Durand Jones & The Indications

JULY 2021 ISSUE

 

A sneaky peek of just some of what is in the July 2021 issue – OUT NOW!

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Durand Jones & The Indications

All the best bands – all our favourite bands – evolve and develop. They may capture our hearts and ears in one musical place, maybe even repeat the trick a couple of times for good measure, but, sooner or later, life happens, they grow both as artists and as people, and we, the listeners, get to amble along beside them. Maxwell once described it to this magazine as the ‘tapestry’ effect: if a musician’s career lasts long enough, you can look back at an array of different colours and patches as the product of an interesting, varied existence, but always with the artist’s hand propelling the needle.
Such is fast becoming the case with Durand Jones & The Indications. Already established in certain quarters – generally fans of old soul music and in particular California’s low rider crew – as a great sixties/early seventies, Impressions-influenced ‘throwback’ group, the five-man collective has, with album three, Private Space, due for release at the end of this month, allowed their growing confidence and wider interests to permeate what they create together…

 

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U Roy

Not many record labels win a Grammy with only their second album release. This happened to Trojan Jamaica’s Zac Starkey and Sshh Liguz last February yet there were few celebrations when Got To Be Tough was voted Best Reggae Album, since star of the show Toots Hibbert had recently died of a COVID-19 related illness, only weeks after the release date.
Toots’ career with The Maytals had started in the early sixties and he was already a reggae legend with many international hits to his name before Zac and Sshh travelled to Jamaica to meet him five or six years ago. Although in his seventies, Toots was still writing and recording new music at his studio in Kingston, which is where he’d laid the majority of tracks for Got To Be Tough. The songs and performances were first-rate, but it was the finishing touches applied by Zac, Sshh and friends at their Island Life hideaway in Ocho Rios that made the album unique, and which resonated with audiences outside of the core market.
The pair had launched Trojan Jamaica in 2019 with the ‘Various Artists’ set Red, Gold, Green & Blue – a heady cocktail of reggae, blues and rock and roll influences, featuring a posse of mainly veteran Jamaican artists, including Mykal Rose, Big Youth and Freddie McGregor. It divided opinion, of course…

 

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Joel Culpepper

Those following UK neo-soulman Joel Culpepper’s doings over the past dozen or so years might be wondering why it’s taken him so damn long to make an official first album. After all, there were those intriguing mixtapes way back in 2009-11, The Adventures Of Pensmith and Meets J Dilla; there have been a couple of EPs- Skydive from 2012 and, in 2017, Tortoise, the latter featuring collaboration with Grammy-winning writer/studio don Jimmy Hogarth, American producer Roy Davis Jr, Kay Young and Jools Holland‘s Musical Director, Phil Veacock; and, of course he’s supported any number of top-quality acts, including Omar, Paloma Faith [in Australia], Lalah Hathaway [at KOKO], no less than Stevie Wonder on his mega-gig in Hyde Park, plus he’s been all over the place with UK producer/artist Swindle, including Glastonbury’s West Holts stage. Yet debut album was there none.
As it turns out, there’s a very good reason why the exquisitely named Sgt. Culpepper will this month mark Joel’s entry to the pantheon of actual album makers…

 

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Jo Mersa Marley

Echoes readers will already be aware that Jo Mersa is the son of Stephen Marley and therefore Bob Marley’s grandson. It’s a lineage that inevitably raises people’s expectations and yet those Marley genes have worked their magic again, because the respect and recognition that Jo’s earned from reggae fans over the past few years has been so on merit. It’s his talent, rather than nepotism that’s got him this far, as demonstrated on a rash of recent singles – Point Of View, Hurting Inside, Yo Dawg and Nothing’s Gonna Harm You included.
Reviews in Run The Track aside, the last time he featured in this magazine was six years ago, around the time Rock And Swing was on every reggae playlist. The debut album he promised us back then has yet to materialise, although he does have a new EP called Eternal, again issued on the Marley family’s own Ghetto Youths International label.
“I wanted to put out some new music that would be a breath of fresh air, and give my ears a rest from those other tracks that I’d been working on…

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