Tuesday, November 01, 2005

LKJ - Dread Beat An' Blood

“Linton Kwesi Johnson b. 1952, Chapelton Jamaica. Johnson’s family emigrated to London in 1963, and he quickly developed a keen awareness of both literature and politics, culminating in a degree in sociology at Goldsmith’s College, London, in 1973. An interest in poetry manifested itself into two books, “Voices of the Living and the Dead” (1974) and “Dread Beat and Blood” (1975), both written in a style that put on paper the patois spoken in black Britain, often with a rhythm reminiscent of Jamaican DJs. Johnson also wrote about reggae for the “New Musical Experience,” “Melody Maker” and “Black Music,” as well as being writer-in-residence for the London Borough of Lambeth and heavily involved in the “Race Today” cooperative newspaper. Experiments with reggae bands at his poetry readings culminated in 1977’s “Dread Beat An’ Blood recorded as Poet and the Roots, an album that virtually defined the “dub poetry” genre.” The Guinness Who’s Who of Reggae (1994)

Here are two great tracks from LKJ’s first release…

Linton Kwesi Johnson - Dread Beat An' Blood

Linton Kwesi Johnson - Come Wi Goh Dung Deh


kerppu said...

Check out this link:

they have audio samples (and other info) to some interesting dubpoets.

Reggaexx said...

Thanks for the link... I didn't know dub poetry was still going strong in Toronto - that's great to see! Do you know if any of the poets have recorded anything that I could hear or purhase? Wish I was in Toronto... I'd definitely make it out for that!

kerppu said...

Yep, I wish this this collective would put out a “various artists” collection of their best work…here’s some snippets of what I found, not much I’m afraid.

The band is currently backing Dub -Poets Chet Singh (like his style!) and Debbie Young. They have also backed up two-time Juno award winner Lillian Allen

Lillian Allen I like a lot, she’s recorded at least three records:
Revolutionary Tea Party (1986) and Conditions Critical (1987) published by Frontline and the latest: Freedom & Dance (Bamboo)

Sankofa Juba has some tracks available for download at:

P.s. I once had an lp by poet Oku Onuora, but lost it!…you don’t happen to have anything by him you could share with us? And Lillian Allen, if you find her recordings, I would be happy to hear something too :-)

kerppu said...

Oh and here's good links page, there's a list of poets in the bottom of the page, and what I saw, the discographies were nicely up to date.

Reggaexx said...

Kerppu - thanks for the info. I'll be checking those links out as soon as I get done writing this! I am aware of Lillian Allen but haven't heard any of her music. I know a couple guys that may be able to hook me up with some of her stuff so I'll ask. As for Oku Onuora... I've got some of his music on a cassette which I can rip to MP3s, now finding it is going to be quite an undertaking but I'll start digging soon!

I've also been trying to track down Michael Smith's LP "Mi Cyaan Believe It," which I've finally been able to locate but still can't get because I can't make the download program work with my Mac. - Argggh!


It's right at my fingertips yet so unattainable!

kerppu said...

Ok, that album is so good! I'm a torrent user myself, but I'll try and get emule for my PC as soon as I get home from work and dl the file. Then upload it somewhere so you can enjoy it too. Ok?

Reggaexx said...

Bless you!! :)