Reggae Strings Vol. 1
Sons Of Mystro
Upstairs Music
June 1, 2014

Track list
  1. Feel Like Jumping
  2. Folklore Sounds
  3. Black Gold And Green
  4. Sweet Embrace
  5. Something On Your Mind
  6. More Bills
  7. Remember That Sunday
  8. Running Away
  9. Jazzy Reggae
  10. Red Rose For Gregory
  11. I Have Got The Handle
  12. Life Could Be A Symphony
  13. Telephone Love
  14. Breaking Up
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
"Reggae Strings Volume 1" is a unique album, it collects some 14 reggae tunes, but the vocals are 'replaced' by the violin, skillfully played by two teenage brothers. Malcolm and Umoja McNeish, aka Sons of Mystro, born to a Barbadian mother and Jamaican father have been honing their skills in the south Florida public school system, attending Dillard High School for the Performing Arts. Among their earliest influences, going back to their days in elementary school, is the unique, ground breaking group Black Violin. Another of their great influences is Samvel Yervinyan, and Sayaka Katsuki, violinist with Yanni, and also the late, great, Jascha Heifetz who was one of the worlds greatest violinist.

Since being formed as a group, in June of 2010, Sons of MyStro have performed at a variety of events including, high school and college tours along with major festivals like the Grace Jamaican Jerk Fest, One Love Reggae Fest and Reggae Dancehall Awards alongside veteran artists like John Holt, Ken Boothe, Dobby Dobson, Freddie McGregor, Frankie Paul, Barrington Levy, and artists from the now generation including RL of NEXT, Voicemail, Ding Dong, Nuffy, Kevin Lyttle and Alozade to mention a few.

The 14 track album brings you some of reggae's finest tunes from the past. Marcia Griffiths' Studio One smasher Feel Like Jumping opens this album and is followed by the self-penned tune Folklore Sounds. A nice interpretation of Ken Boothe's Black Gold And Green comes next. The mellow self-penned tune Sweet Embrace is a perfect lovers tune without words. Dean Frazer joins the brothers on the cover of Something On Your Mind. The brothers pay tribute to the King of Rocksteady, Mr. Alton Ellis, with two of his finest tunes. First comes Remember That Sunday and the album closes with his Treasure Isle hit Breaking Up.

Two Music Works standards are interpreted in violin style as well: Gregory Isaacs' hit tune Red Rose For Gregory and Telephone Love from JC Lodge. Keith Anderson, better known as Bob Andy, wrote so many classic tunes. The brothers have taken a tune from his Studio One period, the impeccable Life Could Be A Symphony. Another Studio One giant, Leroy Sibbles, is 'present' here too, the brothers have taken his tune I Have Got The Handle and gave it the violin treatment.

The solid backing is done by veteran reggae musicians such as Danny 'Axman' Thompson, Dwight Pinkney, Chico Chin, Dean Fraser, while the production was provided by Danny Breakenbridge, so it's obvious that musically wise the album is top notch quality, provided you love violin music. The choice of tunes confirms that the album is aimed at the mature reggae lover who wants to sit back and relax while listening to The Sons of Mystro.