With the release of “Mind Control,” the debut chart-topping CD from the second son of Reggae’s original lion, Stephen Marley raises the bar and sets the standard for the future of Reggae music. Not bothered by the inevitable comparisons of looks and sound to his famous father, Stephen is honored by the resemblance and proud to deliver the same message of love, unity, and awareness that made Bob Marley a household name.
Personally, this is one CD I cannot listen to enough. From first hearing the title track, you know that this is going to be a breakthrough album. Each song that follows is a musical journey that permits the listener to become intimate with its creator. Stephen is fearless in displaying his political and social consciousness, as well as exposing a personal vulnerability seldom witnessed in Reggae music. Continue reading →
CAPLETON – THE PROPHET ‘PON “TOUR”
by Patricia Meschino
The imposing stage at Jamworld, St. Catherine, Jamaica, the largest open air entertainment center in the Caribbean and occasional home of Sting and former home of Reggae Sunsplash, is a challenge for any musical artist. When an entertainer fails to meet audience expectations there, the repercussions are greatly magnified; but when an artist delivers spectacularly, the effects seem to reverberate all the way to the island’s north coast!
While Sunsplash ’94 was, as a whole, not as successful as previous years, the five-day event nonetheless produced some unforgettable musical moments that are still being talked about. On Dancehall Night, the performance most “Splashers” are still raving about came from Capleton.
Miami’s “Bad Boys” Nominated for ’94 Grammy
by Sara Gurgen
They won the Grammy for best 1993 Reggae album, and now Inner Circle–Miami’s world famous, hard-working “Bad Boys” of Reggae–have been nominated for the 1994 Grammy with their latest Big Beat/Atlantic release, Reggae Dancer.
“It’s doing excellent, man, everywhere in the world; and when I mean excellent, I mean excellent,” said band leader and rhythm guitarist, Roger Lewis, in a recent Miami interview during a brief respite from Inner Circle’s hectic touring schedule. “It is one of the biggest selling foreign albums in Japan. Over 300,000 albums [have sold] in Japan [as of Dec. 21]. Hundreds of thousands in Mexico. In Brazil, in Europe–very well. In America, it’s not doing too bad. I think we made it up to about 200,000 copies.”
One of the most satisfying cuts on Canadian DJ Snow’s new release, Murder Love, is a tale of his love affair with Reggae music called “Dream.” Here Snow reminisces about his days in Toronto’s Allenbury housing project, where he first became acquainted with Reggae through the friendships formed with the many Jamaicans who had moved into his area: Listen Shabba Ranks playing faintly from the speaker/I would eat mi curry chicken, that’s my favorite supper/If you think mi joke or lie, gwaan ask me mother/I would living on the island sweet, sweet Jamaica/Fish with Coco Tea down in the river/Hanging at the ghetto with me boy they call Ninja/No, but it’s only a dream.Continue reading →
Pato Banton and I are sitting atop the roof of the club where he is scheduled to perform in a few hours. Rather than conduct our interview in a stuffy tour bus or shout over the sound check taking place below, he obliges as I lead him through a cluttered storage room and up a make-shift ladder better suited for an acrobat than one of the most recognized names in Reggae. Below us, the seven members of his band, The Reggae Revolution, are tuning up and, one by one, joining in on a smoldering Dub of “Satta Amassagana.” We are watching a beautiful, and especially long, Santa Barbara sunset as the moon climbs high over the Pacific Ocean a few blocks away. He is nearing the end of an extensive three-month tour and looks forward to spending some time at home with his wife and two children, who are back in England. A few weeks away from his 33rd birthday, he seems as energetic and upful as ever.
Energetic and upful seem to define Pato Banton. He is like a constant whirlwind of touring and recording. As we sat down to talk, he is finishing up yet another North America tour, promoting a greatest hits package called Collections for long-time label, I.R.S. Records, and anticipating the worldwide release of the video for the album’s first song, “Baby Come Back” (a duet with bredren Robin and Ali Campbell of UB40).
“In this great future, you can’t forget your past … so dry your tears I say…” (No Woman No Cry)
Bob Marley: The Legend Lives On
A Conversation with his Mother… Cedella Booker
By M. Peggy Quattro
(RR Publisher MPQ shares her 1st interview with Ms B, at her home, in 1984)
(A link to a portion of the interview audio is below!)
Walking around the grounds surrounding the great house in southwest Miami, you sense the peace and comfort Bob found there. MOTHER B, looking radiant and youthful following a loss of 60 odd pounds, cheerfully discusses her own interesting part in this lingering legend.
I listen attentively as MOTHER B proudly points to her growing garden explaining what is there… “there’s calaloo and sugar cane, a yam hill and pumpkin patch.” As she speaks you detect the knowledge, wisdom and love this woman has for the growing of food. And so it should be . . . as the daughter of a well-respected and gentle farmer, Mrs. B grew to learn and love planting and farming. Born and raised in St. Ann’s, a rural [Jamaican] parish, a youthful Cedella worked hard with her brothers and sisters in the field high up in the village of Rhoden Hall (Nine Mile). This is where BOB was born February 6, 1945, and it was at some point a few years later the two of them packed off for a new life “to town” (Kingston). Continue reading →
Old Pirates, Yes They Rob I…
(Reggae Report V5#3 1987 – Part 1 of 3 Estate Stories)
by M. Peggy Quattro
Since the departure of maestro Bob Marley in May 1981, Reggae industry personnel continue to grope for stability in a rocky music business world.
As the positiveness and righteousness of the prophet’s message become universally accepted, Brother Bob’s own personal estate and the effects have recently come under serious discrepancy.
The sordid details begin as far back as that day, May 11th, when Bob Marley’s earthly career climaxed at Miami’s Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. It was approximately 11am when manager Don Taylor received a call from Rita Marley instructing him to report to Cedars Hospital immediately. It was there he met Bob’s mother, Cedella Booker, who had devotedly been with her son to the very end. Continue reading →