RIP Gregory Isaacs, The Cool Ruler

Gregory Isaacs 1951-2010

One of the most difficult aspects of being a recording artist is that you must compete with all the music previously created – it’s all still here. How can you update an existing form? In some ways, it is harder to come second, and to try to improve or change things […]

SXSW 2009 Shocker: Fela Documentary on Geffen!

BLK JKS at NPR Music's SXSW 2009 Showcase

A growing number of world music, hip hop and metal acts performing at this year’s SXSW gave me a good indication that the bias towards roots rock at previous conventions is eroding. One of the best bands I saw was BLK JKS , at the NPR […]

RIP Vincent "Tartar" Ford

Vincent Ford, one of Bob Marley‘s best friends, has died at 68 in Jamaica. According to my favorite biography Bob Marley by Stephen Davis, “Tartar” and Bob shared a kitchen floor in Trench Town in the early 60s, with Bob in one corner of the room and Tartar in another.

These were the years in […]

Jamaica Public Broadcasting's Library Ransacked

BBC News reported last week that the archives of the Jamaican Public Broadcasting Company, had been ransacked and deteriorated, resulting in thousands historic tapes and other media being stolen, destroyed and/or lost. With 80% of its contents gone, a year-long search has turned up NOTHING. This sad but detailed article from BBC mentions a “culture […]

I Sent My Vinyl to NPR All Songs Considered

No I haven’t actually mailed the albums to Washington. The program All Songs Considered, a regular feature on NPR, is vital for recommending music, but they are also making consistent efforts to “gather” us listeners together as a “NPR Community.” The story “Vinyl: The New CD,” is a fun activity and also provides some connectivity […]