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 →
“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 Marley 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 →
No doubt, Maxi Priest is one of the hardest and longest-working men in the Reggae biz. In town to perform for the inaugural ONE Caribbean Fest, and, following an exclusive Meet, Greet, and Eat fan luncheon at Miami’s HOT 105 to promote his Easy to Love CD, the supercharged singer sat down inside the Miramar offices of VP Records for a long overdue catch-up interview.
Our connection goes way back. Maxi Priest has been featured on no less than five Reggae Report magazine covers, and from 1985 to 1998, he was featured, reviewed, interviewed, or mentioned in innumerable issues. In fact, since storming the music scene from his South London base in 1985, Maxi Priest has not stopped writing, recording, performing, promoting, producing, or rockin’ n’ rollin’, all while circling the globe . Continue reading →
San Francisco, CA – South Africa-based Nkulee Dube delighted Californians in Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Berkeley during July, on what was her first U.S. tour. She was ably supported by her own wonderful band. Many who came to see the 26-year-old singer/songwriter were curious about the great Lucky Dube’s daughter. She did not disappoint.
Nkulee possess a strong voice with a natural beautiful melodic tone. She has managed to fuse ethno-soul and jazz with ethno-ragga in a true African stylee. She’s charismatic and joyous, with a command of the stage far beyond her age and experience. Like her father, Nkulee danced with members of the band. But, unlike Lucky, she also invited the audience on stage to show off their own moves. Continue reading →
In Tribute to a Legend – Lucky Philip Dube – Aug. 3 1964 – Oct. 18 2007
This article first appeared in Reggae Report, V11#6 1993
Lucky Dube… A Natural Man
By M. Peggy Quattro
Few individuals are naturally blessed with the predestined qualities of talent, wit, and a confident disposition. One such fortunate recipient is 29-year-old Lucky Dube, the remarkable South African singer/songwriter, who is presently dispensing his own musical blessings around the globe.
You are among the unlucky if you missed Lucky Dube and his mega band, Slaves, on their recent two month tour of the USA. The incredible show, which highlights Lucky’s dynamic vocals, capable of soaring three octaves, Zulu dancing from Dube, the sonorous back-up singers and stinging brass section, and infectious authentic African-Reggae rhythms, was presented in 35 cities, with venues ranging from small nightclubs to major summer festivals. Included was a free show held on a beautiful July day at Brooklyn’s Metro Tech Commons, sponsored by the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The moving response to the group’s performance was indicative of the overall reaction received wherever this talented troupe of performers set down. At the end of August, the tour moves on to Europe where they will be opening act in a series of shows for international pop star Peter Gabriel. A two-week break in their hometown of Johannesburg is followed by a concert in Capetown, then off to finish the year in Australia, New Caledonia, Japan, and France.
Considered a superstar in South Africa, Dube, who neither smokes nor drinks, modestly credits his fans for this stardom. Continue reading →
As a tribute to the genius life of South-African legend Lucky Dube, Rykodisc has released the two-disc Retrospective. This ‘digipack’ contains a 13-song disc featuring songs never before released outside of South Africa, a bonus DVD featuring the 90-minute Lucky Dube Live in Concert, as well as five music videos never released in the U.S. The album is curated by noted world music figure Tom Schnabel, a KCRW radio host based in Los Angeles, CA.
Lucky Dube was callously shot and killed during an alleged carjacking on October 18, 2007, in a Johannesburg suburb. The inspiring career of the 43-year-old national hero ended in its prime, followed by a profound sadness in the African nation that was felt around the world. Continue reading →
Alton Ellis: Godfather of Rocksteady -The Loss of a Legend
(9/01/40 – 10/10/08)
By M. Peggy Quattro
Oct. 12, 2008 – London, UK – The music world bid a fond farewell to Alton Nehemiah Ellis, legendary singer and songwriter, who peacefully passed away October 11, 2008, inside London’s Hammersmith Hospital, after a year-long battle with lymphatic cancer. Born in Kingston and raised in the Trenchtown area, Alton attended Ebenezer School and Boys’ Town School, where he excelled in music, piano, cricket, table tennis, and boxing. It is known that Alton was a skilled and talented dancer, often winning local dance contests. However, when he began performing at school concerts, his interest and passion turned to singing.
The smooth and silky voiced Ellis began his singing career in the 1950s, forming Alton & Eddie with partner Eddie Perkins. Soon after Perkins left for a solo career, Ellis moved to the Studio One label in the early 60s. Unhappy there, Alton then took his talent to Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle, where he formed a backup vocal trio called The Flames. His first solo hit was “Dance Crasher,” followed by the first Rocksteady single, ‘Get Ready – Rock Steady.” The story is that when a bassist did not show up for a recording session, master keyboardist Jackie Mittoo played the bass part himself. Unable to keep up with the quick ska beat, Mittoo slowed down the tempo, resulting in a new rhythm that allowed Alton to stretch his voice more – and the Rocksteady era was born.
Alton continued to wow Jamaican fans with the new sound, releasing such Rocksteady standards as “Cry Tough,” “Willow Tree,” and his smash hit, “Girl I’ve Got a Date.” During the late 1960s, Alton recorded “Remember That Sunday” with the great Phyllis Dillon, as well as several singles and albums with his talented sister, Hortense Ellis, including the well-known Alton & Hortense Ellis. (Continue reading to see the interviews and articles in past Reggae Report Magazines!)