fusion of style and sound.

    They were later joined in 2000 by San Francisco based Jazz trumpeter David Chachere and the North Bay's Kelsey Howard on trombone. Groundation saxophonist Jason Robinson has gone on to become the head of the Jazz program at UC San Diego. Drummer Paul Spina (Claypool's Flying Frog Brigage, Will Bernard's Mother Bug) was replaced in 2008 with Reno-based Jazz/Fusion specialist Tekanawa Haereiti. Bay area percussionist Mingo Lewis Jr. (son of Santana percussionist Mingo Lewis) brings Latin and African infused rhythms, adding heady layers to Groundation's already stout syncopations. Jamaicans Kim Pommell and Stephanie Wallace, joining the group in 2007 and 2008 respectively, have helped take Groundation's harmonies and live shows to new heights and are featured lead vocalists on the new studio album.

    Though Groundation has played in 30 countries on 4 continents in just the last few years (headlining huge multi-genre festivals in Israel, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco and Brazil to name but a few), 2009 marks a turning point in their development here at home. On their wildly successful coast-to-coast 2008 summer tour, worlds collided as Groundation's internationally seasoned high-energy show style met the American heartland, culminating in an historic tour. Once again, Groundation heads across America at a truly crucial time in our country's history with shows from coast to coast starting in the Fall.

    2009 also will see the release of the long awaited full length studio album "Here I Am." Following the release of "Rockamovya," the first Groundation side project featuring Grammy-nominated Jazz guitarist Will Bernard (Stanton Moore Trio, Dr. Lonnie Smith) as well as Jamaican Reggae legend Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace (Burning Spear, The Abyssinians the cult film 'Rockers') on drums, "Here I Am" is already generating considerable buzz throughout the international music industry and will surely go down as an early 21st century classic (U.S. release set for June).

    Reggae music's commitment to an upheaval of our unjust social system and Groundation's livication of forwarding this message through a fresh, improvisation-based musical lens has created a truly unique movement. Groundation is the biggest, most respected American Reggae band in the world today...come join us and find out why.

    The State Theater