The Jamaican Government: We call on them to Aid & Support the Foundation Artist in Reggae (ASFAR)

The Foundation Reggae Artists of Jamaica are dying in poverty…..

After the death of so many Jamaican artists this year including Jackie ‘Kingstonians’ Bernard, many due to poverty, we are making a plea to draw attention to the plight of our ageing unsung heroes of foundation reggae. Many cannot even afford to buy the medicines they so badly need, some have no food or proper shelter, without any help from the Government they will continue to die prematurely. These artists have given so much and got so little for their trouble……..We want to point out the rich heritage and economic benefits they have brought Jamaica….They have put Jamaica high on the cultural world map and have brought most of the tourists that come to the Island, giving much needed revenue to the Jamaican economy. …….We call upon the Jamaican Government to acknowledge the huge part they have played in the cultural heritage of Jamaica and we ask that they, the Jamaican Government do something permanent to help the foundation artists who are suffering extreme poverty and are dying at an alarming rate. Build a retirement home for the veterans of reggae music with medical facilities, as well as musical facilities…..It’s not very much to ask….. New Orleans has acknowledged it’s debt to it’s artists by creating the ‘Musicians’ Village’….It is an inspiration! Kingston and New Orleans are intertwined..

It’s time the Jamaican Government woke up and smelt the coffee (‘Blue Mountain’ of course). The tourist industry is built on the backs of the Jamaican Reggae Artists….They owe them BIG TIME!!!!….. Please help fight for these legendary veterans of reggae.

Big up our friend Gilly Roots in the UK for making us aware of his campaign.

Visit HERE to sign the petition to tell the Jamaican government to to help the foundation artists who are suffering!



Junior Marvin’s ‘Foundation To Creation’ Tour

Foundation To Creation California Tour 2014
featuring Junior Marvin & Nappy Riddem

Junior Marvin joined Bob Marley & The Wailers in 1977 and became infused with the soul of Reggae music through the recordings and performances with Bob thereafter. At the same time, he helped shape this infamous sound through his unique and diverse styles and guitar sounds.

Fast forward several decades and Junior Marvin has been giving back to the American reggae scene with a residency at XM The Joint and guiding bands like SOJA and O.A.R. For his latest collaboration, Foundation To Creation, Junior has teamed up with quickly rising funky reggae band Nappy Riddem from Washington, DC. Acting as a mentor, the foundation is supporting the creation of a new American reggae sound, steeped in funk, soul and rock.

Tour Dates:

10/09 Berkeley, Ashkenaz
10/10 Ventura, Bombay Bar and Grill
10/11 Joshua Tree Festival
10/12 Sacramento, Harlow’s
10/13 Fresno, Fulton 55
10/14 Santa Cruz, Moe’s Alley


The Yabby You, Wailers Connection

Vivian Jackson AKA “Yabby You” was a man with such unique talent that he continues to make news in reggae circles even today, fourteen years after his death.

It was 1972 when Yabby You gathered Wailers bassist Aston”Family Man” Barrett, drummer Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace, and guitarist (and future member of the Wailers)   Earl “Chinna” Smith  at Lee Perry’s Black Ark to lay down a riddim that would become the foundation of Yabby You and The Prophets’ most enduring anthem.  “Jah Vengeance” was voiced at King Tubby’s by The Prophets (Yabby You, Alaric Forbes, Bobby Melody).  While some recall Gladiators’ lead singer Albert Griffiths voicing that session as well, Yabby doesn’t address the subject directly in his 1995 interview with David Katz only adding “through me being poor, the man had to look to alternatives.  When it was time to record the whole of the persons was like Albert Griffiths….”


Photo:  Dave Hendley

Photo: Dave Hendley

Aston “Family Man” Barrett would record many songs backing The Prophets throughout the 1970s.  “Run Come Rally” (also laid down at the Black Ark); “Conquering Lion” (credited to Vivian Jackson and the Ralph Brothers and on which Fams plays bass and organ); and the timeless “Love Thy Neighbour” (which is also produced by Fams, then an alternate bass player in Yabby You’s Defenders band which also showcased Robbie Shakespeare when Fams was on tour or in the studio with Bob Marley and the Wailers).  He explains:

“[I] use Horsemouth, Chlnna and Family Man. Then Family Man trained Robbie [Shakespeare], and Rob­bie do that thing named Revolutionary. Whenever me can’t use Family Man me use Robbie.”


Robbie Shakespeare (l) and Yabby You (r)

Robbie Shakespeare (l) and Yabby You (r)

(Sly Dunbar and Anthony ‘Benbow’ Creary sat in on drums for Horsey from time to time when he was not available.)

Family Man produced and recorded “Love Thy Neighbour” at Randy’s using Robbie Shakespeare on bass, Carlton Barrett on drums, with Fams taking on rhythm guitar.  For the horns arrangement, Fams relied on Vin Gordon’s trombone, Herman Marquis’ clarinets and Dirty Harry’s sax. Interestingly, Fams uses this same riddim for the Wailers’ “Distant Drums.”

As an aside, I love Carly’s drumming on this track, which is my favorite of all of Yabby You’s work.  Not being a musician, I am unable to point to the eleme4nts of his drumming that really stand out here except to say that when you hear a roll or fill it sounds so perfectly timed and placed that you cannot imagine anyone else having played it any better.

While Family Man is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and Yabby You’s go-to-guy for organ and keys, it is Earl ‘Bagga‘ Walker who is selected to play organ on tunes like “Anti-Christ” and “Warn The Nation,” most likely because Fams was recording in the studio with Bob Marley.  It is clear that Yabby You selected Family Man not only for his musical talents but also for his character, which Yabby praises in an interview with John Masouri (for his book Wailin’ Blues:  The Story of Bob Marley’s Wailers):

“Family Man, when him see that I’m ill, him come every Saturday and cook food and thing. He bring a little bush,  buy ganja, but any time him up by Bob Marley and  Peter Touch,  him  stay  in the   background doing  his  work,  but  that  is  the significance of the tune ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ and  Family Man have nuff creativity.”




A review of Yabby You’s DELIVER ME FROM MY ENEMIES which appeared in the December 3, 1977 issue of New Musical Express.

D R. Melody Maker (Dec 3, 1977)yabby%2Cyou-crop

Here is a playlist of Yabby You vinyl transfers from my personal record collection…

Groundation ‘A Miracle’

hi dear readers, here informations about the next Groundation album, named ‘A Miracle’ as well as information about the tour who will be following.

‘Building An Ark’ was their last album, wich was kinda excellent. Harrison Stafford being also involved into another project named ‘Natty Will Fly Again’ with
Pablo Moses, Ashanti Roy and Wayne Jarrett.

‘A Miracle’ will be released 21 October 2014, including inside this article : Groundation’s Europe Autumn Tour 2014.



Since the dawn of recorded sound, music can be seen as a giant tapestry to which all musicians lend their creative influence.

One band focused on the explosive evolution of this musical ecosystem is Groundation.
Rooted in the reggae one-drop sound of Jamaica, Groundation seamlessly incorporates the harmonic, polyrhythmic, and improvisational elements of jazz, breathing new life into both genres. As one critic described it, Groundation begins at the crossroads where Burning Spear meets John Coltrane.

Groundation’s unique reggae fusion can be heard from villages in Thailand, to the favelas of Brazil, from the mountains of New Zealand, to Moroccan cafes and college dorm rooms in the United States.

Since 1998 they’ve performed in more than thirty countries on six continents, sharing the stage with such diverse artists as Jimmy Cliff, Sly and the Family Stone, The Roots, Kanye West, and Sonic Youth.

Jazz music at Northern California’s Sonoma State University brought together the original
members of Groundation:

keyboardist Marcus Urani, bassist Ryan Newman, and Harrison Stafford, guitarist and reggae singer, around whom the original sound formed. Stafford, then both a teacher of reggae history and a student of jazz, wrote songs from seeds sown in the ground of California, where antiwar, civil rights, and ecology have always thrived.

Continuing the band’s long history of collaboration with Jamaican roots reggae legends like
Don Carlos, IJahman Levi and The Congos.

A MIRACLE , Groundation’s 8th full-length studio album, to be released in October 21st 2014 with Soulbeats Records, evokes the lasting and eternal influence of Bob Marley.

A MIRACLE will features Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt, founding members of Marley’s legendary backing vocal trio the I-Threes.

The picture is completed by the pen of Neville Garrick, Marley’s art director from the time of the «Rastaman Vibration» album (1976) who made a very psychedelic cover album which reflects well the Groundation’s virtuosity, its Californian origines and positive melodies.

Following this long-awaited release, Groundation will continue to spread the good word and
believe in miracles ..

The Album tracklisting being :

01-Riddim Hold Dem
02-Defender Of Beauty ( Featuring Marcia Griffiths)
03-Free Rider
04-Gone A Cemetery
05-Liberation Call
06-A Miracle (Featuring Judy Mowatt)
07-Hold Your Head Up
08-Jah Defend the Music 100%
09-Born Again

Important : note that another track will be added to the final release.

Groundation A Miracle Tour Date Autumn 2014

Groundation A Miracle Tour Date Autumn 2014

Groundation’s Tour Autumn 2014 will lead them into France, Belgium, Switzerland,England, Luxembourg and Germany.

To Learn More : – Soul Beats Record Offical Website – Groundation Official Website

Thanks To Soulbeats Records, Sarah.