At Saturday 19th August 2006 -- the day the reggae world received the sad news of the sudden death of reggae icon Joseph "Culture" Hill -- Runn Records Café in Maastricht hosted an event entitled "The Veteran Alongside The New Sensation" featuring Reggae veteran Leroy "Artist" Brown and up-and-coming singer Ryan, who both were doing a small promo tour in Europe. Despite being not that well known names amongst the reggae fans in this part of the world, it drew a nice crowd of -- young and old -- reggae fans to the cosy café. Both artists came along with Bassment Sound from Limburg, Belgium, a Sound System founded in 2001 and consisting of selectors Organiza, Just a Fire en Twelve Treez. This young Sound System is known for creating good vibes playing well varied sets ranging from foundation roots to contemporary dancehall.



Ryan outside the Café

Ryan & Bassment Sound

Glitter Shine & Ryan

Before and after 'Showtime' the people were entertained by selector Pupa Chippie from RUNN Sound System -- later joined by Jamaican MC/singer Glitta Shine -- who spun a well varied selection reggae and dancehall tunes from now an then. He got the people in the mood and built up the right vibes for the artists.

First on stage was the very talented and much promising Ryan. Industry watchers have been eying this fine singer for while, in fact as a teenager he was an integral member of the harmony boy band The Five Aces. The band was way ahead of its time and garnered a devoted following of fans with their mix of dance moves, tight harmonies and R n B phrasing. Since those days, Ryan has become a respected vocal arranger, background singer and vocal artist in his own right. He's been busy on the reggae scene making great music and touring with Michael "Grammy Kid" Rose of Black Uhuru fame for the past several years. Through this relationship he has been traveling the world, bringing his hype- energy and sparking electric connections with the fans from all over. Ryan proved to be a confident and consummate performer, who made a serious impression with his own tunes as well as well performed cover songs. The latter included Dennis Brown's "Revolution" and Jah Cure's hit tune "Longing For" on the"Drop Leaf" riddim. Other songs he did were "Arise", "Chant Rastafari", "Moving On", "Rastafari Name" and "Liberate". After his well done performance it was obvious Ryan had gained new fans. Afterwards Ryan told that he will be returning to Europe in October to perform with a backing band.



Leroy Brown & Bassment Sound

Leroy Brown

Second up was reggae veteran Leroy Brown, a product of the musical bastion of West Kingston, Jamaica. He is also the recipient of several musical awards, which includes the Black Music Award, Canadian Reggae Music Awards, and The Bob Marley Memorial Award. Leroy "Artist" Brown has released three albums including the excellent "Colour Barrier" and several singles. He is also an accomplished bass player, guitarist, song writer and producer. Most of all, Leroy "Artist" Brown is a stage performer. The first string of awards began with a Black Music Award for the top selling single, "Gypsy" in 1982. He went on to record such hits as "Prayer of Peace", "Colour Barrier", "Face-to-Face", "Nice and Slow", "You Got What It Takes". In 1997 The Canadian Recording Arts Industry nominated him for a JUNO award, the album was "Nice and Slow". He was also nominated for another JUNO in 2003 for the hit song, "Heartache". It was featured on Big People Music Vol. 9 on the Jet Star label and is also included on his latest album "Genuine Love". The Canadian Reggae Music Awards (CRMA) has recognized Leroy "Artist" Brown's contribution to the reggae industry in Canada and across the world. He won his first CRMA in 1984 for "Island in the Stream" which he sang with Nana Mclean. He then went on to garner an award for top performer in 1990 and won top single that same year for "I'll be Lonely". Having the distinction of being discovered by Alton Ellis, one of Reggae Music's founding icons, he went on to record for producer Sonia Pottinger on the High Note Label in the late sixties. He was the lead singer for the Hippy Boys' Band which included Family Man and his brother Carlton Barrett who later joined Bob Marley and the Wailers. He was also the lead singer for the Emotions.



Leroy Brown

Ryan

Leroy Brown, a sympathetic person to talk to, showed he's an experienced artist and live performer as he seemingly effortless kept the vibes flowing. He treated the people to a well balanced selection of new and old songs. Recent tunes like "Perfidia", "Heartache" and the wonderful hit song "Rent-A-Tile" were well received by an enthusiastic reacting audience. But also truly classic pieces like the powerful "Money Barrier" (in which he expounds on how money borders and confines our lives with its illusory value system), "Metro Pigs" and "Prayer Of Peace" got nuff approval. After having ended his regular set the people made Leroy Brown return for an encore.

All in all Ryan, Leroy Brown, Pupa Chippie and the Runn Records crew made this an entertaining evening with Bassment Sound deserving nuff respeck for bringing these artists to Europe.

Text : Mr. T Photos : Sven Reliszko