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Issue #5

March 3, 2015

We don’t get report cards or mid-term grades at Rootfire, but five weeks into our new project, we do have some ways to score how things are going. We look at the analytics to see if stories are getting read and if people are sharing them. We pay attention to the types of conversations that the folks around us are having, listen to where they think we fit into the scene and try to understand how they explain what Rootfire is. But mostly we are still just pushing hard to turn this project into what we know it can be, which is the heart of the progressive reggae movement.

Going into this weekend, my biggest takeaways is that we can do this, because good things are already happening. We have some of our favorite musicians writing meaningful stories from the artist’s point of view. We are debuting songs that influence fans of reggae and make new ones. We are providing the context for the music that we think deserves to be heard, to shape the tastes of the youth and earn the respect of the elders dominating the scene.

It’s not that we are hitting perfect scores, or that we have made this thing what we want it to be yet, but with your support we’ve already had some amazing moments that we only imagined were possible when we launched this thing. This week we redesigned the mobile experience, released a hot single from Collie Buddz, and stayed up all night talking shop with the Easy Star family in NYC, not to mention continuing to publish some killer stories, photos, and artwork. Can’t wait to see what’s in store next week. If there’s something you want to see, please drop me a line.

Root down, live up!



  • Giles Morris - Author & editor
  • James Searl - Author
  • Obi Fernandez - Author
  • Seth Herman - Author
  • Josué Rivas - Daily photo features
  • Andy Pritiken - Graphic design
  • Curtis Bergesen - Community mgmt.

Rootfire is based in Charlottesville, which is a little-bitty college town in the center of the state of Virginia. Not exactly a spot known for its reggae past, but the reggae future is pretty sunny. Let’s talk about the present for a moment, shall we?… Read More

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My parents led me into the Rochester War Memorial. I followed blindly into what was the first sea of people I had ever been among. The lights dimmed as I followed my father, in his suit and sport-coat, up an endless amount of steep stairs, to our seats in the nosebleed section.… Read More

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There is something in the air that can only be described as a holy anticipation. A pulse dominates the room yet a single note hasn’t been played. A natural sway of the audience already exists and we know why it’s there.… Read More

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Jeff McCaughey, lead singer of Philadelphia’s Kings and Comrades, had just turned 21 when his song “Another Way” got my attention. The arrangement highlighted laid back vocals and acoustic guitar layered over a percusssive reggae riddim that drew me in.… Read More

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Collie Buddz’ rabid international fan base has been begging for the dance hall sensation’s first full album release since his 2007 self-titled debut and while they’ll have to continue waiting for now, his latest single, “Prescription,” released today to select media sources, is another sure-fire dance hall classic that will satiate appetites in the short run.… Read More

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