Terry Cole began this century as a happy, young zoology and botany teacher from smalltown, Ohio, a guy who dabbled in playing music at the weekend, spun a lot of vinyl for fun and generally didn’t have a care in the world. His younger brother, Bob, meanwhile was heading towards a comfortable post-grad career in computer technology. Now, somehow, they find themselves together running one of the best, most followed and hippest indie soul labels in America – namely Colemine Records [still from smalltown, Ohio, by the way] – and each of them quite unable to believe their luck.
A glance at their website reveals an artist roster close to 60-strong, amongst whom are Echoes favourites such as Durand Jones & The Indications, DeRobert & The Half Truths, Monophonics, Young Gun Silver Fox and Say She She. The latter and another of our heroines, singer/songwriter Kendra Morris, whose brilliant Nine Lives album figures in our soul top five albums for 2022, are signed to offshoot label Karma Chief. How could this possibly have happened?
A careless observer might yet have Clifford Joseph Price – better known as Goldie – pegged as that jungle/drum & bass DJ from the eighties/nineties, a guy with interesting dental work and [somehow] the recipient of an M.B.E. along the way for his troubles. Such mean-spirited folk may also be unaware of his further adventures into this century – which would be a shame, because, if anything, the likeable Wolverhampton former graffiti artist has become ever more fascinating as he’s journeyed through his 40s and 50s, over the last decade creating, producing, releasing and otherwise inspiring some of the best – and most varied – music of his life.
But it’s the man’s record label, Fallen Tree 1Hundred, we’re mainly here to talk about right now, an operation that he oversees from his home in Phuket…
When Hezron talks, his words tumble out one after the other in a torrent of pride, passion and elation – now mixed with relief that his talents are finally being acknowledged after so many years of sacrifice and hardship. It’s a feeling he’ll have to get used to since the secret’s now out, and the release of his latest album M.O.A.M – Man On A Mission – proves beyond doubt that he deserves a place among reggae music’s current elite.
Like its predecessor, 2014’s The Life I Live, the new album resulted from Hezron’s relationship with Tad’s Records, who are based in Miami but mainly represent Jamaican artists.
“It’s a partnership,” explains Hezron, “because I also part-financed this project, but they left the whole creativity and production to me – and that’s so rare.
When I spoke to SunDub’s Ben and Joanne Teter they were travelling from Glasgow to Leeds for the next stop on the Brooklyn band’s British tour. It’s SunDub’s first time in the UK and the crowd reaction has been really encouraging. They have a new album, Spirits Eat Music, to promote, as well as a latest single shared with Peetah Morgan.
Unsurprisingly, the Teter siblings are feeling just fine. Spirits Eat Music is their second album, like the first recorded for Easy Star Records, whose current roster of artists includes Jesse Royal, Grounation, Jon Quan and Hawaiian rebels The Late Ones. Ben praises the Easy Star team for their support and industry know-how, although the Spirits Eat Music sessions, which took place in Hawaii, came about because of SunDub’s own connections, rather than their label’s.
“Will Lydgate, who owns the studio, has been a friend of ours for over a decade,” says Ben, who sings and plays drums in the band… ”