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I-Taweh - Overload

I-Taweh - Overload

I-Taweh - Overload

By on - 2 comments

This record deserves its chart success.


I-Taweh - OverloadI-Taweh out of St Ann's parish Jamaica, now resident in California, spent 17 years playing guitar and bass with marquee reggae acts like Sugar Minott, Mystic Revelation of Rastafari and Everton Blender. But all the while he was crafting his own songs and snatching some recording time here and there on the road. Following a spell in hospital in 2008 he decided to seize the day and assemble his first solo album. In an almost fairytale denouement to his story so far this self released old school roots record, of the kind received wisdom says only appeals in Europe, hit number one on Richie B's Jamaican reggae album countdown. 'Overload' was officially re-launched in Jamaica last week - nearly a year after its original release.

I-Taweh's voice has been compared to Burning Spear but it has a softer quality that also recalls Pablo Moses. As a veteran touring and session musician he was able to use his links to gather a remarkable group of players for a debut including Bongo Herman, Horsemouth Wallace and Sly Dunbar. Dean Fraser plays sax on the set's strongest track The Prayer which uses the immortal chorus lines of Tony Tuff's classic Deliver Me (although I-Taweh insists the resemblance is coincidental). The title song, currently in Richie B's singles top twenty, is a Spear-like re-memory of a laden slave ship and appears alongside a second, hand drummed mix that nods to I-Taweh's period with Count Ossie junior. Braveheart tells of I-Taweh's friend Garfield whose fearless nature led to his being on the wrong side of the law and the wrong end of a gun.

Five tracks were voiced with the French group Broussai who were the first to record I-Taweh while on tour in 1999. These are very much in the slow deep roots mode - and though they sound different from the slightly hip hop flavoured opener Runaway, what makes this album succeed is that all the material from the various sessions over the years maintains a consistent mood.

Where most debut long-players drop only partially formed I-Taweh's hard work and musician links have paid off. This record deserves its chart success and should be in roots reggae fans' homes, all over the globe.

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Read comments (2)

Posted by João on 12.26.2011
One of the best modern roots production, this is music to be hard in 30 years and it will make has much sense has now!

Posted by MrQuick on 12.28.2011
This album is partly recorded with a French backing band and honestly I can't tell the difference with the Jamaican musicians. This shows how much Jamaican productions have declined vis a vis European ones, and not how much progress has been achieved by Europeans. Sad. When is Jamaica going to reject this lame-ass nu-roots sound? We need the Roots Radics, the Aggrovators or the Soul Syndicate or the Taxi Gang back into the arena.

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