In August 2004 renown guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith recorded a notable acoustic set at his own yard in Kingston 10, Jamaica, which was released by French record label Makasound in 2005. The critical acclaimed album, Earl 'Chinna' Smith & Idrens", became a bestseller and was the start of the unique "Inna De Yard" series featuring acoustic sessions with mainly roots reggae legends including Kiddus I, The Viceroys, The Congos, Prince Alla, junior Murvin, Cedric Myton, Mighty Diamonds and Linval Thompson. This series proved that many reggae fans were very interested in songs played during acoustic sessions. In February 2014 JussbussTV, headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, started the first season of their Jussbuss Acoustic series with an acoustic set by Christopher Martin, which was followed with episodes that featured Jah9, Protoje, Chronixx, Assassin aka Agent Sasco, Raging Fyah, Kelissa, Tifa, Dre Island, and No-Maddz.
And now, global reggae music magazine United Reggae presents Jamaican Raw Sessions Part 1 - 14 videos where reggae superstars and rising hopefuls sing classics in their yard accompanied only by unplugged guitar and drums. Artists include Max Romeo, Kabaka Pyramid, Derajah, The Uprising Roots, Bryan Art, Xana Romeo, Junie Platinum, Isha Bel, Romana, and The Viceroys. In February this year a team from United Reggae spent 3 days in Kingston, Jamaica, and the city’s surrounding area. The team drove around and visited places and studio yards bringing a microphone and camera.
"We met the artists in the studio yards and they performed right there and then. We switched on the camera and the microphone and recorded what happened next," says Camille Monchicourt, General Manager at United Reggae and part of the team visiting Jamaica.
The team visited studios like Charmax Music, Penthouse, Dubtonic Kru and Caveman International and the first part of Jamaican Raw Sessions includes a beautiful performance from Max Romeo where he sings classics like "War Ina Babylon" and "Chase the Devil" before presenting his children Rominal and Xana Romeo. Kabaka Pyramid, who is currently enjoying success with his Damian "Jr Gong" Marley produced anti-establishment cut "Well Done" across the "On The Corner" riddim, performs this song and "Never Gonna Be A Slave" accompanied by two guitar players from his band Bebble Rockers.
We've selected 7 videos from the "Jamaican Raw Sessions" and included them here. These and all the other videos are available on jamaicanrawsessions.unitedreggae.com and also on Youtube.
Stay tuned for more, including raw performances by Anthony B, Jah9, Ratigan and Wild Life.
Big up to United Reggae for sharing this project with us.