Follow this Spotify playlist for some remarkable Reggae grooves…
Rousing Reggae Songs — 1970s & 2000s
Marcia Griffiths will make you “Feel Like Jumping” and skanking around as you listen to these fantastic Reggae songs…
Rico Rodriguez was one of the great Reggae trombonists. He died in 2015 at age 80. Listen to The Skatalites pay tribute to one of the great Ska & Reggae musicians in “Requiem For Rico” (along with its Dub version).
Pama International is an eight-piece Reggae band from the United Kingdom. They describe themselves as “Dub Fuelled Ska Rocksteady & Reggae.” Hear them collaborate with Rico Rodriguez on “Lovely Wife” in this Spotify playlist.
Courtney John is my favorite singer from Jamaica these days. He has a rootsy style, and soulful falsetto that’s irresistible. In 2016 he released a sensational single, “Strangers,” on Gee Recordings.
In 2017, Courtney John teamed up again with keyboard player Guillaume “Gee” Méténier, and his phenomenal French band, Soul Sugar, on the soulful Reggae song, “Take A Chance” — which even features a Hammond organ solo from Dr Lonnie Smith! This song comes from the best Reggae album of 2017 — Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub) by Soul Sugar.
In addition, he released his own studio album, Ecosystem, in June 2017. The record serves up a classic sound that will appeal to Reggae aficionados and a wider audience of music lovers. Ecosystem is the embodiment of Courtney John’s fascination with our planet and the times, which is manifest in the tune “Southern Wind.” The theme of this album is that in the hardship and challenges we face there is always hope and the message is conveyed lyrically, and through John’s ephemeral voice.
New Zealand producer, Lord Echo, creates from a sonic palette of 1960’s production techniques and the influences of his favorite styles of music — Jamaican Reggae, East and West African music and American Funk and Soul. Listen to a pair of tunes that deftly capture the modern Reggae vibe — “Low To The Street” from his remarkable 2017 record, Harmonies, on Soundway Records. And, the potent instrumental Reggae song, “Rhythm 77” from his excellent album “Melodies.”
Hip-Hop producer Grimez put together some of the greatest players in Cincinnati to form Nomadic Warriors, a dope band that released an EP in 2017 with radical Reggae instrumentals, and underground Hip-Hop breaks. “Immortal Ancestors” is my favorite tune from that album because of the happy Reggae vibe, soulful horns, and dope drumming.
“Shape Shifter” by Add Noise Collective give us some superb kindness from Denver, Colorado. This tune is a blend of heavy Dub, Roots Reggae, as well as Funk and Soul elements. I love its irie, modern Reggae groove that just makes you feel so good when you listen to the drums, Dub, and echoey horns swirling in your brain.
In 2016 the always awesome, Quantic, released 1000 Watts by his Flowering Inferno project on Tru Thoughts Records.
1000 Watts is old school Reggae, Rocksteady, “One Drop” style with soulful singing, some Ska, and mostly feel-good instrumental tracks. And still, it has a totally modern vibe. It’s fun, timeless, high-quality music that makes you feel good. Quantic’s 1000 Watts is easily one of the best records of 2016 — in Reggae or any genre.
Quantic never lets up. He tours a ton, and is always composing new, amazing music — like the songs in this Spotify playlist — “Ikey’s Vibe” and “Shuffle The Shoes” — from 1000 Watts.
Watch his band perform their tune, “1000 Watts” live in Barcelona…
The Unifying Power Of Reggae Music
His 1974 single “Togetherness” (along with its Dub version in this Spotify playlist), sounds as poignant & potent now as it did then because of its rootsy, peaceful message.
Soul Sugar appears again with “Why Can’t We Live Together” with Leonardo Carmichael on vocals. It’s more Neo-Soul than Reggae, and yet it perfectly balances the two. It also has a groovy “Superfly” vibe to it. And, there’s an important message of unity in there that reminds me of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On”. Listen to its Dub version here with the great Reggae bass player, Dennis Bovell collaborating.
Jamaica’s rising star, Chronixx, a 24-year-old artist with a skyrocketing career, released Chronology in 2017. In this Spotify playlist listen to a collaboration with his father (the Dancehall singer Chronicle) on “Big Bad Sound.” Listen for the dope, dubby percussion breakdown at the end!
Classic Reggae singer, Don Carlos, has a stirring single out in 2017, “Peace & Love.” Its message is vital, timeless, and its vibe is strong.
Jesse Royal has a superb single from Easy Star Records for 2017 — “Always Around”. It’s got a thoroughly modern Reggae sound, and Roots core.
New Zealand’s Black Seeds also have new music on Easy Star Records for 2017. In keeping with this Reggae message of peace & unity, watch the video for their uplifting song “Better Days”…
Thanks in advance!