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    Sir Victor Uwaifo’s presence looms over his birthplace, Benin City, Nigeria. His name comes up in any conversation about music in Edo State, and many musicians claim him as an influence. Born in 1941, he made a significant impact on Nigerian popular music with a string of international hits throughout the 1960s and ’70s. He still performs and records, but has increasingly focused on sculpture and writing. He served as the Commissioner for Arts and Culture in the state under Governor Lucky Igbinedion, and was recognized as an honorary member of the Order of Niger in 1983.

    In December 2016, I visited Sir Victor Uwaifo’s home with Professor Austin Emielu, a musician and scholar of Nigerian music, based at Kwara State University, and our research assistant Dan Omoruan. Austin is the coproducer of our upcoming Hip Deep program “Edo Highlife: Culture, Politics and Progressive Traditionalism.” “He’s really a star, that’s why we call him ‘Superstar’ here, in fact, he calls himself ‘Superstar’ as well!” Austin told me. “When we talk about Edo popular music, he’s the one who actually brought Edo music to the limelight. It was Victor Uwaifo who pioneered this kind of highlife that modernized Benin music, so he brought Edo music into the mainstream of highlife. He was not the first to start it but he made it very popular.”

    Our visit began with a mandatory tour of Uwaifo’s Revelation Tourist Palazzo, a combination history museum/archive of awards and posters and paraphernalia from Uwaifo’s lengthy career, and a collection of Uwaifo’s original sculptures, some of which border on the grotesque and gruesome. We were led through the museum by Uwaifo’s manager, Chris Osaredo Eburu, a knowledgeable and vociferous guide.

    IMG_1573

    When we met the superstar himself in his office, he was pristinely dressed in peak late-1970s fashion with white jacket and matching hat, red shirt, huge shades and silver cross on a chain.

    IMG_1643

    His desk was covered in books, newspaper clippings and other things. He immediately gave us a copy of his latest self-published book, Biomimetics of Sculpture: And What Is Art? “I am a maestro, I’m a sculptor, I’m an architect, I’m an engineer, I’m an inventor, a philosopher, I’m a sportsman, and I’m a humanist.” Uwaifo told us. He took us from his office to his lavishly furnished, spacious living room.

    IMG_1649

    A life-size sculpture of the man himself stands, without a pedestal support, in the center of the floor, an example of Uwaifo’s biomimetic sculpture style. We sat down on a pair of throne-sized chairs on a raised dais under a chief’s umbrella, and Sir Uwaifo told us some of his story.

    Sir Victor Uwaifo: As early as 12 years old, way back in Benin here, I started playing guitar, based on Latin-American Spanish type of music. I grew up in an era where the gramophone was the in thing. Gramophone is a kind of device that you just wind and you release it and it starts playing. I still have one there that I will demonstrate; if you had a gramophone, you are a big man. You had a gas light to go with it, oh, you are extra big! So if the gramophone was playing in my house, my father had many types of records but especially when he played the GV records, those were the ones that appealed to me because they were mostly guitar.

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    I constructed my own guitar using plywood and using bicycle spokes for the frets, and traps for the strings, and a sardine opener for the tuning pegs. I was doing pretty well, and after a year I went downtown by a palm wine bar, and I wanted to play their guitar. It was difficult because I tuned to my own taste, it was like the Hawaiian style, do, re, mi, do, sol, mi, do, whereas theirs was the Spanish style, which is EBGDAE. So, they promised they would teach me their own style if I bought them a glass of palm wine, and I did. So from then I started experiencing new styles. And then I later on I bought a book, some rudiments of guitar.

    I attended three schools: Western Boys’ High School in Benin, St. Gregory’s in Lagos—We had a music teacher, I did theory of music, and I also led the school band there—and then I went to Yaba College of Technology, I studied orchestration and management. But before then I was already playing folk songs on my guitar, and as I progressed along, I started playing with some bands and especially with E.C. Arinze. I had some recordings from 1960 and ’64, and we used a band, but we called them the Pickups, we had to pick them up from different places, so I gave them the name Pickups. And then in 1964, I formed a band with some great names, some are late now, one is still living, Fred Coker, Stephen [Osita] Osadebe, and myself. We called ourselves the Central Moderneers, we did record some singles and so on.

    “I graduated from Yaba college in 1963 and I worked for NTA—then it was NTS Nigerian Television Service, now it’s the Nigerian Television Authority. I worked for two years before I made a hit, “Joromi,” and I decided to resign my appointment and go full-time.

    “Joromi” changed the whole game entirely. It was something different! It was based on almost like a folk but modern guitar style, and I introduced so many things, like playing with tremolo, I constructed a volume control on the pedal that when I played a note and I pulled it forward and backward it gives me a special sound. I was creating so many effects, and that really surprised listeners: I played double strings, and I go up and solo. [“Joromi”] was kind of a highlife tempo, and then few songs followed. Six/8 [time], that couldn’t have been highlife, so I called it “Akwete.”

    At this point, Uwaifo became excited and asked his manager, Chris, to bring an acoustic guitar. The guitar never left his lap for the rest of the interview, and he occasionally launched into full song, for example, his rendition of J.S. Bach’s “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring,” as heard on our Nigerian Hip Deep Preview program.

    The hit song “Joromi,” released on Phonogram in 1966, sold 100,000 copies by 1969, earning Uwaifo the first gold disc on the African continent. The lyrics, in the Bini language, were based on the legend of Joromi, a wrestler who took on the seven-headed spirit of the underworld…and was defeated. But, according to Austin Emielu, it was another song from the same period, “Guitar Boy,” that really launched Uwaifo internationally. Uwaifo picked up the story:

    It was in 1966, in Lagos, at the Bar Beach. I used to frequent there after I left work at the NTA, or the NTS is it then was. One night, I was just strumming my guitar, looking for inspiration, I lay down on my camp bed. Some worshipers would come there, spiritually would come there, pacing up and down, and before midnight they would’ve gone, vanished. But that night, I experienced the tide was coming in easy, it would wash down, and I had to move my camp bed back, so I would not get drowned in the wave of the water. Anytime it washed down, it would leave some pearls, some cowries, and some monies and all kinds of gifts on the beach. But then suddenly I saw from a distance, a figure coming towards me, floating. Suddenly it was getting clearer and clearer and before I knew it was right in front of me and I stopped playing. My heart jumped into my stomach, I almost took off! And she cried out “Guitar boy!”

    It was my scream that said “bweh” that that I transposed into the guitar that you hear. Before then nobody was playing guitar like that, so I introduced that into the song. I now transformed it. “If you see Mami Wata,” she said “Never you run away.” I thought it was a joke, and then she called my name, “Never you run away, Victor Uwaifo.” I was down, and then she glided away, floated away. I just took my guitar, my camp bed, and I went to my Citroen car, it could almost fly! So the following day I gathered my band and I rehearsed the song.

    Austin later explained, “The Mami Wata thing, it is something that’s common in Africa here, water spirit. Half human, half spirit, half fish. So she could bless people. That’s why he’s saying, ‘Guitar boy, if you see Mami Wata, never you run away.’”

    I made my name abroad, in Lagos, and at the peak of my career, I came down to Benin. And people thought I was crazy, but I thought, “Yeah, let me come down to Benin.” I just thought that Lagos was already saturated, and Benin was a virgin land. And I need to develop my people! I built a hotel, it was called Joromi Hotel. It’s still there, but not a hotel anymore. I was running a nightclub there, and every week it was filled up, jam-packed. And that was the only thing that was happening in Benin at the time, the nightlife was at its peak, especially when I came up with the “Ekassa No.1”

    So from there, I moved on to different sounds. There were Benin folk songs, based on mythologies, some historical background. I went from “Akwete” to “Mutaba.” “Mutaba” I wrote to challenge soul music, because soul music almost took my fans away. Nigerians are gullible, when the soul came it swept everybody off their feet. I said well, if it is so, then I have the equivalent and I created “Mutaba,” then from “Mutaba” to “Shadow.” “Shadow” was a kind of dance that I fashioned after a shadow cast after an object, as you move, the shadow moves with you; if you spread an umbrella, it spreads. So I fashioned a tempo along with a shadow.

    “I used to go on tours, the whole month, and I was the first to advertise on the daily Times newspaper in those days, I was just in the activities, and people would’ve seen it from one place to another from Kwara state to Kaduna to Jos, so they were expecting me. I didn’t have to advertise every day, but each day I would just say…If I’m playing Ibadan today, I just have to say I’m playing Ilorin tomorrow. So by the time I play at Ilorin, I would say tomorrow I’ll be at Onitsha, and so on and so on.

    And I had a manager, people never thought a musician would have a manager. I introduced management into this business, and I also had a road manager, which is different from the manager. I do not negotiate engagement fee with anybody, it’s through my manager. We would go on tour, by the time we finished, that promoted my music, too, because they would have heard my music and they would want to buy. And the songs were just coming, sometimes on the way we would just rehearse a new song, and then we would try them on the stage. The roads were not that good anyways, but the distance between the towns were so wide, that unless you moved almost immediately after finishing, you would not be able to make it. So we were traveling almost every time. And then Nigeria also commissioned me on tour, there was one we did on the Eastern block that took us almost two months. From Bulgaria to Romania to Yugoslavia, East and West Berlin, Hungary, Ukraine, Moscow, came back to Rome, that is Italy, and then Germany and then Hong Kong, and so we were just touring. Before that I had a show, the first show was Algeria 1969, and when I came back, the news came around and people read national news that some people fainted during my performance, when I was doing my breathtaking shows, when I would jump in somersaults.

    “But the “Ekassa”! In 1970 came the “Ekassa” series. It also is the kind of song and dance you do when a new Oba [king] is coronated, just like this new Oba, Oba Ewuare II. Ekassa music was performed, it has always been performed during the coronation of a new Oba. I brought it to limelight, I gave it a new kind of rendition that made it danceable with a tempo almost like rock.

    I named the series “Ekassa” 1,2,3, which I got from the GV series. GV records were named 1,2,3, up to GV 10. If you can still lay your hands on GV 10 today, that’s the song, “Manisero.” So my “Ekassa” series were numbered, I got that affectation from that GV. And later I moved on to “Titibiti”, and “Titibiti” gave me a wider scope. I could now fly: Titibiti is a bird here in Benin, it’s like an eagle, so I fly like the titibiti. So that is been the trajectory of repertoires and genres of sounds.

    People probably think I just play guitar and probably flute, no, I play all musical instruments. I just run away from trumpet because I don’t want to mark on my lips [Laughs]. I play the saxophone, alto, tenor, baritone sax, soprano, I play xylophone I played keyboard piano and percussions guitar and flute.”

    It is commonly reported that Sir Victor Uwaifo learned guitar from Dizzy Aquaye, from E.T. Mensah’s Tempos Band, but when I asked if there any Ghanaian influence in his music, he flatly refused:

    No, no, no, there’s no Ghanaian influence in my music at all. But I listened to E.T. Mensah when I was young, because he was much older and used to come to Benin. In fact artists in Ghana looked up to me, instead of looking up to them. The only guy that I thought was also a good guitarist, was somebody Taylor. Ebo Taylor. I don’t know if he plays palm wine, but his solos were quite jazzy in those days. Otherwise, I came up with a different style that was unique to me. If I hold an electric guitar now, and there’s a band it’s a different thing entirely, because I have a rhythmic guitar, a keyboard and bass guitar. To listen to my “Ekassa” series, you will now hear a lot of gimmicks in my style. I play a wide range of guitar, and my style is quite different.

    Even in those days in the band that I played, musicians, especially guitarist, you’re supposed to be at the background, but I came with the solo and I decided to lead the band with the guitar. You’d either be a trumpeter, or a saxophonist, you had to be a horn man, to be able to lead the band. But I just thought these people cannot actually play a polyphonic instrument, so why should they lead? Do they know the kind of chordal sound of music? Progressions, modulations, syncopation? Because the nearest to guitar is the piano, but piano has about 172 strings, but the guitar has six strings and can do the same thing! That’s phenomenal! So the guitar has its own place, and it’s portable. I was happy that I play the guitar and I’m still playing it.

    Victor-Uwaifo-LP

    Uwaifo has also invented and built some unique instruments, including a double-necked guitar, although the first multinecked guitar was invented in 1850.

    I did a double-necked guitar in those days, and simultaneously I heard that someone invented a double-necked guitar somewhere else in the world. Mine had a 12 and a six string, but one neck was short like a mandolin because I wanted eight octaves, because the piano has that, but the guitar just has not even up to five. So I shortened one neck to give me that. If you listen to “Sweet Banana,” the solo there was taken with that.

    IMG_1600

     

    Uwaifo showed us another of his inventions: a guitar strap that allowed him to spin his guitar 360 degrees during a performance. 

    IMG_1646

    Austin and I were Edo State for two weeks doing research into the vibrant live-band local highlife scene in the region. Edo highlife musicians often claim Uwaifo as an an influence, although his music was more geared towards an elite clientele than the local styles that developed for community events.

    We asked: “You were hearing Cuban music and calypso from the gramophone, but were there also local groups or traditional music that you were hearing locally? Other bands, or traditional music for burials?”

    No, those people were just local. No, they were very different, different completely. In fact it was just like day and night. The type of music that I was attuned to, that my ears were attuned to was just like the day, the light. The other ones, I didn’t want to hear them, because they were just like the night, dark, they didn’t have form, they were just vamping and playing. There were some local musicians, but not the guitar.

    So you are the one who pioneered the guitar here Benin City?

    Yes, yes, yes, there were some guitarists before me but you can’t actually place them, you can’t figure out what they’re doing, or who they were, or what they were trying to achieve. But when I came on, in fact it speaks for itself, there is no way I can describe it…Otherwise it will look as if I’m…

    [He stood up and approached the statue of his own likeness] I see music, and I hear art. Like this piece of art that is here now, this sculpture I’m working on is not just a sculpture, I’m working on biomimetics. If you see the teeth, you will say that they’re very lifelike. And normally people do a base for it so can stand, but I found a way for it: A standing figure is bisymmetrical with an overall vertical axis and if the weight is distributed evenly it can create an equilibrium, so this work stands on its own. The same thing with music, if you create music and it has a good arrangement, it will sound pleasant to the ears.

    To hear portions of our interview with Sir Victor Uwaifo, tune in to our upcoming Hip Deep program “Edo Highlife: Culture, Politics and Progressive Traditionalism.” All photos by Morgan Greenstreet, except when noted

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


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    320 kbps | 116 MB | UL | OB |

    Hard to believe it’s been 30 years since the release of “By The Time It Gets Dark” in 1987. There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then and how time flies when you’re busy and having a good time! As it’s always been one of my favourite albums I felt that it deserved to be revisited to celebrate it’s 30th anniversary. With that in mind we sent the old 24 track tapes to be baked (a process to preserve them) allowing us to do a complete remix and remaster the album.

    We enlisted the services of my great friend and sound engineer Billy Robinson to do the job and I’m delighted with the outcome – it sounds great, even if I say so myself! We added a few bits where needed and I’m happy to see it being released on vinyl again.

    It’s been a nice journey revisiting that time and remembering the sights and sounds of life back then.

    As we listened closely to some of the tracks, the beautiful voice of Mandy Murphy came through and I felt so sad that she passed away, so young, last year. I wish to dedicate this release to her memory.

    Mary


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    320 kbps | 102 MB | UL | OB |

    “If Forrest Gump were talking about this band, he might say ‘Breaking Grass is like a box of chocolates….’ With Breaking Grass, my very first impression was; this band understands variety. From heartfelt emotion to barroom romance to a Texas Two-Step to a genuine good-old-fashioned barn-burner, Breaking Grass lacks nothing in mixing it up. It’s refreshing to hear a band that truly is different…different from any other and even different from within.” – Brian McNeal – Prescription Bluegrass


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    Sinners & Saints / On the Other Side Жанр : Country Страна исполнителя (группы) : США Год издания : 2017 Аудиокодек : MP3 Тип рипа : tracks Битрейт аудио : 320 kbps Продолжительность : 00:33:18 Наличие сканов в содержимом раздачи : нет Треклист : 01.

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    Die Tschaika (анс. Чайка) / Wodka, Sekt Und Kaviar (водка, шампанское и икра) Жанр : Russian folk Страна исполнителя (группы) : ФРГ Год издания : 1974 Аудиокодек : MP3 Тип рипа : tracks Битрейт аудио : 320 kbps Продолжительность : 0:52:24 Наличие сканов в содержимом раздачи : да Треклист : 1.

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    VAN MORRISON - Blowin' Your Mind! (1967) (US 1995 Epic Legacy MasterSound SBM • ZK 66220)

    Performer: VAN MORRISON
    Album / collection: Blowin' Your Mind!
    Series: 24Kt Gold™, MasterSound SBM™ Series –
    Label / country: ⒸⓅ 1967, 1995 Epic | Legacy MasterSound SBM™. Made in USA.
    Source: Rip by KoGGaN™ scans by inet...
    Official DR value: DR12*
    Catalog (Barcode): ZK 66220 (0 7464-66220-2 5)
    Genre / Style: Rock, Funk / Soul, Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues
    Year (info): 1967 (Re-issue 1995, Re-mastered, 24Kt Gold CD, Special Edition, Limited Edition)
    Format: WV (image + .cue)
    Bitrate: lossless
    Covers: in archive
    Amount of tracks: 13
    Total time: 52:19
    Size RAR: ~ 349 mb
    Password / Пароль : 1965
    Upload: DepositFiles.com, TurboBit.net
    Recovery 3%

    VAN MORRISON - Blowin' Your Mind! (1967) (US 1995 Epic Legacy MasterSound SBM • ZK 66220)

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    SIMON & GARFUNKEL - Sounds Of Silence (1966) (US 2010 Audio Fidelity • AFZ 080)

    Performer: SIMON & GARFUNKEL
    Album / collection: Sounds Of Silence
    Series: Audio Fidelity 24Kt Gold™ Series –
    Label / country: ⒸⓅ 1966, 2010 Columbia | Audio Fidelity. Made in USA.
    Source: Rip by KoGGaN™ scans by inet...
    Official DR value: DR11*
    Catalog (Barcode): AFZ 080 (7 80014 20802 8)
    Genre / Style: Rock, Folk Rock, Classic Rock
    Year (info): 1966 (Re-issue 2010, Re-mastered, 24Kt Gold CD, Special Edition, Limited Edition)
    Format: WV (image + .cue)
    Bitrate: lossless
    Covers: in archive
    Amount of tracks: 11
    Total time: 29:28
    Size RAR: ~ 225 mb
    Password / Пароль : 1965
    Upload: DepositFiles.com, TurboBit.net
    Recovery 3%

    SIMON & GARFUNKEL - Sounds Of Silence (1966) (US 2010 Audio Fidelity • AFZ 080)

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    Uaman Flor Nivio - Ciudad De Piedra (2002)

    Re-Up

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     :s...

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    JOSÉ FELICIANO - Feliciano! (1968) (US 1995 BMG Music, New York • 66595-2)

    Performer: JOSÉ FELICIANO
    Album / collection: Feliciano!
    Series: 24Kt Gold™, Collector's Edition™ Series –
    Label / country: ⒸⓅ 1968, 1995 RCA | BMG Music, NY. Made in USA.
    Source: Rip by KoGGaN™ scans by inet...
    Official DR value: DR13*
    Catalog (Barcode): 66595-2 (0 7863-66595-2 7)
    Genre / Style: Rock, Funk / Soul, Folk, World, & Country
    Year (info): 1968 (Re-issue 1995, Re-mastered, 24Kt Gold CD, Special Edition, Limited Edition)
    Format: WV (image + .cue)
    Bitrate: lossless
    Covers: in archive
    Amount of tracks: 11
    Total time: 37:42
    Size RAR: ~ 190 mb
    Password / Пароль : 1965
    Upload: DepositFiles.com, TurboBit.net
    Recovery 3%

    JOSÉ FELICIANO - Feliciano! (1968) (US 1995 BMG Music, New York • 66595-2)

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    Breaking Grass • Warning Signs Жанр : Country/Bluegrass Страна : USA (Booneville, MS) Год издания : 2017 Аудиокодек : MP3 Тип рипа : tracks Битрейт аудио : 320 kbps Продолжительность : 00:38:41 Наличие сканов в содержимом раздачи : нет 01.

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    Trey Jackson • Lonely Road Жанр : Modern Country Страна : United Kingdom (North East) Год издания : 2017 Аудиокодек : MP3 Тип рипа : tracks Битрейт аудио : 320 kbps Продолжительность : 00:48:41 Наличие сканов в содержимом раздачи : нет 01.

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    Greg Wickham • If I Left This World Жанр : Country/Rock/Americana Страна : USA (Kansas City, MO) Год издания : 2017 Аудиокодек : MP3 Тип рипа : tracks Битрейт аудио : 320 kbps Продолжительность : 00:43:55 Наличие сканов в содержимом раздачи : нет 01.

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    0 0

    BOB DYLAN - Blonde On Blonde (1966) (JP 1994 Columbia Legacy MasterSound SBM • 480417-2)

    Performer: BOB DYLAN
    Album / collection: Blonde On Blonde
    Series: 24Kt Gold™, MasterSound SBM™ Series –
    Label / country: ⒸⓅ 1966, 1994 Columbia | Legacy MasterSound SBM. Made in Japan.
    Source: Rip by KoGGaN™ scans by inet...
    Official DR value: DR13*
    Catalog (Barcode): 480417-2 (5 099748 041722)
    Genre / Style: Rock, Blues, Folk Rock, Rhythm & Blues
    Year (info): 1966 (Re-issue 1994, Re-mastered, 24Kt Gold CD, Special Edition, Limited Edition)
    Format: WV (image + .cue)
    Bitrate: lossless
    Covers: in archive
    Amount of tracks: 14
    Total time: 1:13:17
    Size RAR: ~ 517 mb
    Password / Пароль : 1965
    Upload: DepositFiles.com, TurboBit.net
    Recovery 3%

    BOB DYLAN - Blonde On Blonde (1966) (JP 1994 Columbia Legacy MasterSound SBM • 480417-2)

    0 0

    Die Tschaika (анс. Чайка) / Wodka, Sekt Und Kaviar (Водка, шампанское и икра) Жанр : Russian folk Носитель : LP Страна-производитель диска (релиза) : ФРГ Год издания : 1974 Страна исполнителя (группы) : ФРГ Аудиокодек : WavPack (*.

    Тема на форуме



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    IMG_6239

    Derrick Morgan joins his grandson Imaru Tafari on stage. Photo by Noah Schaffer.

    Reggae artist Tony Rebel’s annual Rebel Salute festival in St. Ann, Jamaica bills itself as the “Preservation of Reggae.” It might not seem like reggae needs any preserving—pop stars like Justin Bieber and Drake are having hits on dancehall riddims, while reggae revival artists remain major touring attractions in the U.S. and Europe.

    But with non-Jamaican artists making up half of this year’s reggae Grammy nominees, there has been talk of whether reggae is becoming an international music which is losing its ties to the land that created it. So the two long nights at Rebel Salute, held Jan. 13-14, could be considered a 26-hour stand for reggae from a Jamaican perspective.

    IMG_6224

    The “Herb Curb” marijuana education (and sales) area of the fest. Photo by Noah Schaffer.

    Rebel has taken other stands as well. Adhering to pure Rastafarian philosophy, there are no sales of meat or alcohol, depriving the event of the liquor sponsors who underwrite many reggae events. (Of course, it’s not alcohol consumption that most associate with reggae, and thanks to special government dispensation marijuana is openly sold and consumed.) Also as a “clean” festival, artists are asked to avoid cussing and slack lyrics.

    Another Rebel Salute trademark is the wide range of artists, and the 20th edition was no exception. Popcaan, one of the biggest dancehall stars of the moment, did a high-energy set around 8 a.m. Sunday morning, a few hours after one of Jamaica’s first stars, Derrick Morgan, had delivered his ska hits from the early ‘60s. The ’90s dancehall giant Beenie Man capped off the weekend billed as his birth name Moses Davis. He proved his versatility with a segment that included jazz, pop and African leanings.

    But where the stage show really shines is in the predawn hours, when a house band backs a series of important but under-appreciated reggae greats who are too seldom seen on the touring circuit, but who are experts when it comes to working a stage and can fit a lot into a 10 or 15 minute segment. Dancehall pioneers General Trees and Lone Ranger showed the kind of wit that is generally absent from non-Jamaican reggae practitioners. Junior Kelly and Warrior King had massive smashes in the ‘90s with “Love So Nice” and “Virtuous Woman,” respectively, and made strong impressions with short but impactful sets that proved their catalogs went beyond their biggest hits.

    The importance of Jamaican-bred acts in the diaspora was also on display. New York audiences have lots of opportunities to hear Ed Robinson sing his popular cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” or female dancehall pioneer Sister Nancy’s immortal “What A Bam Bam,” but neither had appeared in Jamaica in years.

    Since reggae audiences tend to express their enthusiasm at the beginning of a song, stage shows can seem more like victory laps than concerts. The truth is that veterans like Half Pint and the version of the Abyssinians led by Bernard Collins only have a fraction of their past vocal power, but that didn’t stop their performances from being punctuated by frequent “forwards” from the plastic horns which vendors purveyed throughout the grounds.

    Other vintage artists shined, especially the trio of Derrick Morgan, Errol Dunkley and Stranger Cole who were backed by rocksteady experts Lloyd Parks and his We The People Band. Heptones’ lead singer Leroy Sibbles showed how his bass playing led to some of reggae’s most enduring riddims, while Leroy Gibbons reprised his great covers of “A Lover’s Question” and “This Magic Moment.”

    As part of his wide-tent philosophy, Rebel has sometimes included Christian artists, but rarely has that part of the show been as widely anticipated as one of the first major appearances by Marion Hall since she dropped her hyper-sexualized Lady Saw persona in favor of performing gospel. Long one of Jamaica’s most popular and complicated figures, Hall’s fame earned her a full hour on stage during which she seemed as confident as ever. Her once revealing outfits were replaced by a long dress, and her bawdy rhymes were dropped in favor of an honest conversation about her status as a rape survivor. Still, Hall’s old battle skills came in handy when she was able to deftly retort a Rastafarian audience member who yelled “Burn Jesus” at her, and critics who thought her conversion was motivated more by monetary than spiritual reasons.

    Trying to fit dozens of artists into two nights created a few complications. As Friday’s schedule fell further behind, the entourages of Tarrus Riley and Anthony B got into a confrontation over who would perform when. Eventually Riley, who always performs with a band led by saxophone legend Dean Fraser, gave up any hope of doing his own set and just did a brief cameo with Fantan Mojah. Anthony B ended up giving the morning a high-energy finish, but the bad blood spilled onto social media for a few days.

    Tempers remained cooler on Saturday, but the self-contained band Third World still expressed frustration at being forced to compress their usual show into 45 minutes. Guitarist Steven “Cat” Coore noted that for all of the great musicians who had taken the stage over the weekend almost no solos had been played—then had to leave the stage before he could add the sound of his trademark cello solos.

    Tony Rebel himself was a cultural artist at a time when dancehall dominated, and he surely paved the way for the younger “reggae revival” artists like Jesse Royal, who earned a strong response.

    For all of reggae’s reputation as the music of conscious thinking, a reggae fest can be a tough place to take a political temperature. References to the inauguration of Donald Trump were shockingly nominal. Far more attention was given to a scandal involving the abuse of minors by Jamaican clergy. The anti-gay lyrics which had been a routine and unfortunate part of past Rebel Salutes seemed absent, prompting MC Mutabaruka to quip that any gay attendees were surely grateful to the priests.

    Despite its purist bookings and lack of corporate sponsors, Rebel Salute has incredibly outlasted almost all the other Jamaican stage shows, with far more commercial events like the misnamed Jazz & Blues, Sunsplash and Sting events falling by the wayside. And if you’re looking to find reggae in Jamaica, it’s hard to imagine you’ll hear more of it at any other event.

    Noah Schaffer recently coproduced “Barbados at 50: Spouge to Soca” for Afropop Worldwide. He is the world and roots music columnist for ArtsFuse.org, a contributor to Living Blues Magazine and has received over 10 awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association.


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    BIG BROTHER & THE HOLDING COMPANY - Cheap Thrills (1968) (US 2012 Audio Fidelity • AFZ 150)

    Performer: BIG BROTHER & THE HOLDING COMPANY
    Album / collection: Cheap Thrills
    Series: Audio Fidelity 24Kt Gold™ Series –
    Label / country: ⒸⓅ 1968, 2012 Columbia | Audio Fidelity. Made in USA.
    Source: Rip by KoGGaN™ scans by inet...
    Official DR value: DR10*
    Catalog (Barcode): AFZ 150 (7 80014 21502 6)
    Genre / Style: Rock, Folk Rock, Blues Rock, Psychedelic Rock
    Year (info): 1968 (Re-issue 2012, Re-mastered, 24Kt Gold CD, Special Edition, Limited Edition)
    Format: WV (image + .cue)
    Bitrate: lossless
    Covers: in archive
    Amount of tracks: 7
    Total time: 37:20
    Size RAR: ~ 276 mb
    Password / Пароль : 1965
    Upload: DepositFiles.com, TurboBit.net
    Recovery 3%

    BIG BROTHER & THE HOLDING COMPANY - Cheap Thrills (1968) (US 2012 Audio Fidelity • AFZ 150)

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    Original release published on Odimusic by GROVER. Unauthorized copy forbidden

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