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Johnny Nash Refused to Remember His Place

Johnny Nash, part rock era crooner, part Motown, and part reggae, was too polite for the more militant wing of the Civil Rights movement, but he also suffered at the hands of a racist music industry that wouldn't market him as a Black heartthrob. Through it all he was himself, as he continuously refused to "remember his place".


Unite and Fight! England's Punk-Reggae Hybrid

When Bob Marley went to London in 1977 he discovered, documented, and reveled in the punky reggae party.


Groupe RTD Showcase Intercontinental Flows on 'The Dancing Devils of Djibouti'

The history and geography of Djibouti come through richly in Groupe RTD's sound, a cosmopolitan blend of East Africa, the Arab world, ports along the Indian Ocean, and the current historical moment of increasing globalization.


Jeff Buckley's Voice Returns

Jeff Buckley's journals, photographs, and memorabilia of the late singer are compiled by his mother, Mary Guibert, and Rolling Stone's David Browne in Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice.


Counterbalance No. 9: The Clash - 'London Calling'

Counterbalance offers up the right profile of the Clash's London Calling, an epic, sprawling disc that will leave you sprawled out on the floor as your mind tries to wrap itself around the sprawl of genres over the course of an hour plus.


Dirty Heads Update Their Sound, But Not Enough, with the Charming 'Super Moon'

With Nashville producer Dave Cobb in tow, California quintet Dirty Heads beef up their chill party vibe with some unique sounds on Super Moon.


Steel Pulse Pays Tribute to the Memory of Utopian Pinnacle on "Cry Cry Blood" (premiere)

Roots reggae group Steel Pulse brings a sense of Rastafarian past to the present with their heartfelt new single "Cry Cry Blood", which is their first new single in 15 years.


He Shoots! He Scores! Bunny Lee: Dreads Enter the Gates With Praise

This brilliant Soul Jazz Records compilation of Jamaican reggae producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee hits the mark with 23 prime cuts of roots reggae and dub.


'I'm in Love with a Dreadlocks' Reclaims Brown Sugar As Lovers Rock Pioneers

A new compilation shows how three teenaged girls helped pioneer the musical articulation of black consciousness in England in the 1970s.


Michael Franti and Spearhead Continue to Retaliate with Radical Love on 'Stay Human Vol. II'

With Stay Human Vol. II, Michael Franti and Spearhead offer a balm, if not an antidote, for life's large- and small-scale struggles.


When Reggae Became Lover's Rock: An Interview with Don Letts

Don Letts' latest endeavor, as part of his Turtle Bay Reggae 45 series of podcasts, is to tell the story of a notable but probably less well-known genre that helped to shape the identity of many young black Britons during the '70s: lover's rock.


If It Happens Again: Revisiting UB40 in the Age of Brett Kavanaugh

In a typically absurd twist of Trump politics, England's reggae-pop hitmakers are back on the radar. Time to dig back into music's past.


Skindred's Second Coming: Eclectic Welsh Outfit Ready to Reclaim America with 'Big Tings'

Still a top draw at European festivals, Skindred is finding a home on American radio once again with "That's My Jam's" multi-genre sound.

Jedd Beaudoin

True/False Film Fest: 'Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami'

Director Sophie Fiennes mixes concert film with arresting cinéma vérité family portrait.


Do the Marleys Have an Unfair Advantage at the Grammys?

Among Jamaicans it's generally felt that if a Marley is in the running, they're pretty much guaranteed to win, no matter if their album is "savage, average, or garbage".


Tamikrest: Kidal

Desert struggles make for purposeful rock and roll on Tamikrest's latest album of Saharan desert blues.


John Brown's Body: Fireflies

With their 12th record John Brown's Body become the poster children for commitment.


Various Artists: Studio One Dub Fire Special

Studio One Dub Fire Special is as clear an overview of dub’s most basic essence as you could ask for.


Atlanta Inaugurates This Year’s Mad Decent Block Party With a Very Small Bang

The EDM and hip-hop festival is touring the US and Canada through September with a changing lineup of acts. While the festival may not excel musically, it has something for almost anyone within the expanding EDM culture.


Topher Mohr - 'Phlowers' (album stream) (premiere)

A hybrid of funk, soul, reggae, folk, and indie, singer-songwriter Topher Mohr's vibrant second album arrives just in time for summer.


Rocky Dawuni: Branches of the Same Tree

Rocky Dawuni fuses feel-good reggae vibes with innovative instrumentation, leaving an influential mark on the African roots scene.


The Bunny Gang: Thrive

Say what you will about being a copycat, the Bunny Gang does a startling Clash impersonation.


Lee "Scratch" Perry & Iguana - Vibes EP

Soaring reggae vocals over a nicely varied bunch of new-school dub riddims from Lee "Scratch" and new associate Iguana.


Jaro Milko & The Cubalkanics: Cigarros Explosivos!

They need to either knock you dead with skill or else subvert the whole notion of skill.


Don Drummond Was One of the Five Best Trombonists to Ever Play the Instrument

One comes away from Don Drummond with a clearer sense of who the man was and why he is considered by many to be the best musician so few people have ever heard of.


Luke Temple: Good Mood Fool

Why would a songwriter who’d built up a respectable career in the indie world torpedo a thoughtful discography with an album that sounds like Paul Simon covering Prince? Well, for one, because it’s awesome.


Slobber Pup: Black Aces / New Zion Trio: Chaliwa

Today, musicians like Saft can bring colleagues together to record, without the agendas or idiocy of corporate middlemen. Celebrate accordingly.


Tradesman and Parly B ft. Adam Prescott: Dubplate Fashion

Referencing the golden age of digital reggae production, Leeds-based producer Tradesman delivers an extremely crisp and deep revision of the classic "Rumours" riddim, bringing its now slightly dated sounds completely up-to-date.


In Defense of Retiring the Band Name Sublime

There will forever be only one Sublime, and Bradley Nowell is the only lead singer that should have ever been part of it.


Snoop Lion: Reincarnated

Reincarnated confirms 'Snoop Lion’ is no replacement for 'Snoop Dogg', but it has its moments.


Counterbalance No. 117: Bob Marley's 'Natty Dread'

You lively up yourself and don't be no drag. You lively up yourself, 'cause this is the other bag -- the 117th Most Acclaimed Album of All Time. Bob Marley makes his first Counterbalance appearance with his 1974 breakthrough.


The Album Remains the Same: Led Zeppelin - "D'Yer Mak'er"

"D'Yer Mak'er" concludes the controversial middle section of Houses of the Holy in an uproarious fashion. With this song Led Zeppelin proves that for every Tolkien reference, there's a corresponding joke—and a pretty damn good one at that.


Rhythm Del Mundo: Africa

Africa features an enjoyable collection of pop, rock and soul favorites remixed with African instrumental and vocal cues.


Wrongtom Meets Deemas J: In East London

Rooted in the past, very much of the here and now Wrongtom and Deemas J produce a great British album.

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