Lucky Dube – Last Show – San Francisco 2007

Lucky Dube- Show Me Respect

(Final show in San Francisco)
Story and photos by Lee Abel

You can not love somebody if you don’t respect them. So even if we don’t agree with certain things in life, if we respect each other, everything will be cool. ~ Lucky Dube

September 12, 2007 – San Francisco, CA – As Lucky Dube bounded on to the Ruby Skye stage, grabbed the mic, and began to sing Reggae Strong, the SanFrancisco crowd exploded with joy, swaying with arms raised high. This was the final stop in Lucky’s month long tour across America.

It has been four years since the African Reggae King toured the West Coast, and this time he came to share his new CD, Respect.  A finely crafted album, Respect is filled with songs that are poignant, cautionary , and hopeful. The music is rich and layered, classic Reggae with African soul. I recommend listening with headphones. With his always-tight band and trio of harmonious female singers, he alternated between such classics as House of Exile and Prisoner, to more recent grooves such as Ding Ding Licky Licky Licky Bong, and several songs off the new CD, including the title track Respect and Shut Up (if you cant say something good about somebody,just shut up.) Continue reading

Reggae Academy Announced in Kingston, JA

The 1st Annual REGGAE ACADEMY AWARDS is Announced

Recognizing Excellence in the Jamaican and International Reggae Music Communities
The first REGGAE ACADEMY AWARDS ceremony is set to unfold on Sunday, February 24, 2008, at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston, Jamaica.

The REGGAE ACADEMY was established through the initiative of the Recording Industry Association of Jamaica (RIAJam), an organization made up of more 30 music companies in Jamaica and internationally. Together with the Reggae Academy, they will create the necessary infrastructure for the planning and presentation of the REGGAE ACADEMY AWARDS, an annual recording industry award catering to the Jamaican and international Reggae music communities.

RIAJam Chairman Clevie Browne explains that the staging of a first class international music awards event for Reggae and Dancehall was identified as a priority activity by his board of directors and the organization when it was established four years ago.

REGGAE ACADEMY Chairman Lloyd Stanbury says that plans are at an advanced stage for the February event. Several top artists have already signed contracts to appear as performers and award presenters on the show. Continue reading

MPeggyQ – the Beginning of the Story – Watch deh Ride!

It Starts at the Beginning – Childhood, Europe, & entering the Reggae business – All Based around Music!

January 29, 2008 – Miami, Florida
Greetings and welcome to my blog. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since the first Reggae Report was printed. In 1983, Michael “Mikey Zappow” Williams and I decided it was time to spread the word–and music. So a one-page newsletter, filled with local and JA news and upcoming and past events, was hand-delivered to Reggae record shops and West Indian restaurants throughout Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Oh, we got the looks…Mikey-famous as the band leader and bass player of Zap Pow and writer and performer of “This is Reggae Music,” and me, a nice Italian girl from Ohio (via Miami and Europe) who worked for Marley’s manager Don Taylor and producer Joe Gibbs, fresh from directing a major 4-day Reggae festival with my good friend and mentor Clint O’Neil, armed with a tape recorder, camera, and tenacity — and people looked at us like we had two heads… well, actually we did… two smiling, happy heads working together for one goal, one objective — to tell the world about Reggae music. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself here. Next time, I’ll start at the beginning…the first time I ever heard the one drop, the bass thump, and the message music that touched my soul and heart forever. Irie!

March 14, 2008 – Miami, Florida
Growing up in a musical family, I was surrounded by music. I thought it was quite normal to have a live band playing in the dining room every week. My father, a musician since youth, had been playing music with his father and brothers for many years, until World War II separated them, and then everything changed. Fast forward to his return, getting married, having kids, working in the steel mill, but his love for music and performing never changed. He formed a band with some friends, playing guitar and mandolin, did some singing, and it really was the only time I would see him happy. I found it made me happy too. So I always hung around, watching, learning, and discovering that music was a source of happiness…not only for me, but for those guys who played, and for the people who listened and danced. I never had the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, but I knew I was a musician at heart…and soul. Continue reading

Ziggy – Miami’s Island Fest 2007

ZIGGY MARLEY – Preaching Love and Creating Reggae Magic

at “Island Fest ‘07” in Coconut Grove, Florida
Ziggy and his band, featuring Santa Davis on drums and Skully on percussions, joined another Jamaican legend, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, on the line-up for a free concert held at beautiful Peacock Park in the village of Coconut Grove. Thousand of fans showed up for the music, the food, the perfect weather, and the opportunity to see the young legend perform on his home turf.

Surrounded by family and friends, Ziggy appeared comfortable, relaxed, and confident, He deftly delivered a stirring string of his own hits, including “Black Cat,” “Love is My Religion,” “Look Who’s Dancing.” and ‘Dragonfly,” as well as such Bob Marley gems as “Forever Loving Jah,” “Rastaman Vibration,” “Could This Be Love,” and ‘Jammin’.” Continue reading

February Declared Reggae Month in Jamaica 2008

January 10, 2008 – Kingston, Jamaica

February Officially Proclaimed REGGAE MONTH in Jamaica

Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced recently, during a press briefing at Office of the Prime Minister, that February will officially be Reggae Month in the country of Jamaica. Furthermore, he instructed Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall to issue the proclamation declaring the long-awaited honor.

In an article in the Jamaica Gleaner, the prime minister is quoted saying that he lauded the briefing as one of the most pleasant tasks he has had to perform since taking office. He says Reggae has been a medium of economic advancement and Reggae Month can be used to draw world attention to our music. Golding added that Jamaica Trade and Invest will be promoting Brand Jamaica, and that Reggae music is central to this campaign.

The Gleaner article went on to quote Prime Minister Golding as saying “Reggae is so powerful; people across the world embrace it. It is the medium we have used to declare our position against oppression and suffering. It is a consistent declaration of love,” he continued to the delight of industry players in attendance, including Rita Marley, Dean Fraser, Lloyd Stanbury, Isaiah Laing, Clifton Dillon and Barbara Blake-Hanna. Continue reading

Lee Scratch Perry -The End of an American Dream Review 2008

LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY – THE END OF AN AMERICAN DREAM

Grammy-nominated CD on MEGAWAVE RECORDS

The recent Grammy-nominated CD, The End of an American Dream, is the first of three albums that represent the musical collaboration of legendary Jamaican maestro Lee Perry with English musician and songwriter Steve Marshall. Recorded between 2004 and 2006 at Lee’s studio in Einsiedeln (near Zurich) Switzerland; at the Marriott Hotel, Regent’s Park, London; and at Steve’s ‘State of Mind’ Studio in Somerset, England, the album contains 16 all new tracks featuring the vocals and lyrical genius of Lee Perry, set against a background of stylish contemporary beats, blues, soul, Reggae, drum and bass. This Grammy-nominated album is produced by John Saxon for State of Emergency Limited and released by Megawave Records, Michigan, USA. The songs are published by Newtown Sound Ltd. and Copyright Control.

The duo first met in London during the winter of 1985 when Lee took on Steve’s band ‘World Service’ as his backing band for what was to be his first UK tour since leaving Jamaica. Around this time Lee recorded the albums History, Mystery and Prophecy Time Boom: De Devil Dead and From the Secret Laboratory (produced by Adrian Sherwood), but behind the scenes Lee was also recording with and training his musical apprentice, Steve Marshall. After the ’85 tour, ‘World Service’ split, but Lee and Steve remained friends, with Steve chauffeuring Lee to sessions and meetings in and around London. They recorded a 7” single, “Lightning Strikes Twice/Feel No Way,” which went out on State of Emergency Limited in 1986, and a 12” “AD Vendetta/Masters Of The Universe” that was released on Lee’s own Arkwell label. There were a number of other recordings made, such as “Nursery Rhyme,” “Black Captain In Castle Greyskull,” “I Am God,” “Elephant Rock,” and “Gimme Back My Teddy Bear,” all featuring Lee Perry and Steve Marshall, and recorded at Elephant, Mark Angelo’s and Utopia Studios, but these remain firmly in the archive. At the end of the ‘80s, Lee moved to Switzerland and they were to lose contact with one another for nearly 15 years. Continue reading

Word Sound is Power…Read the Music!