Immediately after performing the final two encores with The Clash (“Armagideon Time” & “Bank Robber”) following his opening set for them in their official debut San Francisco concert Mikey Dread made his way to my Midnight Dread live broadcast very early March 3rd 1980. My radio program would never be the same. Mikey brought along several original dubplates to unveil while also spinning a few sets of his reggae favorites just like the tremendous JBC DJ he’d been in Jamaica. This opening eighty minute section begins with 3 skanking-new foot long Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry forty fives just pressed in Belgium and brought over from Holland by my good friend since junior high, photographer Robert Fineman. He also took the shot of the young Mikey that night at KTIM that graces the Mixcloud link. It can be seen in its fullness by scrolling down a bit on my Midnight Dread homepage.
I mention the Upsetter’s upcoming 1980 European tour where Lee wanted to be billed as ‘Nature Survivor’s Jungle Safari with Pipecock Jackxon’ shortly before Mikey arrives and uncorks ’nuff new music! Following “Rockers Delight” he re-emphasizes its wonderfully biting anti ‘rappers delight’ lyrics by repeating them a capella style with an infectious laugh. It’s quite a take-down and take-off on the emerging hip hop scene in its infancy as framed by reggae’s higher ground masterblaster. In the same break Mikey also does a crucial job of explaining exactly what ‘toasting’ means and entails if done properly. In the last Clash song at The Warfield that evening Mikey played the role of the bank robber. In this radio show he steals everyone’s hearts.
We were on our way down the hall leaving the station’s building in San Rafael when I asked Mikey if he’d do a few custom jingles for my show and he immediately made a u-turn back to the studio, sat down, and did three killer Midnight Dread themed toasts over his Roots & Culture dubplate (the next Midnight Dread begins with one) then improvised several minutes of amazing dread bits for my radio show with no prompting, no-preparation, completely non-stop, off the top of his dreads, percolating well past 3am. Being a radio selector himself he knew exactly what was needed. His drop-ins made my show sound all-time authentic. It was crucial and done out of love for spreading the music and I’ll never be able to express the deepness of my gratitude.
Thank Jah we had a great time backstage at the first Dreadstock show several years ago in Vallejo, CA and I got to tell him again personally how much I truly I-preciated his crucial contribution to my show’s success and development. The tracks he did that night are a treasure trove and Mikey a giant in conscious roots reggae music. His entire prolific output is the essence of all-killer no-filler. Mikey passed away way way too soon. Uppermost respect for the Iternal Drrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaad!
Midnight Dread Number Ten can also be listened to it as embedded here on the Midnight Dread website: http://www.midnightdread.com/home.html
-This is my Clash & Mikey Dread at The Warfield BGP press pass from that night
-Mikey Dread meets Midnight Dread inna uptown Marin County clash!
Midnight Dread erupted from its mid-1970s Reggae Explosion KTIM radio show, debuting in September 1979 on the same commercial North Bay Area spot on the dial before moving to KQAK & KFOG, major San Francisco rock stations. Midnight Raver’s Midnight Dread page: http://midnightraverblog.com/midnight-dread/ Broadcast regularly from San Francisco’s KUSF & KFOG into the 1990s, Midnight Dread now airs new shows: http://worldOneradio.org/ Every Day Pacific Time 12am & some 12pms
-The Clash & Mikey Dread performing “Bank Robber” in New Jersey same tour & hat
33 years to the day of its original Dread-cast late Sunday night/early Monday morning February 4th 1980 I mastered & digitized this eighth ever radio program off its original dolby chrome cassette. Musical curative curation that still needs airing. Several unique live-on-air radio mixes using as many sources as possible appear; supered & layered dub-wise selection without objection. Mostly recent releases. Good times for conscious sound judgement. Listen for the Pink Floyd mystery phone booth clue if you want to witness the world premiere of “The Wall” that Thursday at L.A. Memorial Spots Arena courtesy of KTIM! “Let’s Make A Profit Out Of Our Problem” by Max Romeo & “Man Hungry” by Sugar Minott are a just a couple of its highlights:
(Midnight Dread debuted in September 1979 on KTIM, commercial radio in the North Bay Area. It moved to KQAK The Quake in 1984 & later to KFOG, both major San Francisco rock stations. Other shows/news collected here on Midnight Raver’s Midnight Dread page: http://midnightraverblog.com/midnight-dread/ Broadcast regularly from San Francisco’s KUSF & KFOG into the 1990s, Midnight Dread now airs new shows daily: http://worldOneradio.org/ 12am Pacific Time More information & other archived programs: http://www.midnightdread.com/midnight.html)
THE ARCHIVES – SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM
Out Now on ESL Music
The Debut Release From The Archives, DC’s Seminal Roots Rockers Digs Deep into Reggae’s Past to Discover the Future
Produced By Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton Archives Captures The Band’s Fierce Live Energy and Socially Conscious Stance
The Archives began when Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton began a quest to explore the roots of reggae music. He asked keyboard ace Darryl “D-Trane” Burke to put together a cover band that would introduce club goers to the rock steady hits and obscurities of the pre-reggae era. When the group began writing original material, Burke contacted players he knew that could bring a progressive vibe to the music. “Everyone in the band has recorded and toured internationally with acts like Eek-A-Mouse, Culture, Gregory Isaacs and The Abyssinians,” Burke explains. “We weave together the best of foundation roots, rock steady, early dub and dancehall influences with arrangements that use funky throwbacks such as jazz flute, melodica and organ to create a classic, yet fresh and conscious sound.”
The band landed a two-year residency at the DC club Patty Boom Boom. Nightlong sets that often saw them playing 60 tunes or more allowed them to hone their sound and win an audience of dedicated fans. “It takes time to create new flavors,” Burke explains. “Playing weekly allowed us to simmer this stew and unify our sound. Now we’re comfortable in any situation and confident that we can step up and take it to the next level.”
The Archives feature vocalists Ras Puma, the charismatic singer on Thievery Corporation’s Culture of Fear, and Lenny Kurlou (S.T.O.R.M.). Mateo Monk (Sankofa Blackstar) plays guitar, flute and melodica; Burke (Moja Nya, Eek- A-Mouse, Gregory Isaacs) is on keyboards and drummer Leslie “Black Seed” James Jr. (Culture, Eek-A-Mouse) and bass player Justin “Relentless” Parrott (Claudius Linton) round out the lineup. The songs were composed collectively and all band members contributed to the arrangements.
With Eric Hilton behind the board and Thievery Corporation’s head engineer, Chris “Stone” Garrett, adding his magic to the mix, the band laid down 13 tracks full of smoking soul and sufferation. Burke’s funky clavinet and James’s one drop drumming introduce “Ghetto Gone Uptown.” Puma and Kurlou alternate lead vocals and add smooth harmonies to the chorus of this lover’s rock jam. The vibe is mellow, but the lyrics are a serious examination of the country’s economic woes. Legendary dance hall DJ, producer and Thievery Corporation vocalist Sleepy Wonder sings lead on “Music Is My Prayer,” an ode to the healing powers ofmusic. His scat-infused vocal on this sweet, laid-back track owes a debt to the work of Black Uhuru’s Michael Rose.
Desi Hyson, singer and main songwriter of Al Anderson’s Original Wailers takes lead vocals on “Crime,” a melodic romp that calls for the legalization of ganja with a ska-like bounce in its rhythm. “More To Life” is a Black Uhuru style roots rocker with inventive drumming from James and a passionate vocal from Puma, calling for worldwide responsibility and compassion as an antidote for the planet’s anguish. Subtle dub effects set off Monk’s wicked guitar solo.
The band shows off its diversity on the song “Melodica Funk,” a rock steady instrumental that blends melodica, Monk’s Latin-flavored jazz flute and Burke’s Jackie Mittoo-style organ solos and the track “Why Can’t We Live Together,” a funky disco/reggae cover of the Timmy Thomas standard. They also shine on “Who’s Correct,” a bubbly rock steady groove featuring Parrott’s militant Augustus Pablo-style bass line and a serious message of religious tolerance and a dub heavy take on the Clash/Mikey Dread tune “One More Time.”
“Dali once said he learned to paint like the masters before embarking on his visionary quest,” Monk says. “We strive to play like the masters in our field, but we’re part of our generation. Modern sensibilities have developed since the golden era of reggae: better gear, more awareness of studio techniques, new approaches to improvisation, new paradigms for the concert experience and greater social consciousness. We are not a retro band. We’re a 21st century band with really deep roots and we want to contribute to reggae’s evolution. Same tree, new leaves.”
Download FREE Track: “Ghetto Gone Uptown“
Online Press Kit (w/ Press Photos, Bio, and more)
- The Archives Official Homepage
- The Archives Facebook Page
- The Archives on Twitter
- The Archives on Youtube
- The Archives ESL Music Label page
Held July 2-5, 1980 at the at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Center, Kingston, Jamaica Reggae Sunsplash III takes the Sunsplash franchise to another level.
The concert is being held a few short months prior to a General Election, and the island is rife with political violence. This explains the festival grounds resembling some sort of prison camp, with the crowd completely surrounded by solid rows of uniformed soldiers with M-16 rifles sporting fixed bayonets.
The show goes off without a single reported incident though, and the crowd is blessed with “unusually inspired” performances from the likes of Culture, Black Uhuru, The Gladiators, Mighty Diamonds, and of course a sizzling set by the one and only Peter Tosh.
Jamaica Gleaner June 30, 1980
Live at Reggae Sunsplash III
July 2-5, Kingston, Jamaica
5-I’m The Toughest
8-Don’t Look Back
9-Get Up, Stand Up
LINEAGE: Aud Master-DAT-CDR-EAC-wav-Flac8
Tosh Speech During Performance
Jamaica Gleaner June 30, 1980
Give thanks to my good friend Kinkywas Enrique Cabrera Romano AKA “was1″ at Reggae Traders for seeding this show.