|volume 5 * issue 7 * May 2001|
THE LOSS OF THE "ORIGINAL ROOTS DAWTA" -Reggae's "Original Roots Dawta," Olive "Senya" Grant, was killed on the morning of April 19th in Jamaica. Senya was mentored by Aston "Familyman" Barrett when she was only in her mid-teens, releasing her first song in 1974 with "Oh Jah Come" and an early version of "Children Of The Ghetto." Senya also recorded under the name "Ta-Teasha Love" for songs like "Roots Man" and the before mentioned "Oh Jah Come." She was right alongside The Wailers in the late 1970s, up until the 1990s, when she was the leader of the backing singers for The Wailers Band on their continuous tours of the world. On the 1999 release of Aston "Familyman" Barrett's "Cobra Style" album on the Heartbeat records label, two of the most well-known Senya songs are included, "Children Of The Ghetto" and "Natural Woman."
Senya was active in charity and community events in Jamaica and was not only involved in reggae in front of the scenes, but worked behind the scenes for many years for the Reggae Sunsplash organization. She not only had songs produced by Familyman Barrett, but also Clive Chin and Jimmy Cliff. Special thanks to Covington at Mr. Big Stuff Enterprise for sending along this information about a sad loss to the world of reggae.
You can find out more information about Senya's life and musical career on her official website,
which includes a discography, biography, and much more. For more
information on how to contact or assist Senya's family, you can call
(949) 366-1814. She will be greatly missed!
KY-MANI'S TRIUMPHANT RETURN -Arguably the most talented and original child of Bob Marley, Ky-mani Marley, is about to release a brand new CD. The album, "Many More Roads" will be released on Artists Only! Records on May 29th, and will feature 12 tracks in all. The press release announcing the album brilliantly states the Ky-mani's newest album, "takes fans on a journey through Ky-mani's joy, heartbreak, political philosophies, and displays his diverse musical talent." Here is the tracklist and cover for "Many More Roads":
|1. Who We Are|
2. Many More Roads
3. Heart Of A Lion
6. Love In The Morning
8. Valley Of Decision
9. Giving I A Fight
10. In A De Dance
12. Haile I
The album is produced by Jah Mike for Reggae Vibes Productions, with help from producer Clifton "Specialist" Dillon. "Many More Roads" will be available worldwide in June, and seems to better capture the sound that fans have loved at Ky-mani's live shows. You can hear sound clips from the album at the Jammin' Reggae Archives, and pre-order it at most online stores
this album does not excite you enough, Ky-mani will be touring Europe
throughout May, and he will be touring the U.S. beginning in June, and
you can see the itinerary in the "2001 tour" section! Ky-mani will also
be the star in two upcoming movies, Shottas and One Love.
In "Shottas," Ky-mani is the lead character Bigs, and acts alongside
the likes of Wyclef Jean, boxer Lennox Lewis, Spragga Benz, among
others, and is due to hit theaters this summer. "One Love" starts
shooting in June, and is a spin on the Romeo and Juliet story. You can
find more information about "Many More Roads" and Artists Only! Records at their official website.
PETER TOSH'S ACOUSTIC SIDE -The title for the forthcoming Peter Tosh acoustic/interview album has been chosen, and the winner is "I Am That I Am." According to Roger Steffens, the album will be released in August on the Intel-Diplo label and will feature 15 interview segments, as well as 13 acoustic songs. The interview segments collect material from such interview locations as Oregon and Vienna, showing "Peter's militant and sensitive sides."
One of the many treasures contained on the disc is Peter doing an acoustic version of Richie Havens' "Handsome Johnny," which was recorded by Tosh for Dermot Hussey's radio show in the 1970s. Simply Tosh, simply crucial!
For those of you anxiously awaiting the Peter Tosh "Live And Dangerous: Boston 1976"
album on Legacy records, you will have to wait a little longer for its
release. From what we understand, the disc will now be released in
July, and not on May 22nd.
THE WAILERS BAND'S RETURN TO CANADA -The Wailers Band recently played some select dates in Canada, their first in several years. Larry Koury was in attendance at the band's April 24th show in Montreal, and was generous enough to pass along a review, including his feelings on the show. Many thanks to Larry for taking the time!
The Wailers Band - April 24th, 2001
by Larry Koury
Just the idea of seeing the Wailers Band again after a three year wait in purgatory makes it something between difficult and impossible to be objective, but then again who cares. The show almost went by unnoticed because it was only posted less than 10 days before the actual concert. But ten days of underground talk was all it took to fill a small show bar with over 600 people anxiously anticipating the arrival of most likely their favorite band.
The opening act was Yelen, an African roots/reggae/ artist who successfully managed to pull from many different styles, sounds and rhythms. Several very talented guitarists, a bass and drum duo that was powerful and present at precisely the right moments, all carefully led by a charismatic and engaging singer who was clearly happy to be performing to a crowd that was appreciative. No one should be surprised to hear more and more about Yelen. If they are anywhere near you, make the trip to see them. You will not be disappointed, nor was anyone at their show.
At about 11:15pm, once Yelen had cleared his band and equipment off the stage, the tension in the crowd had started to rise. Not a lot seemed to be happening, and a rather frantic group of stage hands looked uncomfortably nervous. From where I was seated on a speaker travel case, a vaguely familiar figure began tuning a bass, and then 2 guitars, and then removed what looked like a Fender Twin Reverb from a travel case. As I approached, it was Al Anderson himself who was setting up his own equipment, between pulls on a few frosty Heineken's . It was all making sense again, because this is exactly what the Wailers Band is all about. Legendary musicians playing legendary music to people who would rather be no place else in the world at precisely that moment. Another 15 or 20 minutes of sound checks went by when another figure discreetly appeared on stage, that of Aston Barrett. Then another, then another. No exploding mirror balls, no pyrotechnics, no pretense. A quietly assembled stage full of some of the worlds most important and talented musicians "here for your viewing pleasure" That simple, that easy. (They all climbed in through the stairs of the fire escape!)
Within minutes they were carefully performing almost all of their most important works with the enthusiasm that belongs only to the Wailers. They were all tight, right on time, paying a lot of attention to each other, making sure they were performing at the level they expected of each other, for the people in front of them. Another league. Period.
It never ceases to amaze how Aston Barrett in his own invisible way sets the mood for almost every song they play. His ultra low frequency wavelength seems to permeate everything, and while it is hard to hear in the conventional sense, what he and their drummer provide, allows everything else to be layered above it in a clear and present way. This is what shows up the talent of Al Anderson, so easily recognized, and recognized it was. As an underachieving guitarist myself, it is mindblowing to experience the depth of this guys talent, playing off the other band members and taking the music to a whole new level. And he does this not because effects, volume, or distortion, but simply by playing the right music at the right time, no more no less. And it is done with the knowledge of music that escapes most popular musicians for their whole careers.
The only minor disappointment was their singer, and this was probably due to the fact that he had the good fortune or misfortune (depending on your perspective) of being "the lead singer for the Wailers". Hard act to follow, harder still to keep up with. The singer they toured with a few years back seemed a little more suited to the task, but he still managed to perform well and true to the original music.
By the end of the show the crowd was fully mesmerized with the music and the performance, and its importance. While Montreal is primarily a French speaking city, you would never have guessed that on that warm Thursday evening with the number of people singing out loud with each song. Note to the Wailers: We can't wait three more years for the next time......
GROW CLOSER TOGETHER -If you have been a longtime reader of this website, then you probably remember that we used to have an online radio show called "Hallelujah Time." That was then, but we now have a brand new show, as part of the amazing Antenna Internet Radio. The new show is called "Grow Closer Together," in homage to Curtis Mayfield and his uniting song. We play everything from reggae to funk, rhythm & blues to mambo, Africafunk to ska, with everything in between.
Antenna Internet Radio was recently ranked by both Details and Forbes magazines, as one of the top internet radio stations on the net. There will be a new Grow Closer Together show every Monday night, but you can listen to the show anytime. As a companion to the one-hour show, you can also read notes for the music played and the playlist as well. Be sure to check it out, and let us know what you think about it, as we bring you the reggae, the roots of reggae and beyond!
THE REISSUE PROJECT CONTINUES -The next installment in the very lengthy Bob Marley & The Wailers' reissue project will be released on May 22nd, with "One Love: The Very Best Of Bob Marley & The Wailers" on UNI/UTV. The disc is a kind of sampler for Marley's music, with the bonus track of "I Know A Place" and will be marketed on television in the form of short infomercials.
Here is a tracklisting for the disc, courtesy of Sean Roper:
|1. Stir It Up |
2. Get Up, Stand Up
3. I Shot The Sheriff
4. Lively Up Yourself
5. No Woman, No Cry
6. Roots, Rock, Reggae
9. Waiting In Vain
10. Three Little Birds
11. Turn Your Lights Down Low
12. One Love / People Get Ready
13. Is This Love
14. Sun Is Shining
15. So Much Trouble In The World
16. Could You Be Loved
17. Redemption Song (band version)
18. Buffalo Soldier
19. Iron Lion Zion
20. I Know A Place
The cover of the album comes from a snapshot of the actual infomercial that we saw. As part of the package, a five-track bonus disc of Damian Marley's new album is also included. According to the commercial, this "One Love" album features two songs "released for the first time in the USA," which are "Redemption Song (Band Version)" and "I Know A Place."
"Redemption Song (Band Version)" was released in 1995 on the "Easy
Skanking" CD single, which also made available "All Day All Night." "I
Know A Place" which was produced by Lee Perry, was recently released as
a four-track CD single on Ascension Records, along with its dub and the
vocal and dub versions of "Who Colt The Game." You can expect to pay
close to $20 for the new disc and will be available in music stores as
EXPERIENCE JAMAICAN MUSIC -There will be a new reggae exhibit as part of the Experience Music Project (EMP), based out of Seattle, Washington, starting June 8th. The exhibit, titled "Island Revolution: Jamaican Rhythm from Ska to Reggae, 1956-1981" will explore Jamaican music and its vast influence on the rest of the world. Among the many featured artists include the Skatalites, Jimmy Cliff, King Tubby, Augustus Pablo, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and of course The Wailers with focuses on Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.
exhibit will touch on all the major Jamaican music genres, including
rocksteady, ska, reggae, dub and much more. Among the featured items
will be photos, recordings, artifacts, and films. The curators have
spent the last three years collecting the items that will be displayed.
You can read more about the exhibit on the Platform.net website, and you can find more information about EMP and its history, by visiting its website.
THE MELODY MAKERS COME ALIVE -If you are a fan of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, then you will not want to miss the May 29th release of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers: Live! on DVD. The disc will feature live video footage from 17 songs, including "Rainbow Country," "Small Axe," "Africa Unite," "Jammin'," "Could You Be Loved," and "Free Like We Want 2 B." There will also be rehearsal footage and a complete discography for the band.
The DVD will run just under two hours, and will be released by Image Entertainment, the same company who put out the DVD version of Classic Albums: 'Catch A Fire' awhile back. If you are not sold yet on the DVD, then here is a section from the disc's description, "Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers: Live! is the absolute best live performance of the Grammy-winning reggae artists, an incomparable positive vibration of the musical ambassadors of Marley Magic."
Here is the songlisting for the DVD:
|1. Brothers and Sisters|
2. Jah Bless
3. Rainbow Country
4. Black My Story
5. One Good Spliff
7. Small Axe
8. What's True
9. Free Like We Want 2 B
10. Africa Unite
12. Higher Vibration
14. Born To Be Lively
15. Let Jah Will Be Done
16. Could You Be Loved
bonus: Tomorrow People
MOTOWN A REGGAE LABEL? -It looks as if Damian and Stephen Marley will be releasing albums on the legendary Motown records label, and to help promote these two artists and their albums, Motown has launched websites for each. Both sites are currently under construction, but you can leave your contact information so that when the pages are updated, you will be notified. The sites are located at www.damianmarleymusic.com and www.stephenmarleymusic.com. Damian's upcoming "Half-Way Tree" album will be released on Motown sometime in the summer.
is of course the former label to some of the finest in soul music
throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, but is now part of the Universal
Music Company, which also owns Island Records. Over the recent years,
Motown has been branching out and has been releasing everything from
hip-hop to R&B, and now reggae music. You can find out more
information about Damian's new album at Blackworldradio.com, including reading about his duet with the reggae influenced female singer India.Arie on his upcoming album.
(return to this month's features)
NEW RELEASES -
The upcoming release of the "Breathing Fire" CD on Blue Moon Records based out of the United Kingdom, features a live concert of some of the biggest names in not only reggae, but other genres as well. The disc was recorded in Fort Charles, Jamaica in 1988, as part of "The All-Star Reggae Session," which was originally aired and subsequently released on video, by the cable channel HBO. If you do not already own the video, this disc will surely please any fan! Here is the tracklisting:
The backing bands include the 809 Band, Solomonic All-Stars, Dallol and Oneness, and features the likes of Tyrone Downie and Stephen "Cat" Coore. "Breathing Fire" will hit stores on May 8th.
NICE UP THE DANCE
If extended Jamaican discomixes are your thing, then you will want to pick up the recently released "Nice Up The Dance - The Best Studio One Discomixes" on Heartbeat Records. The album features only 8 tracks, but each song clocks in at over 7 minutes. Here is the tracklisting:
Reggae singer Izrah Williams, originally from St. Lucia, but now based out of Europe, has released a fantastic album of lover's reggae, titled "Izrah," on Funbox Records and distributed by High Times Records. The album's musicians include the likes of Earl "Chinna" Smith, Wilburn "Squidly" Cole, Franklyn "Bubbler" Waul, all of whom have lengthy careers in the reggae business, and currently record and tour with Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers. Earl "Chinna" Smith also co-produced the album along with Izrah, and the album was mixed by engineer Errol Brown at Tuff Gong International in Jamaica.
Other guests on the album include Mutabaruka, Bounty Hunter, Tyrone Downie, Cat Coore, among others. Izrah's voice is in top-form on the album, and if you enjoy reggae with a great singer and original songwriting, you will definitely want to pick up Izrah Williams' "Izrah." You will also be able to see Izrah Williams as part of the International World Music Festival, coming near you soon. You can find more information about Izrah Williams, at the IWMF website.
Putumayo Records, one of the leaders in world music, will release on May 8th, a collection of some of the finest Jamaican artists, on a disc simply titled "Jamaica." Peter Tosh's "Mystery Babylon" is included, as are artists like Israel Vibration, Ras Michael, Toots & The Maytals, Culture, Augustus Pablo, and many other legends. Probably the most special feature about this disc is the inclusion of Joe Higgs, and his incredible "Upside Down." You can find more information about the disc and Putumayo at their official website, and can order "Jamaica" at CDnow.com.
REGGAE EXPLOSION: THE STORY OF JAMAICAN MUSIC
Authors Chris Salewicz and Adrian Boot have released Reggae Explosion: The Story Of Jamaican Music, which documents reggae and its rich history. The 256-page hardcover book, published by Harry N Abrams, includes more than 400 illustrations, and features an introduction by Chris Blackwell. According to the press release, the authors of Reggae Explosion, "tell the stories behind the distinct sound and capture the contrasts that typify its birthplace: the poverty, societal strife, deep spiritualism, and energy of Jamaica. Culled from the world's most comprehensive collection of reggae memorabilia, hundreds of images-including album and poster art, portraits of such greats as Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, and concert stills-document the past 50 years of ska and dub, dancehall, even drum 'n' bass." You should be able to find Reggae Explosion at better bookstores everywhere.
STEVEN SEAGAL'S REGGAE FEELING
Fans of actor Steven Seagal will be excited by the news that he is currently finishing up his very own solo reggae album. The actor in such films as Marked For Death and Above The Law, Seagal has recruited none other than Wyclef Jean to produce the effort. Among the songs on the album, is a cover of Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Redemption Song." No word yet as to when the album will drop, but we will keep you posted.
(return to this month's features)
WAILERS SHORTS -There are two upcoming U.S. reggae festivals that should greatly entertain. The Twelfth Annual New England Reggae Festival, takes place on July 28th & 29th at the Stepping Stone Ranch in Escoheag, Rhode Island. The line-up includes The Mighty Diamonds, Third World, Yellowman, and Sister Carol, among others. You can find more information and details about the festival at either newenglandreggae.com or lioneye.com. Another reggae festival of special interest is the annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival which takes place on June 22nd, 23rd, and 24th in California. Some of the artists scheduled to perform are Linval Thompson, Junior Murvin, The Ethiopians, Don Carlos, The Pioneers, Carlton & The Shoes, Gregory Issacs, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and countless others. You can find a full list of performers and more information about the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival at www.snwmf.com.
(return to this month's features)
WailersNet -Any fan of reggae should know the names of trombonist Vin Gordon and saxophonist Deadly Headly Bennett, or at least be able to recognize these two living legends' recordings. If you are not too familiar with these two, or want to refresh your memory, head over to the Ireggae.com website to listen to nearly two hours of an interview both Vin Gordon (aka Don Drummond Jr.) and Deadly Headly Bennett did live on the 400 Years radio program in July of 2000. You can listen to the wide range of historic songs the two have played on, including tunes with Lee Perry, The Heptones, Slim Smith, The Wailers, Burning Spear, The Mighty Diamonds, Aswad, and many other reggae group. You will also hear the two geniuses discuss working with Bob Marley, commenting on their prolific careers, and much more. You will not want to miss listening to these two shapers of Jamaican music!
is clear that the great majority of visitors to The Wailers News
website fully support Familyman, as the results to our Wailers Survey
question from April show. The question asked "Do the past and present
members of The Wailers deserve more recognition and royalties from the
Marley estate?" From the poll, with over 300 respondents, or 76%, agree
that the members of The Wailers deserve more recognition and monies.
Although our question dealt with all of the past and present Wailers'
members and not just with Familyman and Carlton Barrett, it is clear
that fans want those with the money and power, namely the Marleys and
Island Records, to behave justly and give these players and singers
what they truly have earned.
(return to this month's features)
WAILERS SURVEY -The results are in for April's Wailers Survey, asking Do the past and present members of The Wailers deserve more recognition and royalties from The Marley Estate? There were some very interesting results indeed!
Here are the complete results for April's poll:
There is no Wailers Survey this month, due to technical problems. It should be back in June.
(return to this month's features)
GOT THE NEWS FROM A WHISPERING TREE -Have you joined The Wailers Reporter yet? If not, you've already missed over 60 e-mailings, packed full with reggae news, new reggae web pages, tour dates, and much more! But it's never too late to join, so fill in your name and e-mail address below to become one of an irie list of people! It's 100% free, and we won't give/sell/trade your name to anyone else!
(return to this month's features)