Friday, March 27, 2009

Easy Star All Stars - Sgt Peppers Dub!

(Don't forget to switch off the flashplayer!)

NYC's creators of Dub Side Of The Moon & RadioDread bring you a new

Plus support from ED ROME

LIVE around the UK

To promote the release of their forthcoming album, NYC's favourite reggae sons & daughters will be back in the UK. 'Sgt.Peppers' is the follow up album to the hugely successful 'Dub Side of the Moon' and 'RadioDread'. Main support for the tour (except Glasgow) will be Rockers Revolt very own ED ROME

Dates are;

Tuesday 28 April
08700 600 100

Wednesday 29 April
0161 275 2930

Wednesday 06 May
BIRMINGHAM 02 Academy 2
0844 477 2000

Thursday 07 May
0871 3100 000

Friday 08 May
GLASGOW The Arches
0141 565 1000

Free Ed Rome download, plus downloads from
Pama Intl, Ed Rome, No1 Station, The Slackers, The Pietasters &
Mungos Hi Fi....also free!!

Forums for all of the above bands, Rockers Revolt label and more

Tracklisting :
01. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band feat. Junior Jazz
02. With A Little Help From My Friends feat. Luciano
03. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds feat. Frankie Paul
04. Getting Better feat. The Mighty Diamonds
05. Fixing a Hole [Extended Dub Mix) feat. Max Romeo
06. She's Leaving Home feat. Kirsty Rock
07. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! feat. Ranking Roger
08. Within You Without You feat. Matisyahu
09. When I'm Sixty-Four (Extended Dub Mix) feat. Sugar Minott
10. Lovely Rita feat. Bunny Rugs & U Roy
11. Good Morning Good Morning feat. Steel Pulse
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Dub Band (reprise)
13. A Day In The Life feat. Michael Rose & Menny More

Links :

Press Release :

"They made a smashing success out of their cover of Dark Side of the Moon…"-Pitchfork
"The All-Stars have tackled Radiohead's OK Computer, and the result is again impressive."-Rolling Stone

Following the widespread critical and commercial success of 2003's Dub Side of the Moon and 2006's Radiodread, Easy Star Records announces the Easy Star All-Stars' complete reggae re-imagining of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album, titled Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band, is set for release April 14 on Easy Star Records and features guest vocals from an impressive list of reggae, dancehall and dub greats including Steel Pulse, Matisyahu, Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), Luciano, U Roy, Bunny Rugs (Third World), Ranking Roger (English Beat), Sugar Minott, Frankie Paul, Max Romeo and The Mighty Diamonds. The first single, "With A Little Help From My Friends," featuring Luciano, will be released as an iTunes exclusive February 10. It will be paired with a b-side dub version featuring the legendary U Roy.

Dub Side of the Moon, (Easy Star's reggae tribute to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon) is one of the most successful reggae albums of the 21st century and spent over five years on Billboard's Top Reggae Chart. Mojo selected the record as the second greatest cover album of all time. Radiodread, which tackled Radiohead's OK Computer, spent over 18 months on Billboard's Top Reggae Chart and earned praise from Radiohead themselves.

Of the decision to infuse reggae into the Beatles classic, producer Michael Goldwasser says "We've focused on re-envisioning concept albums as reggae and it's really important that the source material works as a whole and is not just a collection of songs. So, what better to take on next than the mother of all concept albums?"

Goldwasser is once more the musical mastermind behind this album, having arranged and produced the music, assembled the musicians and guest artists and played guitar throughout. Goldwasser is joined by Victor Rice (bass), Victor "Ticklah" Axelrod (keyboards) and Patrick Dougher & Eddie Ocampo (drums, percussion). Members of the touring version of the Easy Star All-Stars also contribute, including Ras I Ray, Jenny Hill, Buford O'Sullivan, Ivan Katz, Kirsty Rock, Tamar-kali, Junior Jazz and Menny More. In addition to producing six albums for Easy Star, Goldwasser has produced albums for Corey Harris, Hatikva 6 and others, and has had compositions featured in the motion pictures Failure To Launch and Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream.

The Reggae Revolution Starts Here!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Springline Promo Free Single!

Click on Title above to obtain your free promo pack!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sak Pasé -Bigga Haitian- Walkup Records

Walkup Records. New York. US.
Released last week to widespread acclaim throughout the reggae music arena, the ultra superb works collected together to form "Sak Pasé", the album by Walkup Records signing BIGGA HAITIAN, we at Springline feel this album with all its diversity and wonderfully played instrumentation deserves its place in being hailed as one of the best releases so far this season.
Featuring guest musicians and produced respectively by the very gifted Marc Lawrence and Brett Smith (Walkup Records founders) this album is simply superb, covering different reggae genres and fusions during it's traditional style running time of under 40 minutes, and covering them in fine style.
There's no filler here. From the opening track, "I am a Haitian," with it's haunting instrumentation acoustics alongside Bigga singing proudly about and on behalf of his land of birth - the words relative to us all no matter where we from - through to the last track "My Doorbell" (2nd cut) which features an alternate guitar mix laid down by the man Mike "Angel" McLaughlin, we are treated to a musical treasure trove of well written lyrics and reggae music alongside all its fusions.
Track 2, "My Doorbell" (1st cut) and a cover of the White Stripes tune features Craig Dreyer and features a great horn workout with members of Steel Pulse and The Skatalites in fine style with Bigga's vocal keeping the whole vibe alive, with a feel good catchy 'summer's coming' almost funky pon top fashion. If there's any tune worthy of crossing over into the mainstream airplay, it's this.
Next up a tune called "Empress" real Jamaican reggae vibes, this tune has a 'recorded live' sound to the mix and it is this tune where the vocal talent of Bigga shines the most for us, and again another Jamaican horn workout which takes center stage and as the song finishes and fades whilst each instrument departs leaving a touch of studio banter it got me thinking.. the next single...? Well it should be, with its pop a top shuffly organ and real live Wailers style drumming married with Bigga's distinct classic vocal, I'm gonna personally lobby Walkup for this to become a single!! and the next track come to that, why not, a double A side perhaps!
The forth offering from the album is my personal favourite "London Massive." For me this is strictly from time UK fashion, taking one back to those 80's 12" collection days. This tune is put together in such a way that it's commercially a winner but at the same time keeping true to a certain genre from time with Bigga coming in on the mix deejay stylee lifting the vibe, this tune reminds me of something, a moment in time, all the elements are there. This cut features current Wailers lead singer Yvad catching yuh ear with some real sweet and highly infectious vocal work and thus keeping you tuned in throughout the track. Great stuff, I want a dub version of this!!
Following this is track 5, last years single from Bigga released at the time to promote this album. "Gi Me Da Weed," which we playlisted heavily during its run on our old defunct SJ station as well as being aired across hundreds of stations worldwide at the time, this was a smash and still is. Good to see this included.
Track 6 "Load The Chalice." Interesting one this. Diversity. Check it...
Track 7 "Haiti a weh Mi From". Again, a moment in time comes to the fore with this track, lovely old time piano 'chankin' in and out of the riddim whilst Bigga gives us a lesson in spoken tongues deejay stylee, top fashion. Doing dancehall proud again with the Walkup Records production team effortlessly bringing this classic bang up to date that feels very much at home on this album. This is the original version which has been remastered by Walkup to celebrate its twenty year existence as a recorded music work (originally produced by Winston Jones).
The last track on the album, track 8, is an alternate version as already mentioned of "My Doorbell" and features a real rock style guitar workout in the mix courtesy of the one Mike "Angel" McLaughlin, and the tune itself has a slighlty more spacious feel to that of its first cut (track 2).
A superbly put together album, just right for the coming Spring and summer, full of diversity and the musicianship is second to none. Completing the package is the wonderfully distinct classic voice and lyrics of Bigga Haitian. Now I'm personally not a pro writer or reviewer as you may have gathered. I leave it to chaps like Gus Taylor and our own Karly P aka italSkarl to find the words, but ever since this album was sent to me, I've enjoyed listening to it over and over. As an ex fellow musician myself once in the eighties, I appreciate the work that has gone into this. The live drums used on some of the tracks particularly sound great. Great album. Feel good sounds. Infectious. I just had to let everyone know. (Gibsy. March 10th)
Walkup Records in New York was co founded and is operated by Marc Lawrence and Brett Smith, both of whom have extensive music business backgrounds working within the industry. Marc went to the University of Delaware and has worked for MTV, Sony Music, and more. Brett went to the Benjamin N Cardozo School of Law and has worked for Jive Records, RCA, Interactive Media Universe/Robocast, The Harry Fox Agency, and more. The guys teamed up professionally after 20-odd years of friendship and formed Walkup Records in 2006, shortly after which they signed the singer who is credited as being the first singer from Haiti to smash into the reggae arena. During his twenty year career, Bigga Haitian has blazed the stage alongside artists such as Cocoa Tea and Capleton to name but two. It has been a long while since Bigga's last album "Binghi Mon" but it was well worth the wait.
Album name: Sak Pasé
Artist : Bigga Haitian
Label : Walkup Records
Guests : Clark Gayton - Cedric IM Brooks - Kevin Batchelor - Bradley Fish - Yvad - Mike "Angel" McLaughlin - Craig Dreyer - Mecca aka Grimo - Bam - Jimmy Two
Album track listing: Running time 38 minutes (traditional LP> length)
1 I Am A Haitian
2 My Doorbell (feat. Craig Dreyer)
3 Empress
4 London Massive (feat. Yvad)
5 Gi Me Da Weed (album version)
6 Load The Chalice (feat. Bam, Mecca aka Grimo, Jimmy Two)
7 Haiti A Weh Mi From (original version)
8 My Doorbell (Mike "Angel" McLaughlin guitar mix)
more info and full bios at: Released: March 3rd, 2009
***You can hear a twenty minute showcase from the album by tuning into the only #1 label station 'The Sound Of Now Radio' pon Live365***> >

Thursday, March 12, 2009





10 Apr Hildesheim, Germany Kulturfabrik Löseke w Dub Teacha, Dr. Tosh & The Weedbeat Dub Stars

11 Apr Detmold, Germany Alte Pauline - with Dubfidelity alongside Reggaelution & Heartical

12 Apr Tübingen, Germany Epplehaus - International Dub Congress/ with Bandulu Dub (Portugal)

17 Apr Berlin, Germany YAAM Club with Irieland Soundsystem

18 Apr Hamburg, Germany Hafenklang Club with I-Livity I-Fy alongside Irie Ites

19 Apr Nancy, France Les Vedettes

20 Apr Metz, France BSM

22 Apr Paris, France Café des sports

23 Apr Paris, France La Bellevillouise Paris w/ URoy & Pablo Moses

24 Apr Amsterdam, Holland OT301

25 Apr Tournai, Belgium Le Phare

30 Apr Lille, France Shala Laka_

1 May La Rochelle, France Pub du bout du monde

2 May La Rochelle, France Pub du bout du monde

14 Aug Ostróda,Poland Ostróda Reggae Festi

Also check out "The Gold" (Dubmatix Runnin' Remix) Video at:

and for free tunes and general all round niceness join Dubmatix at

Sunday, March 8, 2009

10,000 and counting!

Thankyou to all our friends and followers of Springline for your support ,as this magazine style blog goes past the 10,000 visits count in under 9 months, thanks for tuning in!
Gibsy ,Karly P & support crew @ Springline.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mungo's Hi Fi on Scrub A Dub

News reaches from Mungo's Hi Fi of their new label.......


Scrub a dub is a brand new record label from Mungos and Scotch Bonnet based in Glasgow, and has come about so as to allow them to indulge in their dirty dubstep desires. This is by no means an end to their reggaematical releases, but an is an addition and development of them. The first release sold out instantly, with 2 tracks by Mungo's Hi Fi, "Babylon" and "Dubplate fi dem" - widely acclaimed by djs with Babylon already released on Tempa's latest Dubstep Allstars. Check the dubstep forum response. The track is also doing well on youtube, last fm, etc

They are at present just waiting on delivery of the test pressings for the next single, with they hope the vinyls back in a week or two - this will feature Haffi rock, one of their most requested pre-releases with the other side filled with the gangantuan wobble that is Phokus, Mr Boogie and TKRs Scrub a dub debut Big Up! As soon as they heard it was a must have for the cheeky half time, real reggae riddim feel, but mainly cos it mashes up the place. You can hear it and the following release featuring dj Shy at the new Scrub a dub myspaceNow for more Mungo's live news...... They will be playing a set of pre-release dubs, both of their own and some pretty morsels gleaned through too much time on myspace. To this measure they are delighted to welcome Phokus and Mr Boogie all the way from Germany for a back to back set of their own productions as well as a bit of what they fancy. Check their recent mixes: Phokus Mr Boogie

Also it's a big welcome back MC Ishu, 'Mr. Belly Ska', on the mic to bring the vibes for the session and hold things together. If you're about at the artschool look out for Mungo's taking over the decks from Benny Boom...

More good news for all the people who were there for YT mashing it up in January with Dub boy, Pinch, RSD and the Bristol Ruffneck Diskotek massive; the Nottingham crew who were there for Warrior Queen, Earl 16 and Kenny Knots, and those of us who weren't but wished we had is that recordings will available of this event and will hopefully get posted soon......niiiiiice!

Up and Coming Tour Dates for March

FRIDAY 6TH MARCH - Montpellier, FranceSouthern Dub Convention with Kings Hi Fi and Lion Roots featuring Brother Culture, Marina P and Mikey Murka

SATURDAY 7TH MARCH - Lyon, Francewith Zion High Foundation, featuring Mikey Murka

THURSDAY 12TH MARCH - Cross Club, Praguewith Kenny Knots

FRIDAY 13TH MARCH - Faval, Brnowith Kenny Knots

SATURDAY 14TH MARCH - Subclub, Bratislavawith Kenny Knots

THURSDAY 12TH MARCH - Manchesterlongside Nucleus Roots

FRIDAY 13TH MARCH - Liverpoollongside Eat your Greens

SATURDAY 21ST MARCH - PARIS DUBSTATIONwith Lion Roots and King Earthquake - featuring Brother Culture

FRIDAY 27TH MARCH - ARTSCHOOL WITH DADDY FREDDYwith support from Daddy Scotty and Zeb McQueen

RELEASES!!!all available from decent record shops and of course....

///SCOBLP001SOUND SYSTEM CHAMPIONS LP ON DOUBLE VINYLwith 4 bonus dubs and d&m mastering for vinyl heaven

///SCRUB001SCRUB A DUB RECORDS IS LAUNCHED WITH A CRISPY 12" IN A DUBSTEP STYLEA - Babylon (new mix from the dubstep allstars) B - Dubplate fi dem

Wednesday, March 4, 2009



are delighted to announce that they have been asked to support 2 Tone legends


@ BRIXTON ACADEMY on 11 & 12 MAY 2009

Both shows are sold-out, so hope you've got tickets already!

Also on the Pama Intl's t shows front for 2009 is a show taking place this weekend.

Saturday 7th March 2009
Kendal Brewery Arts

Check it out if you can because the band will be giving songs from their next album 'Pama Outernational' (due in the summer) their first airing!

Also comming up are

Sunday 8th March 2009
Leeds Hi Fi Club - free entry

Then biggest tour Pama Intl has been part of yet...

+ Pama International
+ Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs

April 2009
21 Portsmouth Pyramids
22 Cambridge Corn Exchange
23 Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall
24 Stoke-on-Trent Victoria Hall
25 London Forum
26 Nottingham Rock City
28 Cheltenham Town Hall
29 Edinburgh Picture House
30 Newcastle Academy

May 2009
01 Wolverhampton Wulfrun

Needless to say the band is delighted to be supporting both The Levellers and The Specials and it is a massive start to what promises to be an exceptional year for them.
Springline wishes them all the best and long may this success continue!

The first single from 'Pama Outernational' will be issued in April in time for The Levellers tour. To get an exclusive free preview sign the mailing list at

One love to Pama Intl and all at Rockers Revolt


Culture - Roots Reggae Greats - A Profile

Culture formed in 1976 as a Vocal trio and their sound and style is considered by many as the epitome of roots reggae. This is thanks largely to charismatic singer, songwriter, and leader Joseph Hill. As their name would suggest their material was mostly devoted to spiritual, social, and political messages, and as such they quickly became a part of the vibrant, politically charged Jamaican reggae scene of the day. Originally known as the African Disciples, the line-up consisted of Joseph Hill (lead vocals), Albert Walker (backing vocals) and Kenneth Dayes (backing vocals). Hill was the only member of the trio who had prior studio experience – having worked at Coxsone Dodd’s legendary Studio One as a percussionist with the Soul Defenders group in the early 1970’s, cutting backing tracks for a variety of vocalists. It was also at Studio One that Hill first recorded as a vocalist, releasing "Behold the Land" and "Take Me Girl," amongst others but unfortunately nothing came of them.

Shortly after Culture came together, they began working with the ‘Mighty Two’ – producer Joe Gibbs and engineer Errol Thompson. While at Gibbs’ studio, the singers recorded a series of powerful singles, many of which ended up on their successful debut album ‘Two Sevens Clash’. This initial release was hugely popular in both Jamaica and England and is considered a roots reggae landmark (also named by Rolling Stone magazine in 2002 as one of the '50 Coolest Records'). The lyrics demonstrated Hill’s keen awareness of the connection between Jamaica’s history and its current social climate. While the songs may have been dealing with serious issues, at the same time the group always recognized the value of a catchy beat – a sensibility shared by U.K. punks at the time. At once Culture became part of a wave of vocal groups (including the Mighty Diamonds, Black Uhuru, the Meditations and countless others) that ruled the reggae scene for a brief, but poignant while in the late 70’s.

As is always the case financial disagreements grew and the trio disenchanted with their dealings with Gibbs, and Culture soon split for a brief and contentious stay at Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label. Here they started (and never quite finished) a new album titled “Africa Stand Alone”; the results were eventually released as they were, without authorization. Meanwhile, Gibbs released leftovers from the Two Sevens Clash sessions on two more LPs, “Baldhead Bridge” (whose title song was a hit) and “More Culture”. By the end of 1977, Culture had already moved to Sonia Pottinger's High Note label, and recorded three excellent albums in quick succession: 1978's “Harder Than the Rest” and 1979's “Cumbolo” and “International Herb”. Additional material from the era was later compiled on “Trod On” and “Production Something”.

Culture performed at the legendary One Love Peace Concert in 1978, and later toured extensively in the U.K. with backing band the Revolutionaries (which included the young Sly & Robbie). However, there would not be much more material forthcoming, at least for the time being. Culture split up in 1982, and Hill recorded what was essentially a solo album, “Lion Rock”, under the Culture name. While Walker and Dayes made a few recordings with top producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes. The trio reunited in 1986, and quickly recorded two well-received comeback albums, “Culture at Work” and “Culture in Culture”, that year. They resumed touring as well, and kicked off another prolific and productive period with albums like 1988's “Nuff Crisis” (which featured the powerful protest "Crack in New York"), 1989's “Good Things”, 1991's dancehall-flavoured “Three Sides to My Story”, and 1992's “Wings of a Dove” .In 1993, Kenneth Dayes left the group to pursue a solo career, wanting to continue their earlier experimentation with dancehall. Culture was then touring with an independent backing band called Dub Mystic, and that group's lead singer, Ire'Lano Malomo, was pressed into service as the third vocalist in the trio. Malomo appeared on two studio albums, 1996's “One Stone” and 1997's “Trust Me”. He was replaced in 1999 by veteran singer Telford Nelson who after a lengthy career on his own joined on harmony vocals, and appears on 2000's “Payday”. Hill then released what was another effective solo album, “Humble African”, in 2001, before Culture returned in 2003 with the acclaimed “World Peace”.

Following this release Culture continued to actively tour around the world. In 2004 they played at the first edition of the highly successful Montreal Reggae Festival. Joseph Hill was inducted into the Reggae Walk of Fame, and was presented an Independence Award by the Jamaican Prime Minister in 2005, and in 2006 the group performed a number of concerts including the 'Bob Marley 61st Birthday Celebration' in Ghana and Reggae Sunsplash. It was also in this year that Joseph Hill suddenly became ill while the group were on tour in Europe and sadly passed away in Berlin Germany on August 19th of that year. The group decided to finish the European tour with Kenyatta Hill (Joseph's son and Culture's audio engineer) singing lead vocals as a tribute to his father. On September 8th a tribute concert took place in Kingston Jamaica and featured an all-star line-up of artists that ranged from Luciano to Bunny Wailer. A memorial service for Hill took place in Kingston the following day.
Culture have proved to be one of the few acts in reggae that can always be relied on – both on record, and on stage and have sustained their lengthy career by being both true to their cultural roots, while at the same time being able to incorporate new sounds and ideas into their mix. To their credit the group where never content to be a mere oldies act and have rightly earned their place as true reggae greats.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Jammin for Inclusion - A Top Night In Brixton

Check out.....

‘Jammin for Inclusion’

Wednesday 25th March 2009 - 7.30 till late

@ Jamm, 261 Brixton Road, Brixton SW9 2LH





DJ Gerry Lyseight

All this for just £8.00!!

Every Child Matters?

Linton Kwesi-Johnson, Ms Dynamite and Bashy- three generations of leading black UK talent come together on March 25th to ensure the next generation has a greater chance of making the most of their ability ...and not be pushed into the margins of society. The Jamm in Brixton hosts an unprecedented array of artists pumping out soul, grime and dub poetry into a potent rumbling mix that will shake the foundations and create tremors far beyond Brixton town.They will be coming together to support Communities Empowerment Network a charity who have spent the last 10 years reintegrating excluded pupils back into mainstream education. CEN deals with an average of 500 exclusion cases a year and has a virtually 100% success in reintegration. In 2001, Martin Narey, then Director of the Prison Service, stated that ‘the 13,000 children being excluded from school each year might as well be given a ticket to join the prison system somewhere down the line’. In just about every urban area in Britain, young black people are disproportionately represented in the prison system relative to their numbers in the local population.

Ms Dynamite, Bashy and Linton Kwesi-Johnson have put their name to this event because they want to highlight the success of CEN in getting permanently excluded pupils back into mainstream, full-time education as well as acknowledge the immense potential that exists in today's youth by being on hand to meet and chat to young people.

Ms Dynamite: R&B and hip song singer-rapper, Mercury Music Prize, double Brit Award and three times MOBO Awards winner. Currently back in business with a new track ‘Bad Gyal’ 2009 is setting up to see a lot more of one of the UK’s finest

Ashley Thomas AKA BASHY is the hottest artists to emerge in a brand new wave of fresh and exciting British UK musical talent. With over 1 million hits on youtube for both tracks released independantly in 2008, an appearance at last years Glastonbury, 2009 promises to be a huge year for this outstanding talent with the release of his first album ‘Catch Me If You Can'

Linton Kwesi-Johnson: is known and revered as the world's first reggae poet and has recorded several classic reggae albums. He recently became only the second living poet and the first Black poet to have his work published in Penguin's Modern Classics series under the title 'Mi Revalueshanary Fren'

Maroon Town: 9 piece globe trotting ska barnstormers who amongst normal band activities also play in high security prisons from Jamaica to Kazakhstan. In May they are off to Tajikisan to perform and collaborate with local artists.

DJ Gerry Lyseight o-founded Brixton’s mythical Mambo Inn; DJed around the world; at festivals such as Glastonbury, Womad and The Big Chill; with everyone from Tito Puente to King Sunny Ade; compiled many albums; hosted radio programmes featuring everyone from Charlie Watts to Rufus Wainwright to Mr. Scruff to Bebel Gilberto to the late Kirsty MacColl.

Some of the young people CEN has supported and reintegrated back into full time education will also perform.Eugene Skeef South African percussionist, composer, poet, and conflict resolution consultant comperes


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Israel Vibration - A Profile

The other month when I spoke with Dj Mikey J he told me that one of his favouite acts was Israel Vibration. Now I was not to familiar with this band so looked them up and came across this nice and very interesting piece about them. I hope you'll agree with me that it is quite facinating.

When polio struck Jamaica in the late 1950s, many of the island nation's children had not been vaccinated against the crippling disease. Three young victims of the epidemic--Cecil (Skelly) Spence, Albert (Apple) Craig, and Lascelle (Wiss) Bulgin--came together at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre in Kingston, a government institution for young polio patients whose families could not afford medical care. "We grow together like brothers," Craig said. The three boys' paths crossed sporadically as they moved among various institutions, according to Roger Steffens, a reggae historian and founding editor of The Beat. Through it all, however, they shared a love of music. Spence, for example, played in a band called the Hot Lickers and performed on Jamaican TV when he was 12. Craig started writing songs at an early age and taught himself to play the piano by watching his teacher's hands as she played.
In that unlikely setting, under those traumatic circumstances, a seed was planted which would grow into one of Jamaica's most noted vocal groups--Israel Vibration. The trio's concerts, Rob Kenner wrote in Vibe magazine, are unforgettable. "It's not just the sight of three polio-stricken Rastafarians skanking on stage in a tangle of crutches, braces and dreadlocks. Rather, it's their voices--the sweet, achy way Skelly, Apple and Wiss blend their wails into one irresistible cry," Kenner commented. "When the three of us come together," Spence told Kenner, "the forces combine in a triangle."
As a boy, Craig chafed under the restrictions of institutional life. "I was transferred to the Salvation Army Home, then to the Alpha Boys School, which was run by nuns. It was like a prison," he told Steffens. "They beat me up there, and locked me in a room with three iron bars over a little peephole. I used to climb up in a tree. I sit there for days and plan to run away from that place, and I did it. I break through the fence and until this day, I'm free." At age 14, Craig was living on the street, often dizzy from hunger. He washed car windows and begged for spare change, slept in abandoned houses and cars, and bathed at the wharf. "I was like a lonely sheep in the wilderness," he said. "I was like Job."
The teen-ager turned to the Rastafari religion and the dreadlocked outcasts who practiced it, even though "society saw them as mad people. They never look presentable with their big 'locks and sandals made of car tires," Craig was quoted in Vibe. "Some did smell kinda funny, too, 'cause they live inna bush." Spence and Bulgin, meanwhile, left the institutional life--although it is unclear whether they "graduated" or were expelled for embracing the Rastafarian lifestyle. Spence, in any event, was kicked off the Jamaican wheelchair basketball team, with which he had traveled to Germany and New Zealand, when he began growing Rasta dreadlocks.
Around 1969, Craig "was living in the bush near the football field at the University of West Indies," Steffens wrote. "Gradually, he, Wiss and Skelly began to hang out together, smoking herb, reading the Bible, reasoning, and--miraculously--learning that the blend of their three voices was attracting an enthusiastic crowd that would clap and cheer and urge them to record their music." The trio crafted a name which reflected both the children of God and the resonance of music. "We are one of those groups that is born great," Craig has said, "because it was put together by a touch of the Almighty."
In 1976, Israel Vibration started recording their songs--they shared lead vocal duties--with support from the noted Roots Radics rhythm section. The group gained recognition beyond their homeland with the album Same Song. Music critic James Lien has called the late 1970s a powerful period for Rastafari and reggae, and he noted that "Israel Vibration provided one of the era's most forceful messages of peace and spirituality." Professionally, however, the trio found serenity elusive. "Their musical careers seemed to be taking off but, like many Jamaican artists, Israel Vibration's recording career was set back," according to the group's official bio, " by a local industry plagued ... by questionable accounting practices, musical piracy, and a lack of tour support."
In 1983, Craig, Spence and Bulgin parted company and separately traveled to the United States in search of solo careers and better medical care. Eventually, each approached Washington-based RAS Records with hopes of acquiring a recording contract. The label's president, a man known as Doctor Dread in reggae circles, had other ideas, however. Dread was the catalyst behind Israel Vibration's 1989 reunion, which resulted in a string of inspirational and popular roots-reggae releases, including Strength of My Life, Praises, and On the Rock. Once again, the trio was supported on stage and in the studio by the Roots Radics. In the 1990s, the reunited Israel Vibration cracked the reggae and world music charts and the video for their 1995 single "Rudeboy Shufflin" played on the BET network and other cable channels. The song includes the lyric: "Want peace in society, you better put me on your MTV."
Critics took notice. Pulse magazine lauded On the Rock's "haunting melodies, forceful rhythm tracks, and absolutely captivating lyrics." The Washington Post noted Israel Vibration's ability to shift from songs of social injustice to celebratory tunes on the album Free to Move: "Both 'Terrorist' and 'Mud Up' bemoan street violence, and 'Livity in the Hood' insists that education is the way out of the concrete jungle," The Post reported. "But this album isn't entirely grim. The bright, sunny 'Pretty Woman' is propelled by a bouncy ska rhythm, while 'Traveling Man' brings a proselytizer's zeal to a road song."
Due to personal differences, Craig left the group in April 1997. Spence and Bulgin, meanwhile, continued to perform under the name Israel Vibration and launched a tour with the Roots Radics. "The three singers have faced considerable difficulties," Jimmy Cawley wrote in The Boston Globe, "but reggae is, after all, the music of sufferers who prevail."

by Dave Wilkins

Israel Vibration's Career
Israel Vibration began performing and recording in their Jamaican homeland, 1970s; the trio released popular roots-reggae recordings in Jamaica before splitting up in 1983; reunited in the U.S. six years later; signed with RAS Records and recorded a string of albums in the 1990s.

Reality Shock

Reality Shock - Volume 1 is an LP that features 16 tracks from veteran artists such as Macka B, Earl 16, Aqua Livi, Errol Bellot & Dixie Peach as well as some rising stars such as Solo Banton, Deadly Hunta, Lioness Fonts & many more. All of the tracks are UK produced, having been mixed by the likes of Russ Disciples, Mafia & Fluxy, Gussie P & Stingray Records. Amongst them are some well-known Reality Shock anthems previously released on 10" vinyl, such as Afrikan Simba's 'Free up the Herb' & Mikey Murka's ‘War’, which have enjoyed extensive play by many radio stations and leading soundsystems across the world. The love that went in to every detail of this album is evident even down to the artwork, drawn by the mulit-talented Hugo Wolf, featuring characters of the RS family in a style reminiscent of early Scientist albums. I was going to do a review of this LP as it is a fine example of modern roots reggae, but try as I might I just couldn’t find a way to surpass or even match the review done by Angus Taylor in November last year that appears on the United Reggae web site, as he has pretty much nailed it!
Personal faves for me are Chiefatin Joseph - Musical Farmer and Deadly Hunta’s – Better Way

1. Errol Bellot - Reality Shock
2. Prince Livijah & Prince Alla - Only Love
3. Earl 16 - Reggae Got Soul
4. Solo Banton - Roots Rock Reggae
5. Chiefatin Joseph - Musical Farmer
6. Afrikan Simba - Free Up The Herbs
7. Dixie Peach - I Believe
8. Bird - Thanks & Praises
9. Aqua Livi - Stop The Shooting
10. Deadly Hunta - Better Way
11. Lioness Fonts - One Way System
12. Errol Bellot - Babylon
13. Marga - Dem Wrong
14. Macka B - Rise Up
15. Errol Bellot & Afrikan Simba - My Youths
16. Mikey Murka - War

Find more info on this and more at:

Asherman Meets Dub Street Rockers

I came upon this album a couple of months back and what a little beaut it is. Dub Street Rockers is / was the brain child of former Aggrolittes bass man Jason Bonner. If from the use of the word “dub” in the name you are expecting some kind of effect heavy laden instrumental tunes you’ll be very disappointed as this a really top rate roots reggae album with a very prominent spiritual vibe as vocalist Asherman touches on various subjects from mother Africa, repatriation, and giving praise, love and thanks to god. This is no more apparent than in the opening track ‘Armour of God’, which is a stripped down nyabinghi styled piece in which Asherman reads from the bible quoting Ephesians chapter 6. This is followed by the sweet lovers’ style of ‘Wake Me Up’.
After this point the rest of the tracks up to 11 are put together in a back to back style of roots tune followed by a more rub-a-dub, dancehall, DJ version a kin to those 12” mixes of the late 70’s and early 80’s. What I love most about this LP though is it has a very live all done in one take feel. The way it flows with its laid back feel is a joy to behold and the instrumentation is spot on with subtle bits of keyboard and percussion blended with the throbbing bass and delicate guitar licks. The drums have an almost muffled tone to them that helps to give the whole thing that earthy almost acoustic feel on top of everything else. The album finishes on the up-tempo and joyous sounding ‘Moving On’.
Finally as Mr Asherman says in the song ‘Crucial Vibes’,Asher have the vibe and so should you.



  1. Armor of God
  2. Wake Me Up
  3. Keep Steady
  4. Steady As She Goes
  5. Stop Fighting
  6. Jah Seed
  7. Seed Grow
  8. Zion Ready
  9. Africa Ready
  10. Crucial Vibes
  11. Asherman Vibes
  12. Moving On / Disco Mix


Jason "Cool Breeze" Castillo: Drums

J Bonner: Bass, Guitars, Piano, Organ, Percussion

Josh Whittemore: Bass

Joel D'Amico: Tenor Sax

Produced By: J Bonner


Nicole Willis and The Soul Investigators - Keep Reachin' Up

Now a confession has to be made as well as listening to all forms of reggae I also have a strong passion for soul music and in particular the Motown / Northern Soul varieties and having just been to an old scooter club reunion do, where I met up with people who I haven't seen since Noah was a boy, and only played with boats in the bath. Well this got me trawling through some of my old records and giving them a spin again.
I didn't have to travel all the way back to the 60's to find some killer cuts though, but just to 2005 and this glorious album from Nicole Willis and The Soul Investigators. I've been playing it to death and thought I should just pass on my thoughts to those of you of similar persuasions who may have not heard of this......shame on you....

Well in 1967 the Stax Review turned up in Norway, with many of the labels top draws hitting their peak. The likes of Otis, Sam & Dave, Arthur Conley and all superbly backed up by Booker T & The MG's. The sounds these fellas made must have risen up and spread across Scandinavia and before landing firmly in Helsinki, Finland (where I believe the Investigators are from) and made quite an impact, because this 60's funk, soul and R&B inspired band are as tight and tailored as one of Otis's suits! The throbbing bass line and pounding drums of fatback funk title track 'Keep Reachin' Up' would not be out of place on any of James Brown's old LP's, and when combined with Nicole's vocals are as good as any Marva Whitney, Vicky Anderson workouts.
Opening track 'Feeling Free' is an uplifting floaty, string infused tune, about the joys of dancing and along with 'If This Ain't Love' (my personal fave) and 'Four Leaf Clover' captures the spirit and vibe of Northern Soul perfectly. While 'No Ones Gonna Hold You' is a deep, deep soul almost bluesy wail with grinding organ. The rest of the songs carry that soulful, funky feel with aplomb and the whole thing closes out on the laid back almost lounge bar jazz of the 'Soul Investigators Theme'.
I did see in another review for this LP that someone commented that "lyrically it's a bit weak to say the least - "so come on over boy, don't treat me like a...toy" for example...ahem" (taken from 'My Four Leaf Clover'). Now although a valid point I do feel it somewhat misses the point of this LP, as for me this LP is about pure pleasure and hankering back to a time where music was maybe somewhat more innocent, with songs about love and simple pleasures and this innocence to me only adds to the LP's charm after all......"feeling free and spinning on the dance floor is where I wanna be"

Track List:

1. Feeling Free
2. If This Ain't Love (Don't Know What Is)
3. Keep Reachin' Up
4. Blues Downtown
5. My Four Leaf Clover
6. A Perfect Kind Of Love
7. Invisible Man
8. Holdin' On
9. No One's Gonna Love You
10. Soul Investigators Theme