What I’m Listening To

One of my friends, who is also a Fur Peace Ranch regular, and also an avid reader of Checkin’ the Levels, left me a comment asking me what I was listening to and if I would post it next time I blogged. Well …..I blogged about the NEW HOT TUNA and got so wrapped up in the sounds…..I forgot to include my full report on my recent listening pleasures. So……here it is. Well, first off……I have been listening to that NEW Hot Tuna quite a bit in this last week. I put it in heavy rotation initially so I could check it out and write a review…..but what happened was……I loved the CD so much, I just left it in the player and listened to it over and over again. That is a very good sign……and it makes me flash back to the golden days of vinyl, when I would get a new record and play it over and over until the grooves smoked.

Anyhey……I have been listening to alot of African music as of late. Aside from my long-time love of Reggae music……at one time I was really fired up on the Afro-Beat sounds of Fela Kuti and the Ju Ju music of King Sunnny Ade. But……I hadn’t listened to this style of music in some time. One of my friends had laid a nice compilation CD of Modern African music on me and it started the fire burning again. In the last couple of weeks I have bought about six new Afro- Sounds CDs…..two of these are great compilations of African music from back in the prime time of the 1970′s. These are imports on the Sound Way label. Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds and Nigerian Blues 1970-6 is one of these …..and the other one is Ghana Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds and Ghanaian Blues 1968 – 81. These two collections are quite fantastic. The music is blazin and the compilation puts together alot of hard to find artists and songs onto CD. Extensive and really informative liner notes accompany these two CD sets in a booklet format. Someone has really done a lot of work in assembling these two collections and I’m impressed and grateful.

Another Afro-Beat artist has just released a new CD and I’m playing this one over and over too. The artist I refer to is Tony Allen and his new CD is titled, “Secret Agent“. Tony was Fela Kuti’s drummer for many years and even Fela is on record as saying without Tony there would be no Afro-Beat. These two, Fela and Tony, were the architects of the Afro-Beat-Sound. This one is a real winner and aside from the infectious grooves……there is a heavy horn section presence, that I really dig.

Also…….I have all the Bunny Wailer music on vinyl…..Jamaican releases for many…..but only the great Blackheart Man on CD. I was getting a hankering for wanting to hear Bunny’s second release….Protest….and when I went to look for the CD, well, dag-nab-it……I found out it was out of print. But in quicker then soon come time, I was able to locate this out of print CD through the second hand market. Now with it in my possession……I’ve been listening to it pretty regularly…….and loving it. Another NEW Reggae collection, just released, is also getting a lot of ear time…this being….Jammy’s From The Roots 1977 – 1985. Jammy’s refers to the GREAT Lloyd ‘Prince Jammy’ James who was a great record producer in the days of roots and culture. Some of the artists on this CD you will have heard of…some I have not heard of……but all the tracks are great! Appropriately …..all the tracks were recorded at the top spots for Reggae Roots in Jamaica……King Tubby’s, Harry J’s, Channel One and Jammy’s. All the great Jamaican studio musicians are present laying down some heavy support rhythms. Real nice.

I’ve also been listening to some “commercial” sounds as well. Getting into the NEW Jimi Hendrix, “Valley of Neptune” and the latest Massive Attack, “Heligoland”. So…..there you have it. Thanks Rob for asking…..you might have started something here…….Look for more “What I’m Listening To” blogs in the future. Some readers might wonder…..”When does he find time to listen to all that music?”…..so I’ll tell ya…..I never tire of the sounds of music, so I’m listening to music while the morning coffee is brewing ……the CD player in the truck plays constantly……I get to listen to music
in my very hip office cabin……and I’m playing the boombox (Yes, I still use one) when I’m out workin’ in a yard. Music makes a great soundtrack for living…………….Live UP and Listen UP…….plenty of good sounds in Jah universe.

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