We Need More Roots Reggae

Peter Tosh is to be honored at some festival:

The festival will honor Tosh to mark the dreadlocked singer’s 60th birthday.
Tosh was the most outspoken member of the famed Wailers group in 1960s and went on to have a successful solo career with songs like “Equal Rights” and “Legalize It.” He was killed during a robbery at his Kingston home in 1987.

J-Walk recently posted news about Clement Dodd’s death, who:

was credited with launching the career of the reggae star Bob Marley and was a hugely influential figure in the development of Jamaican music.

I’d like to see more recognition of Joe Higgs. His Blackman Know Yourself album is a classic.

(thanks Neil)

One Reply to “We Need More Roots Reggae”

  1. Shit, man! I didn’t know Joe Higgs was dead! Ah, man… that sucks. I didn’t even hear about it. Fucking mainstream media. I kept hoping he’d put out a few more albums.

    Joe Higgs had the richest, deepest, expressive voice in reggae music, better than Bob Marley (he taught Bob Marley and the original Wailers how to sing). He was criminally under-recorded. That his albums were far and few between had nothing to do with a lack of talent. The man was a reggae powerhouse. Even when he did a cover of “Uncle John’s Band” for a Grateful Dead reggae tribute ablum, he rose above all the other junk that was on the album as one the few reggae originators who still knows what he’s doing–which cannot be said about most old traditional reggae artists who are still around. Israel Vibration, The Gladiators, Culture, the Mighty Diamonds, Gregory Isaacs, Bunny Wailer–they’ve been putting out sugary synth reggae for years now. Garbage.

    Surrounded by the travesty of what reggae had become, Joe Higgs never sold out. When he sang a song, you could feel his soul coming through in every word. And when he recorded BLACK MAN KNOW YOURSELF in the early 90s, he picked the best reggae musicians in the world, Bob Marley’s Wailers, with the Barret brothers on drum and bass. It is a sad, sad thing that even after releasing that album, one of the best reggae albums ever recorded, that none of the major reggae labels would finance another album for him. Today’s reggae sucks. With the death of Joe Higgs, that’s virtually a garantee. I wish I could find something good to say about all this, but I can’t.

    Even that asshole Ziggy Marley recorded a Cover Girl make-up commerical: “Easy, breezy, beautiful, Cover Girl.” Puke.

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