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Rasta Man Chant performed by Bob Marley(top) and Derek Trucks Band(bottom)

Posted by rooschrock on April 17, 2009

The original version of this song, was made famous and performed by Bob Marley and The Wailers, recorded in 1973 for the ‘Burnin’ album.  It was remade without lyrics by the Derek Trucks Band below.  It’s amazing how they can take an original reggae song and twist it to their style.

Personally, I like The Wailers original version, but what do you think?   


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Gregory Isaacs

Posted by rooschrock on April 17, 2009

gregory_isaacs-picGregory Isaacs, born 1951 in Kingston, Jamaica has been a Reggae Musician since his debut in 1968, with a duet with Winston Sinclair.  Isaacs is presently touring his sounds and will perform this summer at the Hollywood Bowl with Toots Hibbert among others.  Songwriter and performer for over 30 years and still going strong, Gregory Isaacs has released more than 500 albums during his spectacular career which spanned 5 decades.

By the late 1970s, Gregory Isaacs was one of the biggest reggae performers in the world, regularly touring the UK as well as the US, and was one of the top touring Jamaicans along with Bob Marley and Dennis Brown.

Isaac, nicknamed “Lonely Lover” and “Cool Ruler”, has been described, by the New York Times, as “the most exquisite vocalist in Reggae”.  His latest work was the release of his 2008 album Brand New Me, which Reggae Vibes had this to say: “Gregory is back, and how!!! ‘Brand New Me’ is a very suitable album title for the Cool Ruler’s new album.  He is back in a different style, more or less like we were used to from this great ‘lovers & roots’ artist”.

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Posted by rooschrock on April 17, 2009

shaggypicShaggy, born 1968 Orville Richard Burrell in Jamaica, was first well known by his hit, “Mr. Boombastic” in 1995, became the theme song for a Levi’s Jean Commercial.  Shaggy’s family relocated to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, New York.  He eventually moved to the town of Valley Stream and made his own recording studio.  “Mr. Boombastic” was inspired during Burrell’s time in Operation Desert Storm of the Gulf War, as a Field Artillery Cannon Crewman with 5th Battalion, 10th Marines.

Shaggy appeared on Kenny Dope’s album “The Unreleased Project” which is more hip hop than reggae. He worked together with producers such as Sting International, Don One (who was the one that cut his first track), Lloyd ‘Spiderman’ Campbell and Robert Livingston, during the 90’s.

“Oh Carolina” (shown below), was the ska hit originally done by The Folkes Brothers, was his dancehall remake that helped put Shaggy in the spotlight.

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Ben Harper

Posted by rooschrock on February 11, 2009

ben_harper-picBenjamin Chase Harper, was born in 1969 in California’s Pomona Valley, east of Los Angeles.  His grandparents owned a music store called the Folk Music Center and Museum, which had such patrons as, Taj Mahal, Leonard Cohen, and David Lindley.  While in his teens, Ben began playing slide guitar the way he heard Robert Johnson play, while everyone else was caught up in the Rock scene, Harper was playing blues from it’s roots.

From early on in his career, his music received more attention in over in Europe, than it did in the US(his home country). While he was a well-known and respected figure in the United States, his musical ability and grassroots appreciation have put alongside greats like Toots Hibert, Willie Nelson and among other featured singers covering Motown hits by Marvin Gaye in the classic 2002 documentary.

Besides over a dozen albums to date, Haper won 2 Grammys in 2005, for Best Traditional Soul Gopel Album and Best Pop Instrumental Performance.  In 2003, Rolling Stone(France) named Ben Harper Artist of the Year as well.

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Junior Murvin

Posted by rooschrock on February 11, 2009

junior-murvin-picMurvin Junior Smith, born in 1949 in Jamaica, is probably best kown for his work with Lee “Scratch” Perry, in 1976, on the classic single “Police and Thieves”.  Murvin was influenced as a child by singing along to Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine, Sam Cooke and, later on, Curtis Mayfield.

Living in the ghetto’s of Trenchtown with is aunt is where he made connections on the thriving reggae scene and worked on his singing technique.   He landed an audition for Lee “Scratch” Perry and Coxsone Dodd, but when Dodd told him to write another verse for the song he had performed, Murvin simply moved on.

Murvin’s career spanned over four decades and includes eight albums, the latest coming in 2007.

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