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In no particular order
o Axx of Jahpostles - Give Thanks and Praise
This band is relatively obscure under its own name, but has enjoyed a certain amount of anonymous glory as the backing band for reggae superstar Garnett Silk. The group’s self-released debut album is absolutely wonderful, a generous program of modern roots reggae that features contributions from such studio luminaries as Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare and Dean Fraser and subtly dubwise production by Michael Clarke Wilson. Highlight tracks include the beautiful “Country Life” (not to be confused with Sandra Cross’s “Country Living”) and “Starlight,” which features very fine toasting from Prezident Brown.
RUNN Records RN0049 buy
o Annette Brissette & The Taxi Gang
The young Annette Brissette has a number of things going for her, not least of which is a voice that bears a striking resemblance, believe it or not, to that of Bob Marley. She’s also a fine songwriter and, on her debut album for RAS, has managed to hook up with Sly & Robbie; the result is a program of digitally slick but still rootswise modern reggae. Like a number of young reggae artists, Brissette has figured out how to maintain a delicate balance between a forward-looking sound and excessive slickness. Highlights include “Betrayed” and the groovy lovers rock of “Girl Is Only Human.”
RAS Records RASCD 3088 buy
o The Mighty Diamonds - Live In Tokyo
One of the finest and most long-lived of the great harmony trios of the 1970s, the Mighty Diamonds remain popular long after other groups of their generation have passed into obscurity. They are also one of the very few trios to have made a live album, and perhaps the only one to have recorded an album in Japan. “Live in Tokyo” finds the Diamonds in top form, with lead singer Donald “Tabby” Shaw at his honey-voiced best and the crowd pushing the singers and backing band to an unusual level of energy.
Overheat Records D22Y0303
o Sophia George - Latest Slang
Singer and deejay Sophia George deserves to be better known than she is. Fans of Sister Carol and Annette Brissette will recognize her approach, one which swings easily back and forth between singing and toasting. Unlike many singjays, she’s as good a singer as she is a chatter, and on “Latest Slang” she delivers lots of both. She’s supported by computer rhythms that manage to sound both traditional and up-to-the-minute at the same time.
Rhino Records RNCD 2004
o Big Youth - A Luta Continua
Big Youth may not have laid the foundation of reggae’s DJ tradition -- that honor is generally ascribed to U Roy -- but he did more than just about any other subsequent artist to build on that foundation, and he remains one of reggae’s most influential musicians. This album, released in the mid-1980s, finds him at the peak of his powers and starting to mellow just a bit; there are fewer falsetto shrieks, fewer off-the-wall pronouncements, but all of the originality and shrewed musicianship that made him famous is still in full effect. Unlike many of his colleagues, he is almost as good a singer as he is a chatter, and his delivery is frequently a winning combination of the two approaches. This is probably the best of the four albums he cut for the Heartbeat label.
Heartbeat Records CD 28 buy
o Freddie McGregor - Big Ship
This excellent album represents a match made in reggae heaven -- the sweet, rich vocals of Freddie McGregor and the hard, minimalist grooves of the Roots Radics (all performing under the watchful eye of producer Linval Thompson). Both parties were at the peak of their powers when this album was released, and the material is consistently excellent. “Peaceful Man” is an affecting expression of spiritual fidelity accompanied by a briliantly spare and subtly dubwise rhythm; “Don’t Play the Fool” is a minor-key masterpiece of romantic disappointment; “Get United” is a sufferer’s anthem that rolls along as slowly and unstoppably as an elephant charge. McGregor made albums in his youth that were almost this good, and later made disappointing forays into slick pop reggae. This one is the place to get to know him.
Shanachie Records 48008 buy
o Nasio - Revolution
The second effort from this exceptional young Dominican singer and songwriter caused a flurry of critical praise when it was released in 1999, and it remains one of the most exciting and satisfying roots albums of the last five years. Vocal comparisons to Bob Marley were inevitable, but the relatively derivative nature of his singing style does nothing to detract from the quality of his songs or of his singing itself. It’s also worth pointing out that the instrumental backing on this album is excellent; the musicians aren’t famous members of the Jamaican studio aristocracy, but sound like they ought to be. Highlights: the repatriation anthem “Trod a Ithiopia,” the praise song “Jah Glory.”
Aphelion APR003 buy
o Garnett Silk - It's Growing
When he died in a gas canister explosion at the age of 24, Garnett Silk joined the tragically large number of brilliant reggae musicians whose lives and careers have been cut short by either accident or murder (think of King Tubby, Prince Far I, Hugh Mundell). “It’s Growing” is widely considered his breakthrough album, an excellent set of Bobbie Digital rhythms buttressing a mixed program of cultural and lovers material, all of it delivered in Silk’s patented smooth-yet-powerful voice. The reggae community still laments the loss of Silk, who was generally thought of as the great hope for the future of roots reggae at the time of his death.
VP Records VPCD 1255 buy
o Lucky Dube - House Of Exile
It’s not completely inaccurate to accuse the South African reggae superstar Lucky Dube of having written about a hundred songs with one melody. The thing is, it’s such a great melody -- it generally starts up high and swoops downward in a huge, cathartic gesture, one that is completely unearned (no buildup, no postponement of release) and still utterly winning. There’s a certain effortlessness to his sound, and an elasticity of groove, that make his records pretty near irresistible. This is one of his best efforts, a fine collection of midtempo lovers and cultural tunes all characterized by the ridiculously satisfying singing and songwriting style that is Lucky Dube’s trademark.
Shanachie Records 43094 buy
o Third World - You've Got The Power
Some reggae purists turn up the nose at Third World, calling the group excessively pop-oriented. And frankly, they aren't always wrong. But there's no denying the importance of Third World, who at their peak enjoyed enormous international popularity. Besides, the no-nonsense rockers groove of “You’re Playing Us Too Close,” the Rasta anthem “Low Key Jammin’” (which sounds an awful lot like early Steel Pulse) and the dread warning of "Inna Time Like This” should leave no doubt that Third World can give up the rootswise stylee alongside the strictest old-school reggae artists when they want to. If you pass this one up in the name of tradition, you'll only have yourself to blame.
CBS/SONY Japan 35DP 36 buy
o Cocoa Tea - Can't Live So
The brilliantly understated singer Cocoa Tea came onto the reggae scene just as traditional dancehall was about to give way to the computer rhythms that became popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His early work for Heny “Junjo” Lawes is justly praised, but these Gussie Clarke-produced sides from 1994 are every bit as good, and benefit from a slightly backwards-looking aesthetic -- the rhythms are sharp and modern, but stay within the general confines of traditional reggae patterns. Cocoa Tea is at his gently powerful best on such winning fare as “May the Best Man Win,” the rocking “All Night Long” and a great cover of “Your Love Is Lifting Me Higher.”
Shanachie Records 45016 buy
o Foundation - Heart Feel It
This is a very fine set of rockers reggae from a band that deserves wider recognition. The band’s influences are both diverse and modern; on “Symptom and Sign” a soca flavor creeps in, and the group’s overall sound is digitally clean -- note especially the electronic percussion and synthetic horns and bass on “Lack of Wisdom” -- but their musical and lyrical style is deeply rooted in classic reggae rhythms and themes.
Mango CCD9837 buy
o Luciano Live
A modern reggae singer with an unabashedly spiritual orientation and an admirable ability to stand comfortably with one foot in the dancehall and one in the roots tradition, Luciano has emerged since the mid-1990s as one of reggae music’s most beloved figures. His studio albums have been excellent, but on the evidence of this very fine live set (recorded at London’s Brixton Academy in 1998), he’s at his best in front of an adoring audience. The backing band and supporting vocalists are all in top form here, and Luciano covers most of his biggest hits, including “Here I am Again Jah” and “Messenger” as well as a delivering a respectful version of Bob Marley’s “Crazy Baldheads.”
Xterminator/Vp Records VPCD 1602 buy
o Junior Byles - Curly Locks
One of reggae music’s tragic geniuses and one of its greatest vocalists, Junior Byles recorded many immortal sides while at the peak of his powers in the late 1970s. He had an effortlessly sweet voice and a sincerity of delivery that has never been matched and that was never compromised by bitterness or bathos. "Curly Locks" compiles some of Byles’ best work, a selection of 22 tracks recorded under the direction of Lee “Scratch” Perry. It includes, among other gems, several different takes of the title track, the yearning “When Will Better Come”, and what is perhaps the finest version of “Fever” ever recorded.
Heartbeat Records CD HB 208 oTop Pick buy
o Steel Pulse - True Democracy
To criticize this Steel Pulse album as being too slick or commercial-sounding is to miss the point: Handsworth Revolution and Tribute to the Martyrs were aberrations, even though they were the band’s first two albums. This one is where, with the help of the notoriously slick and commercial producer Karl Pitterson, they showed their true selves. The grooves manage to be both professional and visceral, the melodies are irresistible, and David Hinds finally gives in completely to his jazziest impulses. Somehow, despite all the modern flourishes, songs like “Leggo Beast” and “Chant a Psalm” manage to resonate with all the ancient power of the roughest roots reggae.
Elecktra/Asylum Records 9.60113-2 oTop Pick buy
o Peter Tosh - Wanted Dread & Alive
When Peter Tosh left the Wailers to pursue a solo career in the mid-1970s, he continued to develop an individual musical personality the outlines of which had already started to emerge during his tenure with that group -- he was a sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued, sometimes cynical commentator on racial politics and larger cultural and political issues as well, and a gifted, if not quite brilliant, songwriter. “Wanted Dread & Alive” picks up where his earlier EMI recordings left off, with a strong set of political and cultural songs (“Fools Die,” “That’s What They Will Do”) and even a loverman move (“Nothing But Love”). No reggae collection should be without at least one Peter Tosh album.
EMI Records CDP 7 916670 2 oTop Pick buy
o Max Romeo - Open The Iron Gate 1973-1977
Max Romeo is famous for two things: the licentiousness of his early work (his 1969 single “Wet Dream” remains infamous) and his subsequent work with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry at his Black Ark studio. “Open the Iron Gate 1973-1977” is essentially a reissue of “Revelation Time”, an album that consisted of singles recorded at various studios (including the Black Ark) during the early 1970s. As is typical of Romeo’s work during this period, the songs focus on messages of spiritual and cultural uplift. And as is typical of a Blood & Fire reissue, the program includes bonus tracks and dub versions. Along with Romeo's Black Ark classic “War in a Babylon,” this one should be considered an essential part of any roots reggae collection.
Blood & Fire BAFCD 027 buy
o Junior Murvin - Police And Thieves
Like Max Romeo’s “War in a Babylon”, Junior Murvin’s “Police & Thieves” doubles as an excellent introduction to the artistry of one of reggae’s finest singers and an equally fine introduction to the work of one of reggae’s most idiosyncratic and brilliant producers -- Lee “Scratch” Perry. Murvin has one of the most affecting falsetto voices in reggae, and when he brings it to bear on a program of hardcore roots-and-culture material like this, the effect is electric. Credit is also due to the Upsetters, Perry’s house band, who are at their best on this album. Highlights include the exquisite title track (later made famous in a cover version by the Clash), “Solomon” and “I Was Appointed.”
Mango 162-539 499-2 buy
o Prince Far I - Voice Of Thunder
In a world of reggae deejays whose voices and approaches seemed to fall into two or maybe three styles of delivery, Prince Far I was utterly distinctive. He preferred the term “chanting” to describe what he did (rather than “chatting” or “toasting”), and the term seems uniquely appropriate to his art: with his gravelly, stentorian voice, he delivered stern admonitions to Babylon and to his brethren alike, and his message didn’t vary much. Most of his records are excellent, but this one, with its dry, minimalist production style, muscular grooves and highly consistent song quality, is on of the best places to start.
Trojan Records CDTRL204 buy
o Lee "Scratch" Perry - Reggae Greats
Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark studio is a place cloaked in mystery and legend. To this day, no one is quite sure how Perry got such a big sound from his crappy four-track mixing board -- Perry credits the Extraterrestrial Squad for sending the extra twenty tracks his way, but not everyone buys that explanation. After several years of almost creepily brilliant music-making at the Black Ark, Perry burned it down. Luckily, much of that music is still in circulation, and ten tracks of it are presented on this fine collection, which features performances by such Black Ark fixtures as Max Romeo (“War in a Babylon”), Junior Murvin (“Police & Thieves”) and Perry himself (“Soul Fire,” “Roast Fish & Cornbread,” “Dreadlocks in Moonlight”). Let this one lead you deeper in the murky waters of Perry’s oeuvre.
Mango 9792
o Black Uhuru - Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
This was not Black Uhuru’s debut album (that was 1978’s Black Sounds of Freedom), but it was the first to showcase the unique trio configuration that would become its trademark. Although there were lots of roots-and-culture harmony trios on the reggae scene in the late 1970s, Black Uhuru was the first to include a woman (and an American woman, at that). Released as Showcase in Jamaica and as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in the U.S., this outstanding set is presented in “showcase” style, meaning that each track is followed seamlessly by a dub version. Standout tracks include the very dread “Leaving to Zion” and the even dreader “Plastic Smile.”
Heartbeat Records 617518 oTop Pick buy
o Gregory Isaacs - Night Nurse
Gregory Isaacs has one of the most distinctive voices in reggae. It’s not a conventionally attractive voice, but early in his career Isaacs figured out how to turn its thin, nasal quality to his advantage; his laconic, understated singing style earned him the title of Cool Ruler. While he is a very fine roots and culture singer when the mood strikes him, he’s known primarily for his gently pleading love songs, and Night Nurse is full of them. Isaacs was also, at the height of his career, one of the most prolific singers and songwriters on the reggae scene; there are scores of good albums to choose from, but Night Nurse is the place to start.
Mango 9721 buy
o Wailing Souls - Reggae Inna Firehouse
Not to be confused with the Greensleeves/Shanachie release “Firehouse Rock,” the title of this album refers to the Wailing Souls’ home neighborhood, the notorious Waterhouse section of Kingston (known to its inhabitants as Firehouse). The music is hard-edged roots reggae in the classic Wailing Souls style, featuring instrumental support by members of the Roots Radics and Revolutionaries bands and production by Delroy Wright. The Wailing Souls remain one of the most important and consistently rewarding harmony trios in reggae, and this is one of their finest releases.
Live & Learn CD 033 buy
o U Roy & Friends - Your Ace From Space
With its contributions from the Paragons, the Melodians, the Techniques, Alton Ellis and others, this looks on the surface like a various-artists collection. But what unites all the tracks is the presence of the great U Roy, who is generally considered to have perfected, if not originated, the art of toasting. His highly distinctive and much-imitated style is showcased on such classic tracks as “Words of Wisdom” and “Your Ace from Space,” as well as in combination with legendary singers on “Ain’t That Loving You” (with Alton Ellis), “Tom Drunk” (with Hopeton Lewis) and, inevitably, “Version Galore” (with the Melodians). It’s hard to pick a single must-have title from the U Roy catalog, but this one comes as close to a clear choice as there probably is.
Trojan Records CDTRL359 buy
o Bob Marley - Live!
If you had to pick just one Bob Marley album (and couldn’t cheat by selecting the Songs of Freedom box set or the Legend best-of), which one would it be? That’s a question you could argue over for a week, but his first live album is one clear candidate. Brilliant as his studio work was, there was something magical at work during this Lyceum gig in 1975. “No Woman, No Cry” is the track you hear most often, but just about every other song on the program works just as well. If you’re looking for a good introduction to Marley’s art, you couldn’t do much better than this.
Island Records 846203 buy oTop Pick
o Israel Vibration - Strength Of My Life
Israel Vibration is one of the most immediately recognizable of the reggae harmony trios that proliferated during the 1970s; actually, the group came to prominence in the 1980s, but its style is strictly patterned on the roots reggae trios of the previous decade. The three singers originally met in a home for polio victims, and part of their distinctive image is the striking figure that they cut onstage: three scrawny, ancient-looking men on crutches singing messages of spiritual hope in equally scrawny, ancient-sounding voices. Their singing is, frankly, something of an acquired taste, but once acquired it’s a hard one to let go of. This is one of many excellent albums they have recorded for the American RAS label.
RAS Records 3037 buy
o The Congos - Heart of the Congos
Originally released in 1977, Heart of the Congos stands not only as the premier accomplishment of a sadly underrated roots reggae ensemble, but also as one of the great triumphs of producer Lee “Scratch” Perry’s career. The dark, swampy sound that came only from Perry’s Black Ark studio is in full effect, and the Congos’ otherworldy vocal harmonies blend in perfectly. Heart of the Congos was reissued in 1996 by the Blood & Fire label, with a bonus disc of remixes and lavish packaging.
Blood & Fire BAFCD 009 buy oTop Pick
o UB40 - Signing Off
Yes, they’re the poster boys of pop reggae and have been for almost twenty years now. But not everyone knows that before they slid into pop-music slickness, Britain’s original multiracial reggae band put out an album of strictly roots material, an LP and 12” EP filled with scathing social and political commentary buttressed by dreamy, dubwise grooves. No, they weren’t virtuosos (legend has it that the band had to rerecord this entire album after they figured out how to tune their instruments), but they play well enough not to distract from either the messages or the music itself. And they cover “Strange Fruit,” which was courageous both politically and musically. If you haven’t heard this album, then you only think you know UB40.
Virgin 88261 buy
o Bunny Wailer - Roots Radics Rockers Reggae
There is a serious argument to be made that of the original three Wailers (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer) Bunny Wailer was actually the best singer. Whereas Marley tended to be possessed and controlled by his music and Tosh sometimes seemed almost contemptuous of it, Bunny had a rich, carefully controlled voice and a knack for timeless melody. If you have to pick a single Bunny Wailer album, it’s pretty much a toss-up between this one and the spectacular “Blackheart Man,” but “Roots Radics Rockers Reggae” is the more conventional of the two and therefore probably the best place to start. But don’t choose between them if you don’t have to -- get both.
Shanachie Records 43013 buy oTop Pick
o Cornell Campbell - I Shall Not Remove 1975-80
Cornell Campbell is blessed with one of the most attractive falsetto voices in reggae music. He was also blessed, in 1975, with an enormous hit, “The Gorgon,” which made him a superstar in Jamaica. The rhythm was derived from an old Derrick Morgan tune from the rock steady era, and Campbell managed to parlay its success into a couple of follow-up tunes on the same theme -- “The Gorgon Speaks” and “The Conquering Gorgon.” He later had an equally impressive hit single with the classic “Natty Dread in a Greenwich Town.” These and many other great songs are lovingly collected on this wonderful compilation, which, as is typical of Blood & Fire reissues, features extensive liner notes and beautiful packaging.
Blood & Fire BAFCD 030 buy oTop Pick
o Horace Andy - In The Light/Dub
One of reggae’s most distinctive and popular falsetto singers, Horace Andy was experiencing a long-deserved popular rebirth (due in part to his collaborations with the pioneering trip-hop band Massive Attack) when this reissue came out in the mid-1990s. It brings together the original “In the Light” album, first released on the obscure Hungry Town label, with a complementary set of dub versions mixed by Prince Jammy. This was one of the first releases by the highly respected Blood & Fire reissue label, and is generally considered one of its crowning achievements; a number of imitation Horace Andy compilation albums followed on other labels.
Blood & Fire BAFCD 006 buy oTop Pick
o The Gladiators - Bongo Red
You can’t really go wrong with any Gladiators album -- bandleader Albert Griffiths is one of reggae music’s most consistent lyricists and melodists, and his distinctive voice is consistently attractive. This album makes an excellent introduction to the band’s work, though: many of these tracks (most of them from the Studio One vaults) are previously unreleased versions or newly discovered mixes of old favorites, and there are also a couple of rare recordings from Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark studio. Any of the Gladiators’ Front Line recordings would serve just as well as an introduction to this band, but you’ll have much more luck finding this one in stores.
Heartbeat Records 617662 buy
o Aswad - New Chapter
The first generation of British reggae bands included several that went on to great international acclaim. Of those, Aswad has proven to be one of the most consistently successful in both financial and critical terms. Although, like most of their contemporaries, they mostly abandoned their roots-reggae style in favor of a slicker, more pop-oriented sound in later years, their pop material was largely of the highest quality, and their early work remains well worth seeking out. This one, cut for British CBS in 1982, is probably their finest moment, and the dubwise companion album (New Chapter in Dub, on Mango) is also a must-have.
Mango 539711 buy
o Sister Carol - Lyrically Potent
The matriarch of female reggae singers and DJs is Sister Carol, who relocated from Jamaica to New York in her teens but has continued to exert a tremendous influence over her sistren in the reggae community. Her recorded output has been relatively sparse; this is the best of Sister Carol’s several albums for the Heartbeat label. Highlights include her excellent singjay performances on “Natty Live Up” and the horticultural ode “Red Eye,” as well as the Rasta anthem “Mi Love the Father.” Sister Carol’s sweetness of spirit and her resolutely uplifting lyrical focus, along with her significant musical skills, make her one of the most beloved and respected figures in reggae.
Heartbeat Records 213 buy
o Linton Kwesi Johnson - Dread Beat an' Blood
The reggae subgenre known as “dub poetry” (the practice of reciting lyrics over an instrumental track, as distinct from the more rhythmically charged and spontaneous “toasting” or “chatting” deejay style) has never gained complete acceptance in the reggae world, in part because there just aren’t that many dub poets out there, and in part because only a minority of those have had much to say that was worth hearing. Linton Kwesi Johnson is the undisputed dean of the dub poets, and his records are almost always compelling. This one, along with Making History, is probably his best effort, and the reissue includes several fine dub versions in addition to the original program.
Virgin Frontline 7873172 buy
o Dennis Brown - Slow Down
It’s almost impossible to pick out a single best starting place for exploring the Dennis Brown oeuvre, which extends from his early days as a teenage singing star in the early 1970s, through his years of peak popularity later in the decade and through the 1980s and 1990s, a period of slightly waning popularity but still significant and influential work. This set of Prince Jammy-produced sides from 1985 is definitely one good place to start; it includes classic performances like “Africa We Want to Go” and “Joy in the Morning,” and features sharp but not overly slick production by Jammy, who was at his best during this period.
Greensleeves GREL CD 80 buy
o Culture - Two Sevens Clash
According to Rastafarian numerology, the year 1977 (when two sevens clash) was to have apocalyptic significance. The year came and went without too much incident (beyond the ongoing political violence that was becoming endemic in Jamaica at the time), but the album cut during this period by the harmony trio Culture was to have lasting significance indeed. It remains the one regularly singled out by the band’s fans as its watershed accomplishment, a dread document that, despite the band’s many subsequent achievements, has yet to be equalled. Babylonians should listen to “I’m Not Ashamed” and “Natty Dread Taking Over” and tremble.
Shanachie Records 44001 buy oTop Pick
o Burning Spear - Resistance
Winston Rodney (who, with the departure of his harmony singers years ago, is now the sole carrier of the Burning Spear moniker) has always been something of an acquired taste; a chanter more than a singer, his songs are generally long on mood and short on melody. Since the early 1990s his music has become a bit brighter in tone, but has maintained the generally dread character that has been his hallmark since his earliest work in the late 1960s. This is one of the best of his later albums; those who enjoy it should also seek out his earlier recordings, especially the “Marcus Garvey” and “Garvey’s Ghost” pairing that was released on Mango as “100th Anniversary” in the late 1980s.
Heartbeat Records CD 33 buy oTop Pick
o Johnny Clarke - Authorised Rockers
One of the sweetest-voiced reggae singers ever recorded, Johnnie Clarke made scores of brilliant singles with a variety of producers in the late 1970s. Some of the best were recorded under the supervision of the great Bunny “Striker” Lee, using the Revolutionaries band for backup. Authorised Rockers is actually a reissue compilation that includes the entirety of Clarke’s Rockers Time Now and the majority of Authorised Version, both recorded with Bunny Lee and originally released in 1976. Great covers, great originals, unstoppable grooves, King Tubby mixes. For roots and culture fans, it really doesn’t get much better than this.
Frontline buy
o Marcia Griffiths - Steppin
An alumna of the I-Threes, Bob Marley’s trio of female backing vocalists, Marcia Griffiths has achieved great critical acclaim for her subsequent solo albums. Her strong, gospel-inflected alto voice is always a joy to hear, and there is no better way to acquaint yourself with her artistry than with this exquisite album, which she cut in the late 1970s for producer Sonia Pottinger and on which she is accompanied by the Revolutionaries. The title track is one of the most insanely catchy reggae songs ever committed to tape, and her rendition of Marley’s “I’m Hurtin’ Inside” comes close to eclipsing the original. Absolutely essential.
Shanachie buy

Capsule reviews written by Rick Anderson, former guitarist and bass player with the almost-legendary Utah ska band Swim Herschel Swim. He reviews reggae and other musical genres for the All-Music Guide and the Reno News & Review, among other publications. He has contributed liner notes to reggae releases on the Music Club label, and is training his children to recognize the difference between rockers and one-drop rhythms. He lives in Sparks, Nevada and can be reached at rickand@unr.edu.
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