Posts Tagged ‘reggae’
Words by Clyde Macfarlane
Photo of Cornell Campell by Da Vinci Sound
Like many reggae greats from the 70s, Cornell Campbell still performs with jiggle-hipped enthusiasm. More importantly, Campbell’s trademark falsetto has lost none of its sweetness. The secret to his sprightly demeanour could well be a lifelong affiliation with lovers rock, a Motown inspired advert for something every penniless Rasta can offer: ‘Can’t take you out to fancy places, girl,’ sings Campbell with a flick of his mane, ‘but when it comes to loving, I’m alright.’ The song, ‘Loving Pauper’, was a 1977 hit for Gregory Isaacs. Isaacs went on to fame and fortune, but for Campbell these lyrics have a particular resonance. He was forever reggae’s backseat player, thanks in part to his dedication to Rastafari and its rejection of materialism.
He combined lovers rock themes with his spirituality on ‘Blessed Are They’, a mighty Trojan track that pronounced his dedication to Jah. Although Trojan’s crackly edges gave it a certain charm, it’s a treat to hear Campbell’s live rendition in all its purity. This is why his unsurpassable voice was sampled by top dub producers like Bunny Lee, Joe Gibbs and Tapper Zukie, the latter of which occupied the One Love stage a few hours before. Campbell and Zukie capped off a special year for the UK’s biggest reggae festival, with Jamaica’s 50th independence anniversary and Usain Bolt’s success in the Olympics – “everybody do the lightening bolt!” shouted Zukie to the One Love crowd – giving extra reason to celebrate a sunny weekend in Kent.
We are delighted to announce the latest addition to our Songlines Music Travel trips – Jamaica. The tour, Caribbean Vibrations, takes place between January 2-13 2013 and offers a chance to experience Jamaica’s extraordinary music on the ground, or on ‘the rock’ as many people refer to it.
Jamaica, like the neighbouring island of Cuba, is a musical powerhouse out of all proportion to its size and population of less than 3 million people. There’s more to Jamaica than just reggae, although there’s a visit to the Bob Marley museum and Tuff Gong studios, but also some of the lesser-known sides of the island’s music like the kumina drumming and the annual Maroon Festival in Accompong and the gorgeous sound of old-time mento in Port Antonio. All this, plus time to enjoy the extraordinary landscape, beautiful beaches and tasty food of this vibrant island.
To join us on this trip next January, please visit our Songlines Music Travel website.