Throw Down Your Arms
Soul Beats Records
December 29, 2012

Throw Down Your Arms - Professor Track list
  1. Rockfort Rock
  2. Jah Sending Out
  3. Roller Coaster
  4. Mind Of Man
  5. Intifada
  6. East Jerusalem
  7. Madness
  8. Right On
  9. See Them Come
  10. Throw Down Your Arms
  11. They Never Love
  12. Armigeddon
  13. There's A Reward
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Groundation, a Northern California Roots Reggae outfit, has been putting out serious matter for over two decades now. Their frontman, Professor (Harrison Stafford) is a deeply talented educator, musician and songwriter. He took a side project in 2011, releasing the thunderous "Madness". He assembled the cream of Jamaica's players of instruments and focused on his experiences in the Middle East; incredible result! He has just released his follow up, "Throw Down Your Arms", an explosive live set recorded at Reggae Sun Ska Festival 2011 in Europe. Ital eclipse of Jah heart.

"Throw Down Your Arms" is a prime example of how powerful real Reggae musicians are on stage. Besides a super clean live mix, the musicianship is impeccable. Professor handles lead vox and riddim guitar. The timeless Dalton Browne handles lead guitar licks and backing vox. The legendary Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace juggles the drums itefuly. "Obeah" Denton is bubblin' on keys. The horn section is masterclass with "Rico" Gaultier and Thomas Henning. The bulk of these musicians (including bassist "Flabba" Holt) held the reins on "Madness". The majority of this set are comprised from the aforementioned album. The staple Rockfort Rock is revisited masterfully with Horsemouth's taut drumming and the lively horn section. Jah Sending Out opens up with Dalton's wailing guitar and Professor's delivery is nothing short of potent and authoritative; Murder! Roller Coaster is a poem of sorts; depicting the atmospheric pressure between Isreal and Palestine. All musicians are on full alert, giving the audience what they came for. The extended Dub workout draws you into the adoring crowd. Mind Of Man showcases Denton's mastery and gives off an ethereal feel with massive backing vox. Madness was blessed with guest vocals from Winston McAnuff, U Roy, Bernard Collins and Congo Ashanti Roy. The live backing vox are on par! Intifada is a clear insight of what Mr.Stafford saw in the Holy Land. Pure vocal intelligence backed by vivid horns and synchronicity from all musicians. East Jerusalem is big all around! Besides excellent vocal structure, this track takes on serious "Reggaeorchestral" value. Nuff Raspect!

Madness is a pure bubbler, with Mr. Denton demonstrating his decades of experience. Professor has a voice that is original but he can ease into Marleyesque quality in a split second. Right On is a slower paced masterpiece but well pleasing. See Them Come was a highlight off the studio album and sounds even better live! A nursery rhyme is rootically transformed into a keen observation about Professor's observations on his pilgrimage. Horsemouth's precise drum style is so well placed here; he's easily in the top three drummers ever from Yard! Throw Down Your Arms is a beautiful take on Burning Spear's classic anthem. The musicians once again prove that "The land of isle and springs" has produced Creation's most talented players of instruments, period! They Never Love is a triumphant and joyous excursion with flying cymbals to boot. Yes I! Bunny Wailer's Armigeddon is lovingly interpreted and retains its true message and power; not a note outta place. Joe Higgs' (Father Of Reggae) There's A Reward is one of the most real and heartfelt songs ever recorded. Professor and company pay raspect to the late legend dutifully! When Professor is fronting Groundation, he has taken the stage in San Francisco for many years for Bob Marley Birthday celebrations. He is no stranger to taking on classics from the Golden Age of Reggae and he does so nicely here with Jazzy and Roots overtones. Sense of purpose all around.

"Throw Down Your Arms" is hands up the best live album of 2012. Professor has firmed himself royally both in studio and on stage. He has captured the attention of Reggae's elite and came up with an intelligent formula. Use your extraordinary talent and assemble an ensemble of legendary musicians to create an absolute Jah work of art. This recording and bonus DVD showcases what real Reggae truly is. No gimmicks, no dibbi, dibbi, no partiality; just pure consciousness presented heartically and rootically to the core. If you want to hear and witness the raw definition of King's Musik; "Throw Down Your Arms" is for you. Recommendation above five stars. Get this or miss out on history. Go deh!!!!!!!!!!!