For Peace Band – Always Love (Rootfire Cooperative, 2018)
Award-winning For Peace Band is a rising act in the American reggae field. The band from the island of Guam in the Pacific plays a mix of roots reggae, pop and dub. It is feel good reggae with a positive message.
For Peace Band was founded in 2012. Members include Jacob Iosa on keyboards and vocals; Freddy Bordallo on drums and vocals; Danton Cruz on bass and vocals; and Ronald “RJ” Pereira on guitar and vocals. Guests on the album include Star Alaniz of Hawaiian reggae band The Steppas and Iya Terra vocalist Nathan Feinstein.
Always Love is a superbly -crafted modern reggae album by one of the finest acts in the American reggae scene.
Rocky Dawuni was born January 22, 1969 in Ghana. He burst onto the African reggae scene in the early 1990s as the lead singer of the Ghanaian reggae group Local Crisis at the Pan African Music Festival held in Accra. In their debut performance, Dawuni’s mesmerizing stage presence and powerful songs secured the group hero status.
Although Dawuni soon developed a following in his beloved native Ghana, he decided to leave for the United States and pursue his musical horizons. Over the next few years, Rocky spent time writing and recording, while being exposed to the many diverse forms of music abroad as well as under-studying the music business itself.
In 1996, Rocky Dawuni released his debut recording The Movement, one of the most anticipated reggae albums in West Africa. The artists’ introspective journey into social and spiritual consciousness garnered rave reviews in the Ghanaian press and spawned two hit singles, with both “Sugar” and “What Goes Around” obtaining massive Ghanaian airplay.
In the U.S., The Movement received critical acclaim and glowing praise. Mesa/Bluemoon Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, licensed “What Goes Around” and its video for release throughout the U.S. on Strictly Underground: Reggae’s Next Generation, propelling the video to climb to #3 on the Reggae Video Charts in January 1997 and introducing Rocky’s music to U.S. reggae radio.
In spring 1998, Aquarian Records / Who Dun It Records released Rocky’s second recording, Crusade, written, arranged and produced by Rocky Dawuni. The album is a sprawling philosophical journey into rhythm and soul with songs of pain, spirituality, love, revolution and redemption. From the nyabinghi tinged tropical jam, “Sweet Bright Day,” which Dawuni describes as “an invocation of the perfect day when all elements fall into place in our lives,” to a hauntingly powerful piece entitled, “Conqueror,” which highlights a traditional African kora player, Crusade is Dawuni’s musical and spiritual war promoting love, justice and righteousness. “It’s about hope in the human spirit and allowing God to empower us to attain the unattainable.”
Crusade’s first single, “In Ghana,” achieved international hit status on both radio and TV with the tune’s arresting video. Inspired by Ghana’s 40th Anniversary Celebrations, Dawuni describes the song “as a celebration of 40 years of independence…as the first black African country to attain independence, it’s a personal ode to the individual’s continuing search for freedom.” Putumayo World Music subsequently licensed “In Ghana” for their Reggae Around the World compilation CD that also includes tracks from Lucky Dube, Burning Spear and Majek Fashek. “In Ghana” was recently voted “Reggae Song of the Year” at the Ghana Music Awards 2000.
The July 1998 release of Crusade was, and continues to be, enormously successful, with tremendous media coverage throughout the African continent. In the spring of 1999, Rocky began a summer festival tour of the U.S., which culminated with a knockout live performance at the Vermont Reggae Festival to a capacity crowd of 35,000. Rocky also put in extraordinary performances at the UCLA Jazz/Reggae Festival and Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, establishing himself as one of the premier live reggae artists. Crusade firmly established Rocky Dawuni as a crucial addition to the Roots Reggae revitalization.
Rocky Dawuni, appeared live in concert at the La Pleasure Beach in Accra on Ghana’s Independence Day, March 6th, 2001. Under the auspices of Aquarian Productions and Ghana Tourist Development Co Ltd., the first annual “Rockys Dawuni’s Independence Splash” was a smash hit by all standards with an estimated crowd of over 20,000. Rocky opened the show with the ever popular “Inside Your Head” with the crowd singing along to every word. The stage was a virtual war-zone with fans fighting with security personnel to get to Rocky during his two-hour plus set.
“Rocky Dawuni’s Independence Splash” ended with a stunning rendition of Rocky’s “In Ghana,” which has become the unofficial national anthem of the country. As the sun set, Ghanaians and foreigners alike sang in unison to celebrate Ghana’s 44th year of independence from colonial rule.
“Rocky Dawuni’s Independence Splash” was planned to become an annual event to celebrate the anniversary of Africa’s first independent nation and serve as a festival to showcase music from Africa and the Diaspora.
In November of 2004 Stevie Wonder made a surprise appearance onstage at Rocky Dawuni’s concert performance at Zanzibar in Santa Monica, California. Wonder wailed on harmonica and dug into the crowd-inspired call & response vocal gymnastics on Dawuni’s Afro groove track, “Wake the Town,” from his album Book of Changes.
Rocky was featured on the highly successful Instant Karma: Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur Deluxe Edition release (Warner Bros Records) which features covers of John Lennon songs by global stars including Black Eyed Peas, U2, Christina Aguilera, Green Day, Ben Harper and Jack Johnson. In addition, Dawuni’s afrobeat “Wake the Town”was featured on video giant EA’s FIFA 2008 video game which has been released world-wide to millions of consoles.
In June 2007 Rocky and supermodel Elle MacPherson completed a June 13 -15 humanitarian tour of Ghana as spokespersons for (RED) and the Global Fund to announce the grant of 6.4 million dollars to provide HIV / AIDS treatment. (RED) was founded by U2 front man Bono and Bobby Shriver to harness the power of some of the world’s most iconic brands in the fight against HIV / AIDS.
Roots of Creation – Grateful Dub (Bombshelter Records, 2018)
American reggae and jam bands have had a strong connection for many years. Roots of Creation celebrates the music of the iconic Grateful Dead on Grateful Dub. Roots of Creation covers many of the Grateful’s best known songs and reggaefy them masterfully.
The album includes special guests: Stephen Marley, G. Love, Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band), Marlon ‘Ganja Farmer’ Asher, Hayley Jane, Jesse Wagner of The Aggrolites, and Jesse Wagner of The Aggrolites.
Roots of Creation was founded at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire by guitarist and lead singer Brett Wilson, keyboardist Tal Pearson, and drummer Mike Chadinha. Currently, the original trio is joined by Billy Kottage (Reel Big Fish) on trombone, rhythm guitar, keyboardss and harmony vocals; Andrew Riordan on saxophone, synthesizer and harmony vocals, and Nick Minicucci on bass.
“Much respect to Jerry & the boys for the inspiration and to the dead community for embracing the album. Can’t wait to see your smiling faces on the road!” said Roots of Creation’s founder Brett Wilson.
Grateful Dub is a seductive recording that bring together reggae, dub effects, and jam rock, recreating the memorable songs of the Grateful Dead.
Super Hi-Fi – Blue and White (Very Special Records, 2018)
Blue and White is the new album by Super Hi-Fi, a collective of musicians based in Brooklyn who combine a powerful mix of dub reggae with rock, jazz and world music elements. It’s led by bassist and vocalist Ezra Gale.
Super Hi-Fi’s sound is characterized by the use of vibrant bass, dub effects and two dueling trombones that provide captivating interactions. Although Super Hi-Fi was primarily instrumental in previous recordings, band leader Ezra Gale sings on several tracks.
On Blue and White, the band reaches out into multiple genres incorporating fascinating elements such as Afrobeat and a joyful mix of ska and traditional country music featuring steel guitar.
Super Hi-Fi is into analog sound and this recording was recorded completely to tape.
The lineup includes Ezra Gale on bass, vocals, acoustic guitar; Rick Parker on trombone; Jon Lipscomb on guitar; Madhu Siddappa on drums; Alex Asher on trombone; Robert Stringer on trombone; Jeff Lampert on pedal steel guitar; Drew Fleming on vocals; Vincent Giangola on vocals; Erica Rutt Gale on vocals; Mitch Marcus on keyboards; Mamadou Konate on jembe and talking drum; Vera Sousa Marina on vocals; Bryan Benninghove on vocals; and John Blevins on trumpet.
The album is available on vinyl LP, cassette and digital.
Cidade Negra (Black City), is one of Brazil’s most popular reggae groups, with great sold out shows at the legendary Maracana football arena. In Brazil their work was honored with several platinum awards. They gained international reputation by collaborations with Reggae and Dancehall superstars like Shabba Ranks and Patra and their appearance as the one of the few non-Jamaican artists at the Sunsplash festival.
Lute pra Viver (1991)
Negro no Poder (1992)
Sobre Todas as Forças (1994)
O Erê (1996) Quanto Mais Curtido Melhor (1998)
Hits & Dubs (1999)
Enquanto o Mundo Gira (2000)
cústico MTV (2002) Perto de Deus (2004)
Direto Ao Vivo (2006)
Diversão Ao Vivo (2007)
Perfil (2008) Que Assim Seja (2010)
Andrew Tosh, the tall, slender third son and virtual carbon copy of reggae legend Peter Tosh has been predicted to carry on the family’s musical tradition since first gaining recognition with a powerful performance at his father’s funeral in 1987.
He’s been delighting audiences across the world with his brilliant live sets and Grammy-nominated recordings which, although influenced by his father, are very much in his own brilliant style.
Born on June 19, 1967 in Kingston, Jamaica, Andrew and his father Peter would sing songs together – not just Peter’s militant compositions, but also pop classics by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Kenny Rogers. Andrew notes that “Peter always knew I would do something in the music business, so he encouraged me to study piano, ’cause he knew I loved it. From the start it was inside me to sing and play instruments.”
The first song he learned was PeterTosh’ composition “You Can’t Blame the Youth,” and from that point forward, he says, “I knew that my heartbeat was music and one day it would just be music out of my mouth, and writing and singing my own songs.”
Throughout his elementary and high school days in Duhaney Park on the outskirts of Kingston, Andrew was constantly pulled to the forefront of the class and made to sing lead. At 14, in emulation of his father, Andrew began to ride a unicycle too.
Although Peter was often on the road, performing tours that remain to this day reggae’s most lengthy and successful ones, Andrew spent much of his childhood living in Peter’s house, especially between the critical ages of 12 and 15.
Andrew Tosh’s first recording came in 1985, when he recorded a song he wrote called “Vanity Lover” for Neville Lee’s Gorgon label. A keen observer of the vibrant music scene in Kingston, Andrew was checking out some of the new talent at that city’s famous Skateland dancehall on the evening his father was murdered – Friday,
September 11, 1987.
“I felt my father’s spirit come right there at Skateland where I was,” he says, “and the spirit said leave that place right now.” The impact of the elder Tosh’s passing made an immediate and life-changing impression. “I tell myself that Peter Tosh is gone and it’s my need to carry on. Not for want, and not for the lust of fame and the glamor and want to be rich. No, for the love of my art and the love of my people, because love carry no color. Love is love and that’s what Jah say, make a joyful noise unto Me.”
The first glimpse the public got of Andrew’s nascent talent came when he sang at his father’s funeral in the National Arena in Kingston. His version of Peter’s “Jah Guide” stunned the mourners. “I was astonished myself on stage,” he recalls. “The other song I did was ‘Equal Rights,’ because everyone is crying out for peace but none is crying out for justice. When I came down off the stage, I couldn’t stop crying.”
Late the following year, he tested the international waters with a pair of memorable performances in southern California, including a show-stopping turn on the stage of Burbank’s Starlight Amphitheater, the site of the final appearance together of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. “I felt elevension,” he laughs, engaging in some of the crafty wordplay for which his father was notorious. “It was way beyond tension.”
From that point, Andrew began working under the guidance of keyboardist Keith Sterling and his band mates, Fully Fullwood and Santa Davis, the bass and drum team from Peter’s most ferocious backing group, Word Sound and Power. Andrew began to tour, wowing audiences in Europe as well as North and South America. He has been especially successful in Brazil, where he has appeared several times in Sao Paulo, Rio, and Curitiba.
His first album, Original Man, was a mixture of his tracks and those of his father. The follow-up, Make Place for the Youth, indicated a new maturity to his songwriting, and was well received, earning him a Grammy nomination.
He produced a major tribute to his father, (executive-produced by Bunny Wailer), called Andrew Sings Tosh.
Overdubbed (Echo Beach, 2018) is the new album by dub masters Sly & Robbie and Dubmatix. The album is scheduled for release January 19th, 2018. The recording will be available in 12″ Vinyl, CD, and digital formats.
Positive Vibration, the UK’s celebration of reggae music and Jamaican culture will take place June 8 and 9, 2018 at Baltic Triangle in Liverpool.
The first wave of acts announced includes Macka B & The Roots Ragga Band; Sister Nancy & Legal Shot Sound System; Adrian Sherwood & Creation Rebel; Iration Steppas; Misty in Roots; Don Letts; Channel One Sound System; Manudigital with Parly B and Bazil; Capital Letters; Radikal Guru with Echo Ranks and Cian Finn; Dubkasm with Solo Banton; and Count Skylarkin’ presents ‘Derek’s Island Discs’