As Bob Marley and the Wailers took their positions on stage for a 1980 Boston concert [at Hynes Auditorium,] they resembled a tribe of Biblical prophets carrying electric guitars. Red, gold, and green spotlights shined on the different members of the band, from the patriarchal percussionist Seeco Patterson to guitarist Al Anderson dressed in military fatigues.
The leader of the tribe walked to the center microphone in complete darkness and slowly began the song “Natural Mystic.” A spotlight finally landed on Bob Marley, whose long dreadlocks suggested a lion’s mane, and the mood for the show was fixed. Whether they knew it or not and whether they liked it or not, the Boston audience was being drawn into a spiritual experience.
I had the opportunity to interview Marley several hours after that September 1980 concert. It was to be one of his last. The Wailers [then] traveled to Providence, Rhode Island, for a show at Brown University and went from there to New York. *Following two extraordinary shows at Madison Square Gardens, where the Wailers finally performed before a predominantly African-American audience while outshining the Commodores, Marley collapsed while jogging in Central Park. The extent of his illness became apparent. The Wailers made their final appearance in Pittsburgh a few days later. Continue reading →
The passing of Garnet Silk is greatly mourned throughout the Reggae community. It is becoming a far too common occurrence for talented artists to needlessly lose their lives. In Silk’s case, the tragedy is compounded by his youthfulness, his vitality and the sense that he hadn’t yet come close to fulfilling his considerable potential.
It’s Growing was Silk’s first album released on VP Records in 1992, although he had been releasing records for at least a couple of years in Jamaica. It’s inconsistent, at best, with a handful of great songs, such as the title track, “Place in Your Heart,” “Commitment” and “I Am Vex.” Some of the other songs, however, sound forced or incomplete, and while Silk has one of the best voices, he hadn’t completely learned to control it or discipline it on It’s Growing. The session was produced by Bobby Digital. Continue reading →
Before we proceed, let’s get one thing straight, Garnet Silk was no Bob Marley. He didn’t profess to be Bob Marley, nor did he want to be. Despite the obvious similarities in religion and profession, the two possessed entirely different personalities.
The inevitable comparisons that have been made since Garnet burst onto the scene three years ago have been further fueled since his death a few months ago. Such a flattering likeness is evidence of the social impact the 28-year-old singer made in such a short period. In fact, he created a spark more famous names, like Ziggy Marley, failed to ignite among the masses.
Interviewed by M. Peggy Quattro
Written by Sara Gurgen
The talented ladies in Reggae have historically taken a back seat to the popularity of their numerous male counterparts. A handful of singers, and even fewer DJs, have held their ground and withstood the test of time.
Not to be outdone by the current crop of new lady DJs, the lovely and talented Lady G has consistently proved that she is not yet ready to be considered among the “dead and gone.” The sweet appearance of Lady G does not belie her steely interior, and the Spanish Town-born DJ has taken her shot at macho males with her latest sizzling releases. Lady G, who has seen a great response to her hit song “Me or the Gun,” a demand that her man chooses between which one “gives more fun,” is now coming in strong with her latest song “If I was a Gal.”
“You’ve got guys who call women gals; that’s not the right way for a man to style [call] a woman,” said Lady G following her terrific performance inside Ft. Lauderdale’s Reggae Cafe. Referring to her new song, she goes on to explain: “It’s not the name they should call the women. In some countries–like Trinidad–they call their women gal. It’s not the name that they call the women, it’s the way they express it.” Lady G is telling the men that if they want to get a woman’s attention, these days, that’s not the way to do it. Continue reading →
Judy Mowatt – Leading the Charge of Sisterhood 1996
By Howard Campbell. V14#5
A visitor to Judy Mowatt’s home is in for a fairly long walk before he or she reaches the spacious front porch which houses a piano. Mowatt’s not pounding the keys today; she’s enjoying some peace and quiet at the back of the home near the hills of St. Andrew, Jamaica, not too far away from where she was born in the small village of Gordon Town.
An admitted lover of the soil, Mowatt’s cozy back room hideaway is surrounded by a small farm of sugarcane and bananas. Gospel music wafts through the air as she appears, barefoot and bareheaded, her locks complimenting her African-style blouse. A photo of Emperor Haile Selassie greets you upon entering, with another postcard-sized photo of the Wailers, circa the Uprising album, occupying one of the shelves of a nearby cabinet.
Just over ten years ago, June Carol Lodge (JC to her fans) burst onto the local and international music scene. For someone who had never even considered singing as a career, her entry into the music business seemed like something out of a fairy tale.
After a chance meeting with “Allah” of Chalice fame, she got an audition with top producer Joe Gibbs who liked her voice. JC recorded a cover version of Charley Pride’s “Someone Loves You Honey” and the record went straight to the top of the Jamaican charts.
The success story didn’t end there. “Honey” took off in a big way in Europe, racing into the top ten charts in Germany and Belgium and going to Number One in Holland. The LP of the same name also went to Number One. JC was able to tour extensively in the wake of her chart success, both in Europe and North America. Continue reading →
On Thursday, October 9, 1986, Rita Marley, member of the I-Three; [and] Ziggy, Cedella, and Steve Marley of the Melody Makers, hosted a press conference at their Marcus Garvey Drive head office to review their successful “Hey World” tour and discuss plans for the future.
The tour, which featured the Melody Makers, the I-Three, Nadine Sutherland, and the 809 Band, covered some 22 North American cities with a unique blend of Reggae tradition, experience and youth they will not forget for a long time to come.
One newspaper review, in fact, said that “he (Ziggy) and three acts from the Tuff Gong label… carried the people with them on a journey through the Reggae world, which the elder Marley carved for his own.” Continue reading →