THIS SESSION IS VITAL
By Dylan Savage, guitarist-vocalist in Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
One of the first records that introduced me to the reggae sounds of Jamaica was the classic 1987 Bunny Wailer album “Rootsman Skanking.” This record is a must for all lovers of classic roots reggae. Released at a time when the prevailing Jamaican sound was dancehall, this album keeps it pure roots. Arguably one of Bunny’s strongest efforts along side many of his other great works notably “Blackheart Man” and “Liberation.”
Although “Rootsman Skanking” does not have a strong political or protest tone it certainly ranks among his most uplifting and positive works. Many of the tunes were previously released as extended versions on the compilation “Rock N Groove,” although the release is now difficult to find. I remember discovering this record as a youth in Puerto Rico and listening to the cassette nonstop on my Sony walkman. To this day “Rootsman Skanking” continues to inspire my own songwriting. Irie jams like “Collyman,” “Ballroom Floor,” “Jammins” and “Cool Runnings” are essential. If you are unfamiliar with this classic I highly recommend seeking it out. Maximum love & respect to Bunny Wailer.
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Bunny Wailer / “Rootsman Skanking” / 1987 / Shanachie