Album review
Tell The Truth
Reggae Cowboys
Mercury/Pure Records

Tracking list

  1. Hang em high
  2. We ah come down
  3. Tell the truth
  4. Searchin' for de outlaw
  5. The stranger
  6. Cowboy riddim
  7. Outlaw man
  8. Stone ranger
  9. Crime stories
  10. Barkin' dogs
  11. Run u outta dodge
  12. Do it to debt
  13. Hotel California
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

When spinning it for the first time Reggae Cowboys' debut album "Tell the truth" didn't seem to fit the kind of music we usually review on this site and play at our radio show. But somehow this album succeeded to get more spins in our cd player than initially expected.
The story of the Reggae Cowboys starts in 1993 when Bird "Stone Ranger" Bellony and Aljernon Delano "Click Masta Sync" Abess joined forces in Toronto, Canada. When they formed a quintet with Roy "Gully" Clarke, Henderson King and Iain Green the Reggae Cowboys were born. Although a Canadian band the five members have their roots in the Caribbean as they originate from Jamaica, Dominica and Antigua. Reggae Cowboys' name came from their fascination with the role of African-Americans in settling the West in the 1800's where one in seven cowboys was black.
It's difficult to define their kind of music as they incorporate elements of roots reggae, dancehall, country & western, rock, blues and R&B. However, to cut it short, they play a bluesy kind of country reggae rock ! Most of the songs included on "Tell The truth" manage to keep you involved thanks to their vocal presentation, catchy arrangements and informative conscious lyrics, paying tribute to the black cowboys of the past century. Next to this some of the tracks contain a "Knopfler-Clapton-style blues-country guitar playing" you either love or hate. The latter goes for the entire album, especially when you're a reggae purist who has an aversion to any kind of crossover reggae.
Tell the truth, Cowboy riddim, Searchin' for de outlaw and Do it to debt highlight this album.

Teacher & Mr. T.