Foundation Roots, Reality and Culture

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Roots_Reggae_by_guidenzinIn this episode, I present some essential Roots reggae cuts, mostly from the 1970s. These songs deal with the everyday lives and aspirations of the artists concerned, including the spiritual side of Rastafari and the honoring of God.

The featured artists provide social commentary and deliver lyrical themes including spirituality, resistance to government, black pride and repatriation.

You will hear Studio One classics, gems from Tuff Gong, Exterminator and Volcano, plus quintessential Trojan recordings, among others. The full track list is posted below. Enjoy the musical mix!

Song List:

1 Freddie McGregor – Rastaman Camp
2 Bob Marley – Africa Unite
3 Black Uhuru – Sensimilia
4 Sammy Dread – Road Block
5 Hugh Mundell – Rasta Have The Handle
6 The Gladiators – Easy Squeeze
7 Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
8 Black Uhuru – Plastic Smile
9 Gregory Isaacs – Slave Master
10 John Holt – Up Park Camp
11 John Holt – Tribal War
12 Barrington Levy – No Fuss Or Fight
13 Jacob Miller – Tired Fe Lick Weed Inna Bush
14 Barrington Levy – Do Good
15 Barrington Levy – Murderer
16 Carlton Livingston – 100 Weight of Collie Weed
17 Bob Marley – Forever Loving Jah
18 Bob Marley – Them Belly Full
19 Bob Marley – Rebel Music
20 Don Carlos – Natty Dread Have the Credentials
21 Half Pint – Political Fiction
22 John Holt – Police In Helicopter
23 Jacob Miller – Tenement Yard
24 Gregory Isaacs – Border
25 Yabby You & The Prophets – Babylon A Fall
26 Yabby You & Tony Tuff – Falling Babylon
27 Burning Spear – Follow Marcus Garvey
28 U Brown – Jah Is My Father Still
29 Delroy Wilson – Better Must Come
30 Dennis Alcapone & Delroy Wilson – It Must Come
31 Barrington Levy – Teach The Youth
32 Cocoa Tea – Rasta Man
33 Sugar Minott – Give Me Jah Jah
34 U-Roy – Gorgon Wise
35 Johnny Osborne – Truths and Rights
36 Bob Marley – Time Will Tell
37 Burning Spear – Columbus
38 Freddie McGregor – Bobby Babylon
39 Johnny Osbourne – Jah Promise
40 Sugar Minott – Jah Jah Children
41 Johnny Osborne – Jah Righteous Plan

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Augustus Pablo, was a Jamaican roots reggae and dub record producer, melodica player and keyboardist, active from the 1970s onwards. He popularized the use of an instrument called the melodica.In his role as musician and producer he has helped to shape the reggae music genre. Show Notes Vocalist Jacob Miller, who was heavily influenced by Pablo, starts this episode off with "Baby I Love You So" followed by the dub version of said tune entitled "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown." Both works can be found on the 'Easy Skanking' album. His album King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown (1976) is often regarded as one of the most important examples of dub. Selections heard in this mix include quintessential tracks from classic albums 'Ital Dub,' 'East of the River Nile,' 'Java Java Dub,' and 'Valley Of Jehosaphat,' among others. Also listen out for Wayne Wonder in dubplate style singing over the Java riddim for Highlanda Sound, and the voice of SuperPEC on his exclusive "Mommy Dearest," for which he chose the "East of River Nile" instrumental in tribute to Pablo.

Augustus Pablo, The Original Rocker featured on the Reggae Lover podcast

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Tue, 2 September 2014 Episode 21 - Augustus Pablo, The Original Rocker

Reggae Lover Podcast – Tue, 2 September 2014
Episode 21 – Augustus Pablo, The Original Rocker

Augustus Pablo, was a Jamaican roots reggae and dub record producermelodica player and keyboardist, active from the 1970s onwards.

He popularized the use of an instrument called the melodica.In his role as musician and producer he has helped to shape the reggae music genre.

Show Notes

Vocalist Jacob Miller, who was heavily influenced by Pablo, starts this episode off with “Baby I Love You So” followed by the dub version of said tune entitled “King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown.”  Both works can be found on the ‘Easy Skanking‘ album.  His album King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown (1976) is often regarded as one of the most important examples of dub.

Selections heard in this mix include quintessential tracks from classic albums ‘Ital Dub,’ ‘East of the River Nile,’ ‘Java Java Dub,’ and ‘Valley Of Jehosaphat,’ among others.

Also listen out for Wayne Wonder in dubplate style singing over the Java riddim for Highlanda Sound, and the voice of SuperPEC on his exclusive “Mommy Dearest,” for which he chose the “East of River Nile” instrumental in tribute to Pablo.

Tad’s Record Releases Prezident Brown’s New Album, “I Sound Is From Creation”

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Jamaican roots reggae artist Prezident Brown returns with the highly-anticipated release of his latest album, I Sound Is From Creation, available on November 13, 2012 from Tad’s Records. Born Fitz Cotterell in Clarendon, Jamaica, Prezident Brown embarked on his musical journey in the 1980’s, and over the years, has transcended international borders to bring his brand of socially-conscious messages, packaged through sweet reggae music, to the global audience.

Hailed as one of the few remaining authentic roots reggae entertainers, Prezident Brown is often compared to the late Dennis Brown and Jacob Miller of Inner Circle. This, his ninth full-length release, is no different, as he continues his mission to educate and entertain, through his music.

Boasting 14 tracks molded by Prezident Brown’s signature chanting style, all solidly laced over classic one-drop reggae riddims, I Sound Is From Creation is a must-have album for reggae lovers. With the first single, “Be Careful (Rags To Riches),” Prezident Brown implores listeners to not get attached to material things or lose themselves, as they rise from “rags” to “riches.” The second single, “Teach The Youths Dem (Meditation),” address the destruction of the culture and encourages youths to be strong in the face of adversity. Other notable tracks include “Defender,” where he delves into his Rastafarian faith and urges the public to not belief the negative propaganda that is spread about the religion, “Fi Wi Queen (Jamaica 50),” which pays tribute to Jamaica’s 50th Independence celebrations, “Everything Is Everything,” which explores the mysteries of creation, and “Rebel With A Cause,” a unique combination of neo-soul and roots reggae that speaks to Prezident Brown’s musical versatility.

“I came up with the album name I Sound Is From Creation because some of the songs were made from chanting the melody and lyrics,” reveals Prezident Brown. “The musicians created music for the chant and together we made a record.” Working alongside Axx Of Jahpostles (Devon Bradshaw on bass and Ian “Beezy” Coleman on guitar) on the production created a fruitful and comfortable working situation for the entertainer. “It is always a pleasure to work with Devon Bradshaw and Ian Coleman,” states Prezident Brown. “We work very well as a team and they are involved in a lot of my projects that are already out.” Axx Of Jahpostles thus share in the album’s billing.

“Overall I have grand feeling about the album as the collection of tunes represents me well,” discloses Prezident Brown. “I believe real progress is gradual and not overnight, so one should practice and maintain one’s position. This project took two years, on and off, to conceive and come together.” With the final project in hand, Prezident Brown is bound to satisfy the masses, as he continues his prolific pursuit as a reggae music ambassador and a socially-conscious commentator.

“Prezident Brown, as an artist, is one of those silent but deadly gems of reggae music,” states Tad Dawkins, President of Tad’s Record. “His songs are both entertaining as well as powerful in message. There was no contemplating when the opportunity arose for Tad’s Record to put out an album for Prezident Brown and Axx Of Jahpostles. Tad’s Record deals with quality music and I Sound is from Creation is a solid and high quality album.”

 

Big Bands of Reggae

Highlanda.net:

“Nothing compares to being in a venue where a reggae band is performing live.  The rumble of the bass lines surround you in a warm embrace and you can’t help but to rock and skank as you are transported to another realm and higher level of consciousness.  This describes the effects of the power that live reggae musicians have over the masses.”


Third World

Third World is a Grammy nominated Jamaican reggae band formed in 1973. Their sound is influenced by soul, funk and disco. Third World’s greatest success came in the late 1970s and early 1980s, peaking with their cover version of The O’Jays’ “Now That We Found Love”, a hit single on both sides of the Atlantic in 1979. Here is a Third World performing “Now That We Found Love:”
This song brought them to the attention of Stevie Wonder, who worked with them and wrote (along with Melody A. McCully) their song “Try Jah Love.” This band still records and tours to this day so definitely check them out if they come to a venue near you. Visit Third World online at http://www.thirdworldband.com/

Inner Circle

This Jamaican reggae group was formed in 1968 by the brothers Ian and Roger Lewis in Jamaica. The band released its debut album in 1974 on the famed record label, Trojan Records, and resigned in 1979 to Island Records, where the internationally successful album Everything Is Great originated. They are responsible for the 1989 song “Bad Boys,” which serves as the theme song for Fox Network’s long-running television program COPS. Here is Inner Circle with “Bad Boys:”
Jacob Miller, the frontman and lead singer, was killed in a car crash on March 23, 1980. The band appeared in the reggae cult film Rockers in 1978. Their second American hit, reaching #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1993 was “Sweat (A La La La La Long)”, which was a #3 hit in the UK. Here is Inner Circle with “Sweat:”

Steel Pulse
Steven Huey reports, “Generally a protest-minded Rastafarian outfit, Steel Pulse started out playing authentic roots reggae with touches of jazz and Latin music, and earned a substantial audience among white U.K. punks as well. Their 1978 debut, Handsworth Revolution, is still regarded by many critics as a landmark and a high point of British reggae. As the ’80s wore on, slick synthesizers and elements of dance and urban R&B gradually crept into their sound, even as their subject matter stayed on the militant side. By the late ’80s, Steel Pulse had won a Grammy and were working full-fledged crossover territory, but never reached the same degree of commercial acceptance as Aswad or Inner Circle. They subsequently returned to a tough-minded, rootsy sound that nonetheless made concessions to contemporary trends with touches of dancehall and hip-hop.” Here is Steel Pulse performing “Rally Round:”
In 1993 they performed at Bill Clinton’s inaugural celebration, the first reggae band to appear at such an event. Visit Steel Pulse’s website for more.

Aswad
From Vh1: “Aswad was arguably Britain’s most successful reggae band, in terms of both popularity and longevity. Critical opinion on their body of work is often divided; some hail their early material as the greatest roots reggae Britain ever produced, while others find their later pop-crossover phase more distinctive and unique, even at the expense of authenticity. Regardless, Aswad’s ability to adapt themselves to the changing times — new musical trends, shifting personnel — was ultimately the driving force behind their decades-long career.”
Aswad was often hired as backing musicians for touring Jamaican stars: Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, and Black Uhuru.