Research Your Own Experiences

Kahlil Wonda and AGARD explore questions such as:

  • Is someone “closed-minded” if they choose a particular lane?

  • How does the music you listen to really affect you?

  • Should one consume all the forms of music or media available, or is it wiser to live in a self-imposed bubble?

 

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Roots in the West End – Saturday, Aug 31 @ Gallery 992

End of Summer edition of Roots in the West End featuring Highlanda Sound, Farinheits Creation, Cosmic Lovebeat and Buddy Folks!

Roots in the West End

Gregory Isaacs Roots Reggae Mix | Reggae Lover Podcast 117

This episode features roots reggae songs from the Gregory Isaacs catalog. I chose to curate his songs about the reality of everyday life and the strife of poor people.

HIGHLANDA SOUND #Reggae 117 - Reggae Lover - GREGORY ISAACS RAGGAMUFFIN ROOTS MIX

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Gregory Isaacs was born in Jamaica on July 15, 1951. He made his debut in 1968 with a recording for Byron Lee. He then started the African Museum record label and shop along with Errol Dunkley. Isaacs recorded for other producers as well. His single ‘My Only Lover,’ is credited as the first lover’s rock song ever.
He released music throughout the 70s. In 1978 he signed to the Virgin Records offshoot call Frontline records. That led to his appearance in the movie “Rockers.” He also opened a record shop called Cash & Carry in Kingston. He performed yearly at Reggae Sunsplash from 1981 to 1991.
In 1982 he signed to Island Records and released the massive single, “Night Nurse.” Isaacs was only challenged by Dennis Brown and Bob Marley in touring. Gregory recorded and released at least 70 original studio albums. He has over 500 albums including compilations. He maintained an amazing standard of quality in most of his recorded songs.
Gregory Isaacs was nominated for four Grammy Awards, the last of which in 2010 and 2011. One of the things associated with Isaacs was cocaine use. He had many arrests during the years that he battled with addiction.
When you listen to this mix compared to my lover’s rock mix (Episode 116), you can sense a different vibration. Gregory’s passionate lyrical delivery on social issues is very believable. He passed away in 2010 to lung cancer.
I would love to hear what you think about this singer – the musical giant known as “The Cool Ruler.” Comment here, tweet @ReggaeLoverPod, or send an email to reggaeloverpodcast@gmail.com.

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Don Carlos Mix | Reggae Lover Podcast # 113

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This Reggae Lover episode features the legendary reggae singer known as Don Carlos.

Jamaican reggae singer and composer Don Carlos began singing in 1973 as a member of Black Uhuru. Don continues to perform sweet roots reggae music all over the world. Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 113

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Don Carlos was born Euvin Spencer in the Western Kingston district known as Waterhouse. If you didn’t know, this is one of the roughest parts of Kingston. I was also the birthplace of the group Black Uhuru, and super producers King Tubby and King Jammy.

Notice the consistency of the roots reggae sound and distinct vocal delivery in all the songs. Don Carlos began his career in 1973 as an original member of Black Uhuru along with Garth Ennis and Duckie Simpson. After a few years, the trio split and Don Carlos launched into a solo career.

In 1981 he dropped “Suffering,” an album that exploded on the scene becoming popular especially in Africa. Don Carlos was then solidified as a soloist. During the years between 80 and 85, he was also very popular on the Dancehall scene with many top 10 hits. Songs heard on this mix include the Volcano label hits, Hog and Goat, I’m Not Going Crazy, and Laser Beam.

Don continued releasing albums and touring throughout the 80s. Black Uhuru’s original members reunited from 1989-1994 before splitting again. Since then, Don Carlos has been one of the busiest touring artists out of Jamaica. He rocked the stage at Reggae on the River in California this summer. He has performed at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and other major festivals globally.

He will be on tour in 2019 to support a new album called Golden Classics. You can check him out at DonCarlosReggae.Com or coming to a stage near you.

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“Jamaica Love” edition of Rewind Sundays | August 19, 2018 #ATL

Rewind Sundays is back this August 19th where we will recognize the Roots and Culture of Reggae music in an edition called Jamaica Love.

Go to #Eventbrite and get the complimentary tickets and special prices tickets and bottle packages #RewindSundays #JamaicaLove #RootsNCulture

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Doors open at 8pm and admission is only $15. Discounted tickets will ONLY be available online.

Music by Highlanda Sound with Kahlil Wonda, Copper Ash, and Natural Vibes with Rico Vibes and Junior Culture.

Food will be provided by Chef Tony and Dionne Robinson. Link Seree Statum-Monrose for bottle specials and reserved seating.

Review: Kabaka Pyramid Releases ‘Kontraband’ Album

16 Tracks in total, ‘Kontraband,’ the debut from Kabaka Pyramid does not disappoint.

Kabaka Pyramid - Kontraband. DIGITAL RELEASE [Ghetto Youths International, Bebble Rock Records].

I only heard 3 of the songs before the album’s release so this is a fresh, new experience. The album is reminiscent of Chronixx’s “Chronology” in its diverse representation of modern reggae music.

Hip-Hop influences are evident throughout but do not detract from the roots vibe. You can choose to bob your head and/or skank to the beats. Kabaka spits bars of knowledge with a cool, collected delivery. At times, he sing-jays on the riddims in perfect melody.  

‘Kontraband’ is a strong debut for Kabaka Pyramid and it bolsters his global appeal. The Damian and Stephen Marley executive-produced album features Akon and Stonebwoy out of Africa. Jr. Gong joins Kabaka to illustrate the story on the title track.

Pressure Buss Pipes from the U.S. Virgin Islands sings the hook on “Make Way,” the opening song of the album. Fellow reggae revivalist Protoje makes his mark with a succinct verse on “Everywhere I Go.” Kabaka teams with Chronixx on the mesmerizing and memorable “Blessed Is The Man.”

Kabaka doesn’t only chant a lyrical onslaught on Babylon. He considers the divine essence of black queens on “Natural Woman.” He opens up about affairs of the heart on “Kaught Up,” and “All I Need,” which features Nattali Rize. The different vibes on ‘Kontraband’ balance out. If you ranked this entry as one of 2019’s top reggae releases, I would say that’s accurate. 

Ben Speight on Reggae, Soundtrack to Social Change | Reggae Lover 100

I had an eye-opening conversation with Atlanta-based organizer for social justice, Ben Speight. 

  • Ben tells how and why he fell in love with Reggae.
  • He talks about reggae as the soundtrack to movements of social change over the years. 
  • He discusses the history of Ska and Roots Reggae, highlighting the political content. 
  • He draws comparisons between Motown and music from the Rocksteady and UK Lover’s eras. 
  • Hear his thoughts on dancehall, Cali reggae, and the new school of roots rockers coming out of Jamaica. 

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This interview, episode 100 of the Reggae Lover podcast, is a testament to the diversity and power of reggae music.  Like my guest said, please continue to support reggae music artists, musicians, DJs, and promoters.

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Ras Fraser Junior’s ‘Journey to Greatness’ (Interview) | Reggae Lover # 98

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Ras Fraser Jr discusses his new album “Journey to Greatness.”

ras fraser jr. interview

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Find out how this multi-talented musician got his start in the business and why he feels its important to remember your roots. He offers solutions for upcoming reggae artists both in and outside of Jamaica to bump up to the next level and more.

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Bushman Mix | Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 95

Hear some of my favorite tracks from Bushman’s catalog on episode 95 of the reggae lover podcast. Bushman has released nine full-length albums to date.

Born in Prospect Beach which is in the parish of St. Thomas, Jamaica, he was raised as a Rastafarian. Singing in school and church choirs led to singing dubplates for local sound systems. Bushman actually worked as a selector under the name Junior Melody for black star line sound system.  He took part in singing competitions and talent searches in and around St. Thomas. His popularity grew as more people heard him sing.

Bushman decided to pursue his music career. He went to Kingston where he ended up working with Steely and Clevie at Studio 2000. His first tracks were “Grow Your Natty” and “Call the Hearse” which was his first major hit. Bushman moved on to work with King Jammy who produced his next two albums. He later teamed up with Bobby Digital, the UK-based Stingray team, and other producers.

Click on artwork to download Podcast.

I respect Bushman for being a down-to-earth, authentic person who stays true to the values in his music. He still lives with his wife and children in St. Thomas enjoying nature and an “Ital” lifestyle.

Bushman is a living legend with a vocal range encompassing tonality reminiscent of Luciano and Peter Tosh. I want to highlight the “Bushman sings the bush doctor” album released in 2011 on VP records which is a fantastic Peter Tosh tribute. Also look out for “Conquering Lion” which is a 2018 released album from Bushman. There are few better examples of authentic Roots reggae music than Bushman.

Indeed on that tip please look out for the annual Health and Wellness Reggae Music Festival at the Wren’s Nest in the West End area of Atlanta. Taking place on Saturday, July 14th, this festival is an open-air, family-friendly, daytime event where I will play music alongside the Lion of Judah sound. There will be live bands and many performers. There will be Health practitioners, vendors, and lots of information. If you are vegan, vegetarian, or have an interest in learning more about healthy living, this event is for you. If you love reggae music, its an event for you. 

Thank you to all my listeners around the world. Special big ups to Ras Jamal in Savannah, GA, Collin Cameron out in New Jersey, and James Kajob out in Kenya. You guys are not only listening, but I appreciate that you take the time to send feedback and suggestions. Because of you, this podcast is a collaborative effort and it’s a beautiful thing. Big ups to Ali Carter for granting me that dope interview released earlier this week.

Look out for more interviews and mixes. Download and subscribe to the podcast. This show is dedicated to all reggae lovers. Thank you so much for listening. Give thanks. Until next time, one love.

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Freddie McGregor and John Holt | Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 85

This episode features songs about Rastafari, roots, reality, and culture from Freddie McGregor and John Holt.

Episode 49 features Freddie McGregor singing only in the reggae lovers rock style. That episode has over 20,000 plays on Soundcloud and is still very popular. I definitely hope you enjoy this one as well and play it 20,000 times each. This mix shows the well-roundedness and the prolificness of Freddie McGregor. This is powerful music about the black struggle, and about overcoming.

I wanted to elevate everybody that’s listening no matter what’s going on in your life. If you’re able to listen to this music right now that means that you still have a chance and you have opportunities. Even if you were a victim, right now you’re a Survivor. You’re surviving and you can carry on the mission of improving yourself. Don’t give in to depression. There’s good in every situation and what didn’t kill you can make you stronger.

Show love to anybody that shows you love and let them know what you think of them. Let them know that you appreciate them being in your life. If anybody is sending negative vibes your way and taking shots at you, I say cut them off. Go the other way every time the negative energy comes around. Put up your hypocrite shield and hold your head high. Don’t give them power over you by letting them see you crumble. Hold your head up high, stick to your morals, set your boundaries, and continue to live your life in peace. God will bless you. That’s my positive word of the day. Thank you all for listening.

Sir John Holt has passed away, but Freddie McGregor is still captain of the Big Ship, and still doing his thing. His legacy is solid. Big ups to Freddie. Salute to our living legend, and rest in peace to the loving memory of John Holt. Respect is due to all the friends, family and supporters of the John Holt. Please support and spread their music. Once again I thank you so much for listening and I hope you are uplifted and feeling good vibrations.

It’s now February. It’s reggae month. It’s Black History Month. Some know this day as Valentine’s Day. The movie Black Panther is premiering in 1 day. This Friday is Bob Fest ATL 2018 starring Jah9 and her band all the way from Kingston, Jamaica. Also featuring the Saroc the MC and me, Kahlil Wonda of Highlanda Sound. See you there!

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