Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reggae Update Jan '09

(Mr. Brooks on 'him black bike)

Now the news...

Mavado's second album Mr Brooks...A Better Tomorrow, is out early March on VP Records. The label describes it as tales of Mavado's "daring exploits built on apocalyptic synthesizer progressions to which Mavado chats and sings simplistic yet profound lyrics with strong conviction and ease. "

After hearing most of the album I can vouch that it is almost as good as his debut, especially impossibly catchy tracks like "So Special" (produced by Linton "TJ" White). The lyrics might seem simplistic and repetitive at first, but Mavado's cadence and delivery carry the tune.

Other material is produced by big guns Stephen McGregor and Daseca). NY Times said: "This rising star with a battle-scarred singing voice has created a breakthrough set for his 2009 release."

Look out for releases on the Spanish label La Familia. Quality roots music on deh! Especially check for new roots band Hotdrop (pic above), who live up to their name with a style that falls somewhere between Misty In Roots, Midnite, Aswad and world fusion. Get their new "No Barriers" EP 10" now!

If you haven't peeped BET's American Gangster documentary program on Jamaican gang Showers Posse, it's a must watch. If you don't have cable, check it out HERE.

Linval Thompson's first album in 20 years titled Ghetto Living came out digitally in December. You can get it via iTunes. Thompson is still sounding wispy and conscious. This, along with Winston McAnuff's recent album and Johnny Clarke's singles on Sip-A-Cup prove that the roots generation is alive and well! Listen to Linval on Imeem.

Bad gyaal Cecile's new album is sounding nice. Ce'Cile is a member of the Danger Zone camp (Jah Cure, Junior Reid), the new release, Worth It, featuring two new bonus tracks is available on I-Tunes and other e-tailers January 27.

Also out on January 27 is the three-disc multi-pac (one audio, two DVD) The Ultimate Peter Tosh Experience on Shanachie. The set features wih a thirty page booklet of commentary and rare photos.

"Arise Black Man" MP3

From the press release:
Audio CD: 15 outstanding Peter Tosh recordings including such classics as "Get Up Stand Up," "Rastafari Is" and "Downpressor Man" as well as such rare or previously unreleased recordings as "Watcha Gonna Do" (with Eric Clapton) from 1974.
DVD 1: The entire acclaimed documentary film Stepping Razor: Red X.
DVD 2: Brings together a selection of concert footage, including rare footage from the historic One Love Peace Concert in 1979, the No Nukes concert (where Peter was the only reggae performer) in 1981, Reggae Sunsplash II from 1979 and Reggae Super Jam in 1982.


Here's a condensed recap of the latest Jamaican charts:

Dancehall Top 5:
1. Vybz Kartel–Million By A Mawning (Don Corleon)
2. Elephant Man–Sweep (Scatta/Kings of Kings)
3. Flippa Mafia–Rolling Deep (T J)
4. Miss Triniti feat. Beenie Man–Burnin, Burnin (Unseen Lab)
5. Vybz Kartel feat. Jahvinchi–Weh Dem A Go (Big Ship)

Reggae Top 5:
1. Stevie Face–Tell It Like It Is (Boot Camp)
2. Terry Linen–A Better Man (Uplifting Music)
3. Bugle/Tarrus Riley– Nothing Change (Love Reigns) (Sons of Spoon)
4. Beres Hammond – I Feel Good (Penthouse)
5. D'Angel–Stronger (Sons of Spoon)

Soon come: Full review of the excellent new book by Beth Lesser Dancehall out now with a 2CD set on Soul Jazz Records UK.


New Albums Release Schedule:

17 N. Parade:
Out now: Freddie McGregor Mr. McGregor
February 3, 2009
Niney The Observer Roots With Quality
To be announced:
Heptones-Meet The Now Generation
Joe Gibbs- Scorchers From the Early Years

VP Records:
February 24, 2009
Elephant Man Energy God: Very Best Of Elephant Man
Glen Washington Destiny

On Greensleeves:
February 10, 2009
Songs for Reggae Lovers Songs Vol. 2
February 17, 2009
Rhythm #89 Silent River
One Drop Rhythm #1 Nylon
March 3, 2009
Andy Smith Presents: The Greensleeves Document (Smith produces UK band Portishead)
Anthony B Rise Up
March 24, 2009
Ragga Ragga Ragga 2009