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The BEAT - Experts Pick Best of 2006
“Pay Day” is “MUST HEAR REGGAE” at its best.
Straight from the heart of the Mother Continent comes a young group of South African reggae musicians making the best of a rare opportunity to go into a studio and record their first album. Thanks to American reggae drummer Bruce Benjamin, The Kwanzamo Roots Rockers debut album “Pay Day” is a special reggae album by the enthusiastic group who have overcome economic hardship to deliver us a fresh and uplifting reggae album. Wrapped fully with a unique African sound, “Pay Day” features additional guest appearances by Herb Daly of the Rastafarians and members of the legendary group Kaleidoscope. “Pay Day” is “MUST HEAR REGGAE” at its best. THE COLORADO REGGAE POSSE SALUTES THE KWANZAMO ROOTS ROCKERS!
Postman Roger Dread
The Reggae Bloodlines Show on KGNU Boulder/Denver Community Public Radio
Greetings, and all blessings of the New Year to you & your loved ones! My good friend and veteran reggae drummer Bruce Benjamin, with whom I've worked quite a bit in a number of musical permutations over the course of the past two decades, contacted me for a bit of help with a fascinating project of his. He was working with a crew in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa recording a surf contest when good fortune presented him with a struggling but talented set of reggae musicians from the hardscrabble township of Kwanzamo, as well as a newly built recording studio nearby. It was an opportunity limited by geography and time, but Bruce made the best of it, bringing the band into the studio as well as contributing drums and percussion on a number of their conscious, positive original tunes.
The dozen songs they recorded capture the essence of the township spirit--defiantly 'upful' and joyous in the face of want and suffering, reminiscent of the rough but soulful vibe of the early Jamaican studio recordings of the sixties. When Bruce returned home to the west coast of the USA, he took the tapes down to Southern California and a couple of the stellar musicians from the seminal acoustic rock band Kaleidoscope, who loved the rough-edged, heartfelt sounds that recalled their own band's early efforts, and added some quirky but virtuosic tracks that blended seamlessly with the South African recordings. Bruce also summoned some of the best world musicians in the area to contribute their skill and knowledge to the project, folks who know how to sweeten a sound without meddling with its essential soul.
I'm very pleased and honored that Bruce entrusted yours truly among these knowledgeable session players to add the occasional lead or rhythm guitar overdub. In addition to his time, energy and logistical efforts producing this CD, Bruce has worked very hard to send a great deal of musical equipment and clothing to the South African musicians and to their community. Talented, creative and giving hands from two continents have joined together as one to give you something greater than the sum of the parts, this premiere effort from the Kwanzamo Roots Rockers, straight from the ghettos of Kouga. Let the music take you to that place where these good people live and love, and I hope you find it as rewarding in the listening as as I did in doing my small part to help make it happen.
Rastafarians, Root Awakening