2017's Rototum Sunsplash was pure delight, and I really enjoyed taking part in a panel discussion with old friends Beenie Man, Aston "Family Man" Barrett and his son Aston Junior, Nadine Sutherland and also event hosts David Katz and Pier Tosi.
My favourite memories of the 2008 Rototum Sunsplash - apart from giving an impassioned speech about the Wailers! - was seeing one of Jah Cure's first performances since being freed from prison and also the short-lived but excellent Tosh Meets Marley Showcase band featuring Fully Fullwood and Junior Marvin.
I was honoured to appear at 2011's Rototum Sunsplash in Benicassim, Spain where I took part in a Peter Tosh presentation alongside renowned Marley authority Roger Steffens and British author Colin Grant. It was in the early hours of our last morning there that I began writing Simmer Down, about the early Wailers' line-up.
Writing about the Year In Reggae amidst all the loss and upheaval of the last twelve months wasn't easy given that a global pandemic has wreaked havoc with millions of people's lives, leaving them without jobs, homes and loved ones. There have been no live shows, tours or festivals and with the passing of one legend after another, it's truly felt like the end of an era. Despite all this music has remained a lifeline and comfort for so many of us these past twelve months and e
“One of my favourite books ever is John Masouri’s brilliant Wailing Blues: The Story Of Bob Marley’s Wailers which is basically the autobiography of Family Man Barrett and his drummer brother Carlton, the very heart of the Wailers’ sound since 1970. Every song done by Bob since then is deconstructed in this invaluable book.” Roger Steffens, in his book So Much Things To Say - The Oral History Of Bob Marley, published in 2017 by Norton. Wailing Blues: The Story of Bob Marley’s
Steppin’ Razor: The Life Of Peter Tosh. Omnibus Press. First published in 2013. ISBN 978-1-84772-836-4. Peter Tosh was a founder member of the Wailers, and a former rude boy who rose from the slums of Kingston to become a fiery advocate of Rastafari, equal rights, African nationalism and the legalisation of marijuana. He’s revered second only to Bob Marley by reggae fans worldwide but official recognition has been slow in coming, mainly because Tosh was so outspoken in his cr
Simmer Down: Marley - Tosh - Livingston. Jook Joint Press. Second pressing 2018. ISBN 978-0-9933759-8-9. Simmer Down is the final instalment of my trilogy of books about the Wailers. This time I've gone back to the very beginning, and written about the original trio of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston, who changed the face of reggae music before splintering apart in 1974 amidst considerable rancour. It’s a tale set in the '60s and early '70s against a backdrop of K
Rebel Frequency: Jamaica's Reggae Revival. Jook Joint Press. ISBN 978-0-9933759-9-6. Rebel Frequency is the first volume in my Reggae Chronicles series, and the first anthology of writing devoted to Jamaica's new wave of singers and musicians. We're talking about Chronixx, Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid and Jah9, together with newcomers like Koffee, Mortimer and Lila Ike, to name but a few. Also Damian and Stephen Marley - uptown rebels who've been among the chief architects of toda
The Marley Files: One Foundation. Jook Joint Press. ISBN 978-0-9933759-5-8. The Marley Files is the second instalment of my Reggae Chronicles series and another anthology of selected articles and features, many of them previously unavailable in English. As well as telling the stories behind Bob Marley and the Wailers' key recordings, The Marley Files include interviews with Damian, Stephen and Ziggy Marley, who talk at length about their own music and their father's legacy. T
Reggae Vibes is France’s No. 1 specialist reggae publication. I’ve been writing for them since 2008, and can’t thank editor Gilbert Pytel enough for regularly granting me the freedom to explore subjects in depth, and then enhancing the text with such arresting graphics. Salut!