Thursday, July 28, 2016
Day 271 of 365 Day Jamaican Music Challenge - Rod Taylor - Soul To Soul
Many years ago on one of our many record-seeking adventures my friend Nick and I took a drive to Cecil County here in Maryland one Saturday afternoon. Now Cecil County isn't the type of place you would expect to find reggae, you see it is a little "rural" and for the most part if you found yourself digging for vinyl here the most you'd expect to unearth would be someone's forgotten Ronnie Milsap collection not anything outta yard in Jamaica. But Nick and I had spent countless hours pouring over the well-worn copy of the Yellow Pages and the solitary bunny-eared sheet that contained record stores that we probably could recite them from memory. Believe me, we had either driven to every store that sold vinyl in the Baltimore region or instantaneously lost hope the moment we would get that familiar prerecorded "the number you have reached is not in service" message on the few times we were smart enough to actually call ahead. We were more prone to burning through a tank of gas and downing a plethora of soda and junk food during our quests for reggae only to discover some sun-bleached REO Speedwagon promo posters from 10 years earlier hanging crooked and listless inside the dusty windows of an empty store space. This Saturday we called ahead and discovered that yes, Steve's Records, in the scenic burg of Elkton Maryland, was open that afternoon. We made the hour drive and commenced to digging... well let me rephrase that, digging would imply that there was a lot to sift through to find the good stuff... "raking" would probably be more accurate considering we immediately knew that it would take us mere moments to flip through the measly six or seven inch stack of reggae albums sadly sitting like unpopular shunned children on the periphery of a middle school playground. After a couple misfiled Afrika Bambaataa singles and a Snuky Tate album I came across a record that looked promising... it was called Soul To Soul (from 1980 on the Vista Sounds label, produced by Tad Dawkins and engineered by Scientist) and featured songs by artists whose names I knew not by ear but by hours spent studying the RAS Records catalog. Right behind Soul To Soul was Roots To Roots - Soul To Soul Vol. 2 and Dillinger's Bionic Dread - I had scored! So as you can imagine, today's track "Soul To Soul" by Rod Taylor, aside from being a killer tune, holds a special place in my heart. I will always have these memories... memories of oftentimes fruitless quests in pursuit of reggae music, when life was a lot more innocent, our wallets were thin and the weight of the world and real adulthood had yet to settle on our shoulders in what seems like 100 years ago. Dig it!