Album review
Guidance & Protection
Mateo Monk
Sankofa Blackstar Musik
July 30, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Final Days
  2. Guide & Protection
  3. Still One Thing
  4. African Queen
  5. If You Got It
  6. Hope In Jah
  7. Rally
  8. Be Joyful
  9. Left Behind
  10. Our Turn
  11. Keep On
  12. Cornerstone
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

"Guidance & Protection" is the debut album of Mateo Monk, a multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter who has been composing and performing music now for 12 years. Mateo was born in Monterey CA, but moved to the Virginian suburbs of Washington DC where he remained until graduating high school. The majority of the years following high school was spent traveling, soul searching and performing. He stayed over one year in Mexico, which was a source of great inspiration for Mateo. A large portion of his music was written during this period and during visits since. When he returned to the United States he soon went to Boulder CO. He remained in Colorado for the next five years and continued to persevere in cultivating his musical vision. Mateo writes about 50% reggae music and 50% soul music, but prefers not to mix the two in performance nor in recording.
On "Guidance & Protection" he shows his talents in both vocals and with playing the flute as a reggae artist. The twelve track album, produced by Georges Kouakou - the one who produced albums of Alpha Blondy, Yellowman and Ishmael Isaac - and mixed by Jim Fox at Lion & Fox studio, contains eleven original tunes and a rendition of Dennis Bovell's "African Queen". From beginning to end the listener is treated to well delivered, sophisticated reggae music, which will surely appeal to those who like to hear polished and accessible reggae tunes. Some of the most entertaining tunes found on this cd are the title track "Guidance & Protection", "Still One Thing", "Left Behind" and "Cornerstone".

Teacher & Mr. T.