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Issue #4

February 24, 2015

Bob Marley would have turned 70 today and Rootfire is celebrating the man, the music, and the mystic. Skip work, skip class, skip down the street smoking a spliff and waving your Rasta flag… do what you like, but find a way to celebrate the impact Tuff Gong had on all of we.

Through the week, we’ve been featuring writing from musicians and artists about their relationship with Bob Marley’s music. The Editor, Giles Morris, traces a technicolor thread that tracks The Singer’s struggle to free his legacy. Semaj Surreal communicates the feeling of having his sister’s boyfriend drop Legend on his coffee table in Rochester, NY, no clue at that moment that the voice on the tape would shape the rest of his life. Joshua Swain remembers the way Babylon By Bus broke through the glam and grunge surrounding his Columbia, S.C. soundscape, haunting him to the point of obsession. Maybe you can catch the duppy in his performance of “Small Axe” live at The Sugar Shack. And our good friend Eddie “Monosnaps” Mallin tells the story of seeing Bob Marley live at his last outdoor concert, at Dalymount Park in Dublin, offering up the pictures to prove it. You have a story about how Bob changed your life? Jot it down and send it to us at [email protected].

We’re also proud to announce that we’ve launched 2.0, which apart from looking spiffier and showing off the photography of Josué Rivas is designed to improve your mobile experience by featuring Rootfire music– world premiere cuts you can’t hear anywhere else, curated Spotify playlists, and killer original mixtapes from our DJs. There’s a punky reggae party and it’s tonight; start your Friday right by plugging into Rootfire, Issue #4. Root down, live up!


On my 30th birthday, a friend of mine gave me a black t-shirt with a picture of Bob Marley playing soccer on the front and the slogan “Free Bob!” printed over top of it. He had written a story for Slate with that title, but I didn’t know that when he showed up at my house in Boston and, besides, the gift was a symbol of something between us.… Read More

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Curating a Legend

February 3, 2015

“This album will change your life.”

Clichéd? Yes. Accurate? Absolutely.

Twenty-one years later, I’m sitting at the same coffee table. My Dad crafted it in 1973 from some wood and glass he salvaged from the Cooperstown Hospital. A new entrance was being built.… Read More

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On the 6th of July, 1980, Bob Marley played the now historic concert at Dalymount Park on Dublin’s north side, at that time the home of the soccer club Bohs. Rumours abound that Bob had a kickaround before the concert. Dublin was only starting to experience major music acts and Bob Marley was a major attraction.… Read More

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While preparing for a solo acoustic show a few weeks ago, I looked down at my set list and realized something. Almost half of the songs on that piece of paper were Bob Marley tunes. I hesitated for a moment. “What am I doing?… Read More

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