Long Road
Christos DC
Honest Music
July 22, 2014

Track list
  1. Just Talk To Me feat. Kenyatta Hill
  2. Lovely Lady
  3. Same Old Sing Along
  4. Another Day
  5. Living In The Past
  6. Circles feat. Hugh Hall
  7. So Hard To Say
  8. 10,000 Miles From Home
  9. Vasilikos feat. Anastasios Vrenios
  10. True Love
  11. Long Road
  12. Helpless
  13. Did You Really Get It?
  14. Keep On Pushing
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
Reggae Music is upliftment music; King's Music. More often than not, a release comes out that is like a quiet storm that carries enough rolling thunder and rain to keep the land nourished. The longer you stand in the rain; the more you realize it's enrichment. That's the atmosphere with Christos DC's latest offering "Long Road". A more than pleasant set from this veteran...

Christos DC (Christopher Vrenios) was born and raised in Washington D.C to parents who shined in opera. He began his journey producing Hip Hop/R&B acts from his hometown and New York. His love of Kingston sounds developed quickly and led to recordings with Sly & Robbie and Firehouse Crew. He was recruited by Don Carlos and The Itals as guitarist and backing singer for several years of touring. This grand experience led him to release one of the most sought after sets of recent times. "Offering" was his project that features sensational tracks from Don Carlos, Andrew Bees, Keith Porter (Itals), The Meditations, The Mighty Diamonds and Sugar Minott. It features ites riddims from Christos and such legends as Augustus Pablo (if you can find this, get it). He continued session work with such groups as Thievery Corporation. He released his own debut "Time To Rise" (2008) on his newly formed Honest Music label. He answered again with a sophomore set "Under The Sun" to much acclaim.

"Long Road" is a nicely textured set that is heartfelt with soulful and Jazz Roots overtones. Drummies include Leslie James Jr, Paapa Nyarkoh and legend Style Scott. Bassies are Christos, Ricky Swann, Big Yard, Justin Parrott and FLABBA HOLT. Great guitar work by Christos, Tony Grasso and Gregory Tanyi. Keys are bubbled by Darryl Burke, Christos and Earl Michelin. Great horns by Joseph Brotherton, Elijah Balbed, Herb Scott and Walter Tates Jr. Nuff raspect to all additional musicians that provide such deep riddims! This set opens with Just Talk To Me. A Roots riddim tinged with Jazzy horns and precise movement; the combination of Christos' soulful delivery and Kenyatta Hill (son of the late Joseph Hill) is bliss. A pertinent observation of people not be direct with each other and the need to do so. Instant anthem and proof Kenyatta is following in his father's footsteps triumphantly. Lovely Lady has a big band feel with vibrant horns and taut riddimwise. Christos delivers in a soulful style that draws you in. Great Lover's tune! Same Old Sing Along continues in a soulful vein with horns up and great texture. Another Day is a scorcher! Over a skanking riddim dripping with Jazz and Roots tone, Christos delivers inna Lover's Rock style that really holds its own. Living In The Past is a vivid interpretation of "Ripped Open By A Metal Explosion" with great guitar and trumpet work. Great arrangement and versatility. Circles is an exquisite track that features fine chanting by Hugh Hall. A ballad with lilting bass and drum with Christos' soaring vocals floating above. So Hard To Say is a great downtempo outing with serious drum patterns and Papa Waastik adding a nice DJ dimension and great flute from Mateo Monk. This song is a prime example of how good a songwriter/arranger Christos is!!

10,000 Miles From Home is a different style indeed. A fusion of sorts; it brings back memories of Creation Rebel's "Starship Africa". Totally works. Vasilikos is a Roots ode to his Greek heritage. A blend of traditional Greek music intertwined with a taut Roots riddim and opera stylings. Clever idea that comes across well. True Love is a solid affair. Over a bouncing riddim, Christos is heartfelt and soulful throughout and adds great harmonica to a great Lovers tune. The title track is a standout selection!! Style Scott and Flabba Holt are at their very best with Darryl Burke adding incredible melodica. Feels like an ode to Augustus Pablo and is of the caliber that "Offering" delivered. Serious musicianmanship!! Helpless and Did You Really Get? are affairs of the Heart that showcase more of a falsetto approach on top of great riddims. Keep On Pushing is a powerful song of Hope despite circumstance that rounds out this set nicely.

Christos DC's "Long Road" is a mature set indeed. It really covers a broad spectrum with authenticity and purpose. The riddims sound like they are derived from Kingston studios and there's a depth that will draw you in. This is honest music with no filler! You won't be taking a chance on this release; just be prepared to be nourished in Heart and Soul. Highly recommended! We can expect a great future from an artist whose decades of experience come to full light. GO DEH!!