Friday, 2 January 2009

Jah Roots with Junior Marvin


Despite, or perhaps due to, my recent mild rant against white voices affecting umm Jamaican-ness; when I got some blurb about an American reggae band, from Springfield... I did actually follow it up. To be honest, after the briefest of scan-throughs, ,it was initially obviously not my cup of tea at all; I like reggae, but this was not dark enough, dubby enough, had one too many songs with weed-related titles, & yeah, that old bugbear about the accent.

Then the tunes sat on my desktop, got played a time or two, found their way into iTunes & got played some more - hells bells! I must like this after all, quite a lot?; so I played 'em again, and I really do.

Regrettably, if my vocabulary for music in general is limited, then I'm almost monosyllabic about reggae - I know what I like when I hear it, and not much more. Having said that, Jah Roots bring what I'd call roots & dancehall together in a righteous, heartfelt fashion, & mix plenty of near-hip-hop vocals on top in a way that mostly sounds perfectly convincing (although not quite hitting the spot on 'Home'),  and manage a few jazzy touches too.


The most recent of their four albums, and the one I've heard... is called 'Joy'. Released in Spring 2008,  Junior Marvin guests on two tracks, providing some excellent lead guitar. There are some ace touches of brass on the opener - 'Joy', fine guitar on 'Wanting You' and 'I Know', and some very welcome Hammondy organ improves 'Burn Dem Out' and 'Society'.


and as a bonus, something else good
from Visions - 1977
 
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