My Roots Girl is a flawless piece of rock steady lovers’ rock, which for the uninitiated, is like a slowed down version of reggae. Vocalist Cornel Campbell has a soft and a moderate Caribbean accent. Both the song and the music are light, sunny, but underlined by a classic dub baseline, alternating between optimistic and nostalgic.
There is a dub version, which takes a while to get warmed up, but which like all good dubs, strips back the track leaving the dub baseline, echoes and reverb.
Med Tone record label are selling My Roots Girl as a vinyl 45rpm.
They’re also selling a track called My Ethiopian Queen on a second 45rpm vinyl record. My Ethiopian Queen takes the basic tune of My Roots Girl and samples of Campbell’s crooning. Its got some dub elements in there too, but its basically there for reggae-rapper U-Roy to give his own interpretation of My Roots Girl. The B-side of My Ethiopian Queen does the same, only rather than U-Roy the track is set up for a calypso style guitar solo. Its an instrumental.
I simply don’t know enough about reggae, dub and rocksteady to be able to place this work in its historical context, I just know that I like it!
If My Roots Girl is you’re kind of thing, you might also be interested to know about Hosny Bronx, who is working on his fifth album. Hosny Bronx plies a classical form of spiritual reggae. I’m not a reggae afficionado, but the spiritual type is my favourite, so I’m taking an immediate liking to Hosny Bronx. He sings with a Caribbean accent, there’s reference to natty dread, babylon and Jah.
Bronx is working on a fifth album, and I’ve been sent a couple of tracks to listen to. They both sound good. Strong Life feels like the real deal. New Moment is also well rounded. However the chorus or motif of the track, ”The New Moment is Here. The New Moment is Now” feels like too many words squeezed too quickly into too short a space. In some ways it gives the track something special, but it takes a bit of getting used to.
The sound of Hosny Bronx is timeless. Reggae music was developed from the latest 60s onwards. If I were to have heard Strong Life or New Moment at one of those London free festivals, then an untrained ear like mine could well have imagined that it was listening to a piece of history, to something from the twelve disciples.
The two tracks Strong Life and New Moment sound great, soulful and warming, and I’d love to listen to the whole album.