Thursday, March 27, 2008

Coming Soon - Springline Jamaica's 1st Anniversary

I don't know if you've checked it out yet but I was turned on to the Live 365 "station" Springline Jamaica a couple months back and I can't get enough! If you haven't given them a listen yet then shame on you... wicked selections and more importantly some good people who do it only because they want to share their love for Jamaican music.

Coming up at the end of April they're celebrating their first anniversary of broadcasting - click here to give the official cyberflyer a look and listen - and they've asked me to put together a couple 45 minute sets that will be aired during their 12 hour non-stop marathon. I of course was honored and delighted to be asked to be a part of the festivities! My sets will highlight and retrace some of the steps I've taken here on Distinctly Jamaican Sounds including a short taste of the Halloween mixes and even some Christmas tunes. And get this... you'll actually be able to hear my voice. Not like that's anything exciting and considering I personally can't stand the sound of my own voice when I hear it played back but it's a first for me. I haven't done any "radio" DJing in nearly 10 years and it has taken me a while to feel comfortable behind a mic again. I'll keep you posted as the celebration draws nearer.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sir Joe Gibbs 1943-2008

Since Joe Gibbs passed away exactly a month ago and I definitely wasn’t on top of the breaking news I won’t go into the specifics of Sir Gibbs’ career – there are plenty of sites that succinctly sum up his life better than I ever could – I’m just going to take this space and explain why it took me so long to acknowledge this sad news, then I’ll quit my rambling and present the fruits of my nearly month long labor of love.

I was really saddened to hear of the passing of the great Joe Gibbs and I initially had the intention of whipping up a quick mix in his honor but once I started compiling music I realized this was going to be a daunting task. I mean… I had every intention of highlighting the contributions the man made to Jamaican music and due to the amount of wicked releases he had his hands in, the playlist was coming in at around 8 hours. Then I decided maybe I’d approach the tribute from a different angle by highlighting only his rocksteady productions. But there were far too many reggae tunes that I couldn’t not include them. I thought about doing a dub only compilation but again I kept coming around to another solid roots track so I couldn’t go that route either. So what I present to you, for your listening pleasure, is a 40 track "megamix" of a bunch of Joe Gibbs’ hits, mixed with their instrumental versions. I hope that my efforts haven’t been wasted and that it serves as a fitting memorial for a man who engineered and produced four decades of spectacular music.

1. Dennis Brown – Money In My Pocket
2. Trinity – Three Piece Suit And Thing
3. Marcia Aitken – I’m Still In Love With You
4. Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking
5. Sir Lord Comic – Doctor Feelgood
6. Nicky Thomas – Don’t Touch Me
7. Culture – See Them A Come
8. Shorty The President – Natty Pass Him GCE
9. Nigger Kojak – Massacre
10. Lui Lepki – Can’t Tek Mi Landlord
11. Yellowman – Gregory Free
12. Naggo Morris – Su Su Pon Rasta
13. Prince Far I – Heavy Manners
14. Dennis Brown & Big Youth – Equal Rights Style
15. Peter Tosh – Maga Dog
16. Bunny Flip – Maingy Dog
17. Joe Gibbs & The Love Generation – Fat Dog
18. I-Roy – News Carrier
19. Leo Graham – A Win Them
20. Gregory Isaacs – Babylon Too Rough
21. Cornell Campbell – Boxing
22. Nigger Kojak & Liza – Bam Bam
23. Joe Tex & U Black – Rub-A-Dub Evening
24. Dennis Brown – Stop Your Fussing And Fighting
25. Junior Murvin – Cool Out Son
26. Dennis Walks – Almighty I
27. Eddie Ford – You Wrong Fe Trouble Joshua
28. June Lodge – Some One Loves You Honey
29. Prince Mohammed – One Time Daughter
30. Trinity – Kingston Two Rock
31. Big Youth – Waterhouse Rock
32. Barrington Levy – Wife And Sweetheart Dem A Friend
33. Ranking Trevor – Wife And Sweetheart
34. George Nooks – Sadie
35. Papa Tullo – Fe Mi Time Now
36. Jacob Miller – I’m A Natty
37. I Roy – Knotty Knots
38. Leo Graham – Hard Times
39. Sylford Walker – Burn Babylon
40. The Professionals – CW Burning Version

Sir Joe Gibbs Tribute Megamix

I stumbled upon this wicked artwork of Joe Gibbs' store created by Edinburgh, Scotland illustrator & DJ Jerry Neville AKA Jeremyiah when looking for a Joe Gibbs photo for this post and it was too cool not to share. Check out more of his work here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mikey Dread 1954-2008 - A Tribute...

I heard of Michael "Mikey Dread" Campbell's passing last night while at a Gregory Isaacs concert here in Baltimore and was immediately saddened to hear the bad news. Campbell got a job as an engineer for the Jamaican Broadcasting Company in the 1970's. He wasn't particularly digging the amount of foreign music that the Jamaican network was broadcasting and after some dealings was able to start hosting his own program "Dread At The Controls" to showcase reggae exclusively. Of course the show was astoundingly popular throughout the entire island and it filled a void left by those "higher-ups" who sincerely believed that their listeners didn't want to hear homegrown music. Eventually the management at the station started to gripe, probably because the show's popularity damaged their fragile know-it-all attitudes, and by the time Mikey Dread quit he had established himself as a singer and producer and moved on to bigger and better things. Oddly enough Mikey Dread is well known outside of reggae circles for his work with the British punk group the Clash in 1980.

Needless to say, Jamaican music has lost another important and historically significant figure in its musical legacy. Rest in peace Mikey Dread you'll always be The Dread At The Controls!

I've put together a mix to pay tribute to Mikey Dread and I hope you enjoy it, the tracklist is below. He recorded and produced so many quality tunes it was hard to narrow down what I wanted to use but I think what I selected should serve as a nice tribute.

Tracklisting... all albums are on the Dread At The Control label unless noted otherwise
1. "Kasha Herb Rock" from the 1979 album At The Control Dubwise
2. "Warrior Stylee" from the 1982 album Beyond World War III
3. "Barber Saloon" from the Best Sellers Greatest Hits CD
4. "Industrial Spy" from the African Anthem LP from 1979
5. "Roots & Culture" from the Pave The Way CD on Heartbeat Records
6. "The King In The Ring" from the LP Evolutionary Rockers from 1979
7. "School Girl Dub" from the 1995 Lee Perry various artists Larks From The Ark on the Nectar label
8. "Mikey Dread In Action" also from the African Anthem album
9. "Choose Me" also from the Best Sellers LP
10. "Break Down The Walls" from the Beyond World War III album
11. "Hot Cross Bun" from the 1982 Mikey Dread produced Rockers Vibration various artists LP
12. "Rainbow Jungle" from the 1982 Jungle Signal release
13. "Armageddon Style" taken from the 1982 Swalk LP also on the Heartbeat label
14. "Forever And Ever" also from the Pave The Way CD
15. "Michael Campbell Theme" from the 1978 Revolutionaries LP Dread At The Controls Dub on the Hawkeye label

Mikey Dread Tribute

In other Mikey Dread related news... check out this game featuring an animated Mikey Dread

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ahh...A Family Size Spring Mix!

It looks as if winter is loosening its grip and things are starting to look a little more agreeable weather-wise. Temperatures are starting to hover above freezing and to celebrate the demise of this shitty season I've put together a little Spring Mix for your listening pleasure... and no it's not of the salad variety as the photo would suggest. Nothing spectacular or fancy just a bunch of songs that have been in heavy rotation that are helping me get me out of the winter doldrums.

I've also got a tribute to Joe Gibbs in the works and will be coming soon but hey, I needed to get back on Garageband and get some of the rust off first. I should get my Gibbs tribute in the can, so to speak, by this time next week but until then I hope you give my little spring mix a listen... maybe it'll give you a late winter lift as well. I really need to address my seasonal depression or win the lottery and start taking extended mid-winter tropical vacations, but until that happens I've always found listening to good ol' Jamaican music can really lift your spirits!

1. Ernie Smith - Nice Time
2. Horace Andy - Happiness
3. Beres Hammond - Smile
4. Alton Ellis - Why Birds Follow Spring
5. Eric Donaldson - Happy Man
6. The Clarendonians - Sunshine
7. Derrick Harriott - Laugh It Off
8. King Stitt - Jump For Joy
9. Sound Dimension - Full Up
10. Roy Shirley - I Like Your Smile
11. Bob Andy - My Time
12. Jackie Mittoo - Spring Time

Pour on the dressing, I prefer raspberry vinaigrette... and give it a play! Enjoy!