Album review
Love Power
Jahmark & The Soulshakers
Banana Boat Records
28 - 08 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. I Want To Know What Love Is
  2. Toy Gun
  3. Love Power
  4. Reggae In USA
  5. Thinking Of You
  6. Dancehall
  7. Lovelight
  8. Cover Me
  9. Soul Jammin'
  10. Ganjah Song
  11. Thank You Lord
  12. Love I'm Feeling
  13. Keep Rasta Music Alive
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 3/4 Production : 3/4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, singer, song-writer, author, and accomplished painter, Ras Jahmark Dan, moved in 1983 from Miami to New York where he formed the Redemption Posse band with his good friend from St. Mary, Jamaica, Emanuel Walsh. The other founding member was Anthony Patrick Ross of Coconut Grove, Florida. The group was managed by Gilly Gilbert (a.k.a. Gilly Dread) ital chef and sometimes road manager for Bob Marley & The Wailers in their heyday. In 1986 the Redemption Posse performed at the Jamaica Sunsplash (where they also backed up the then up and coming deejay Tiger, on his first public outing). They also performed on the annual Festival competition making it all the way to the finals of the National Arena in Kingston where they won the prizes for best performer and songwriter.
In 1987 a Japanese promoter Katsuya Abe invited them to perform in Tokyo, Japan. They performed there on and off for around six months at which time they gained and appreciation for Japanese culture. After their Japanese adventure the members of the Redemption Posse embarked on their own individual solo careers, and at that time Jahmark & The Soulshakers were born at first consisting of all Japanese musicians. This unit performed throughout Japan until around the end of 1990. Around this time Jahmark relocated to Los Angeles, California and by the beginning of 1991 Jahmark & The Soulshakers (West Coast Massive) were in the rehearsal studio. They made their debut performance in 1992 at the Palomino in North Hollywood as the support act for the Itals.
The ten member band features brass, percussion and backing vocal harmonies designed to "shake peoples souls" through high energy roots reggae. Jahmark Dan and company pride themselves on playing top quality, original music drawing from a wide range of styles including roots, dancehall, ska, R&B, rock steady, mento and soca. They have performed alongside Third World, Pato Banton, Jimmy Cliff, Sly & Robbie, The Tamlins, Wailing Souls, The Skatalites, Lucky Dube, Burning Spear, The Wailers, Mighty Diamonds, Eek-A-Mouse and many others.
Their newest album "Love Power" is a 13-track cd, filled with uptempo and powerful reggae. It's best described as a high energy blend of traditional roots reggae and dancehall flash. The music has a fine authentic Jamaican feel, although it was recorded in the US. The album opens with a cover of Foreigner's world-wide hit I Want To Know What Love Is. It's one of our favorite tracks on the album and previously anthologized on the compilation "Thumpin Reggae Jamz". All other tunes are original self-penned tunes. Furthermore the album includes the song Toy Gun one of their most memorable live songs. The themes heard here are mostly 'love' related, especially the healing power of love between people of the world. Most notable tunes are Ganjah Song, Soul Jammin' and Love I'm Feeling.

Teacher & Mr. T.