Taj Weekes & Adowa – Love Herb & Reggae (Jatta Records, 2016)
Although reggae remains very popular, a lot of modern reggae has too much pop or R&B. Taj Weekes & Adowa, on the other hand, play roots reggae that is founded in tradition and still sounds fresh and modern.
The latest album by the band, Love Herb & Reggae, features seductive reggae beats combined with funk, blues, rock, jazz and a little dub. Message-wise, Taj Weekes & Adowa focuses on social issues like consumerism, the condemnation of homophobia, poverty, violence, an appeal for love, and the ongoing debate about the legalization of marijuana.
The bandleader, singer-songwriter and guitarist Taj Weekes, from the island of St. Lucia, is a committed Rastafarian seeking a better world: “The Rasta philosophy helped shape me. I’ve always spoken for what’s right, but in my songs I held back a bit. Now I want to shout it out for everyone to hear. No more Taj the person and Taj the musician – after all, they are one.”
Weekes’ social commitment goes beyond music lyrics. He founded a charity organization, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO), and also serves as UNICEF Champion for Children in St. Lucia.
The lineup on Love Herb & Reggae includes Taj Weekes on lead vocals, rhythm and acoustic guitar; Radss Desiree on bass; Adoni Xavier on lead guitar; Baldwin Brown on drums and vocals; Aya Kato on keyboards and melodica; John Hewitt on keyboards; and Valerie Kelley on vocals.
Love Herb & Reggae is a superb roots reggae album by one of the finest outfits in the current reggae scene.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.