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Joshua To Jashwha: 30 Years In The Wilderness

Joshua To Jashwha: 30 Years In The Wilderness

Joshua To Jashwha: 30 Years In The Wilderness

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An album that will hopefully go a long way towards rightly establishing Joshua's reputation internationally.


Joshua Moses is another one of those Bristol based reggae artists that had he been recording in Kingston rather than Bristol would probably have gone on to become an international star whose music would have been avidly collected and lauded with praise. Now those good people at Bristol Archive Records have gathered together 15 tracks by this devout Rastafarian recorded between 1978 and 2003 that will hopefully go a long way towards rightly establishing Joshua's reputation internationally, for this is as strong a roots reggae album as you are every likely to hear and one that is full of Rastafarian principles from a unique artists that can enthrall you with a voice that contains such conviction you truly believe in what he is saying.

Joshua Moses - 30 Years In The WildernessAs seems to be a common theme with this company’s releases only a few of these tracks have been previously released before. These are the rocking, repatriation drive of Africa (Is Our Land) and its dub version Home plus Rise Up, which calls upon people to fight oppression and injustice wherever it is found. Both Africa and Rise Up have also featured on ‘Bristol Reggae Explosion’ volumes 1 and 2 respectively with another track Stick It Up a track that brings under attack all hypocrites, parasites and evildoers (vampires and old pirates) for having caused so much suffering throughout history appearing on volume 3. If you have been fortunate enough to have already heard these tracks then you’ll be pleased to hear that the rest of this album is just as lyrically strong and full of Rastafarian sentiments. Suffering Is In the Past continues on Stick It Up’s theme by telling a tale of life's struggles and overcoming suffering. House of Dread, a live recording and apparently one of the highlights of his shows in the early eighties, turns attentions to praising Jah as he invites all of humankind to embrace Rastafari in universal unity, although there is a warning that the rich may not be quite as welcome. Jah Time Has Come skillfully adapts Aswad’s Promised Land riddim as Joshua looks forward to the coming of Jah and universal justice, whilst Protection says if you embrace Jah he will guide, protect you and show you the way. Steel calls for love to triumph over evil, with Joshua then proclaiming his Rastafarian, Jamaican and African identity in Bobby Wrong.

Towards the albums close we see different sides to Joshua as he displays his vocal versatility with a change to a Junior Murvinish falsetto voice for Children Of the Light and Nothing To Lose, while final vocal track Distant Guns sees a return to his more usual vocal style but a complete change musical direction as this stripped down song of bass drum and guitar has a country, bluesy feel with lyrics that recount how love will triumph over adversity come judgment day.

Joshua Moses is still around today, though now reborn as Jashwha Moses, writing new material that is reportedly just as good, with lyrics that remain as conscious and spiritual as ever and also has seen him booked as support, with The R.A.S Band, to The Skatalites at the Exeter Phoenix on May 19th. This album therefore can be seen as drawing something of a line under the career of Joshua Moses while also heralding the gateway to a new one for Jashwha Moses and I for one hope that this time round it brings him the success and wider recognition that his talents have always deserved.

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