Natty Wailer & The Reggae Vibes
Rockhill Music
November 6, 2012

Lifted - Natty Wailer Track list
  1. Boogie Reggae
  2. Reveal The Truth
  3. Lift Your Spirits
  4. Mellow Mood
  5. Get Higher
  6. Love Is For Real
  7. The Mark
  8. Going Up In Smoke
  9. A New Day
  10. Redemption
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Anytime you see a CD cover bearing the name "Wailer" on it, you're gonna take notice. That's what happened when this reviewer sighted a reissue of "Lifted-Natty Wailer & The Reggae Vibes". A promising and compelling effort from one of the unsung heroes from Bob Marley's heyday.

Natty Wailer a.k.a Ian Wynter has been associated with The Wailers since 1972. He came on board the musical train as a bredrin of bassist "Familyman" Barrett, who has been a lifelong friend. Natty began his journey as a rehearsal keyboardist and eventually became a regular studio man. His first of many tours with The Wailers was a focus on Trinidad and Tobago. Upon further inspection, his name is not on any BMW albums! This Rasta is fe real. He contributed heavily on Fam's brilliant "Familyman In Dub" and "Cobra Style" albums. Incidentally, he wrote "Work" (from "Uprising" album) and played extensively with Dennis Brown, Johnny Clarke, The Uniques and Linval Thompson. After Bob's passing in 1981, he faded away into obscurity. In the late 1990's, he was invited back to The Wailers for two worldwide tours before deciding to a solo venture. He based himself in New York and assembled an able team of musicians. "Lifted" is the result...

"Lifted" is a powerful blend of Roots Reggae and Blues. Natty plays riddim guitar and keys. The Greeney Brothers (Lewis and Andrew) handle bass and drum duties. Karl Allweier juggles blazing Blues guitar. Lester Sterling from The Skatalites is on board as Horn section. Backing vox are provided by Phyliss Kelley and Lisa Bennett. Recording took place in New York and mixed by the legendary Errol Brown.

Boogie Reggae shows that Tuff Gong had a good vocal influence on Mr. Wynter! It's a joyous excursion with able keyboards and a REALLY taut drum and bass twine. There is a definite I-Three style from the lovely backing vocalists. Reveal The Truth rips open with blazin' Blues riffs and distinct Marleyesque lyrics and mannerisms. The stunning Lift Your Spirits garnered nuff attention upon initial release. Producer Adrian Sherwood selected this as part of the "Johhny Was" movie soundtrack from 2005. A totally postive song that fires on all cylinders! Mellow Mood showcases the talent of Natty's keyboard playing; the Bluesly guitar playing will yank you from any down trod feeling. The vocals are a little overdone; trying to fit the cap that Bob wore. Get Higher raises the tempo with poignant lyrics and all around accomplishment from the players of instruments. Reminiscent of "Kaya", fe real.

Love Is For Real is a great anthem. Solid chord structure and memorable backing vox to boot. This track is Wailers caliber. The Mark is pure smoky Blues with lyrics and atmosphere taken straight from The Book Of Revelation. Lester Sterling shows up well strong on this one; adding a great vintage touch to a rock solid musical backbone. Going Up In Smoke is a horn and guitar driven observation about the atrocities of all nations. Natty Wailer is a well reasoned song writer and he pours his heart big time on this yah one. A New Day boasts Pablo Black stylings and a perfect riddim 'chop chop' guitar; Natty is worthy to call himself with a Wailer credential! Natty authentically transforms into the Tuff Gong on Redemption. This is a deeply spiritual quest that forays into greatness. Along with great lyrics, it boasts angelic backing vox; heavy bass and a developed one drop style. Nice way to close it out.

"Lifted" is indeed a success from a relatively unknown artist. These days, Natty Wailer has carried his works to Ireland and developed a loyal fan base. This release WILL grow on you. Take some time to absorb this work of great substance and it will liberate your mentality. It's full of thoughtful songwriting and consummate musician ship. "Lifted" is a rare find that is worthy of the most discerning collector -- massive release! Go deh and enjoy.