I curate Spotify playlists that accompany my own prose and the photos of Arik Solberg for an ongoing Rootfire feature called “A Photo is Worth 1000 Songs.” Check them out here.
How were you first introduced to reggae music? Who was the artist? How/where did you hear them?
I first heard reggae music as a teenager over 30 years ago when I acquired a homemade cassette tape from my best friend’s brother of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. I instantly became hooked. Shortly after that, I visited Jamaica and the Caribbean, which ignited my quest to learn as much as I could about the music and culture behind it, a quest that continues today.
INFLUENCE ON THE SCENE
What have you done for reggae music? How do you contribute to/support the scene/community?
First and foremost, since my first introduction to reggae music as a teenaager, by purchasing reggae music and attending performances. Beyond that, I have been supporting the reggae community for over 20 years. Back in the 90s, I wrote for several reggae magazines, including Reggae Report, Dub Missive and Forward. Around the same time, I joined a grassroots networking organization made up of reggae musicians, deejays, promoters, producers, writers and fans called Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide. These days I work for Rootfire, helping to forward our mission in various ways and writing content on a regular basis.
Who are your favorite reggae artists?
Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Culture, Gregory Isaccs, Horace Andy, Stick Figure, Fortunate Youth, Tribal Seeds
Who are your two favorite underground or regional artists?
10 Ft Ganja Plant (underground)| CC Roots (regional – Jersey City)| The Cliftones (regional – Cincinnati)| Giraffe Aftermath (regional – Vancouver)
What one reggae band do you miss? (b/c they are no longer touring or making music together)
John Brown’s Body
What’s something non-digital that makes your life better?
Keurig coffee maker. White noise machine. I am the lightest of sleepers and it helps drown out noise that would otherwise wake me up. I bring this with me when I travel as well.
What’s a digital tool (or two) that you love using?
Spotify, of course!
HUSTLING CULTURE - (MEDIA) RECOMMENDATIONS
- The Cosmic Burrito by yours truly !!!
- Anything by Tom Robbins or Christopher Moore
- Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
- Travels by Michael Crichton
- Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
- Steppin Razor/Red X – Peter Tosh documentary
- Long Strange Trip – Grateful Dead documentary
- Reggae Nashville presents Deep Roots Music Vol. 1-3
- Reggae in a Babylon
- Brooklyn Rocksteady
- Roots Reggae Rebellion
- Word Sound and Power
- Reggae – The Story of Jamaican Music
- Mister Vibes – Joseph Hill documentary
- Champion Sound