Ten Strings
Tuff Lion
I Grade Records
July 28, 2008

Tuff Lion - Ten Strings Track list
  1. Yad Along
  2. Vibes Preservation
  3. Majestic Honor
  4. Coming Home
  5. Indigo Tides
  6. Burning Bush
  7. Kindred Spirit
  8. Ivahlasting
  9. A Different Iration
  10. Lalibela
  11. Love Is All
  12. Zion Awake
  13. Firm Foundation
  14. Set Dem Free
  15. Fly Away
  16. Carry On (Livication To Dumisani Dlamini)
  17. Blessed Feeling
  18. Ancient Trees
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 9-
Very Good -Votes: 5-
Good -Votes: 2-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 16
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Lead Instrument : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Prolific producer, singer songwriter and acclaimed guitarist Tuff Lion, a highly respected veteran with a reputation for putting forth a full effort into all that he has been blessed to do, is a major contributor to the roots renaissance movement coming from the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has recorded extensively with artists on both Mt. Nebo Records and the I-Grade Records labels and as a touring musician supported many reggae artists including The Itals, Midnite, and Bambu Station.

Tuff Lion follows up his debut (vocal) album "Utterance" with an instrumental set entitled "Ten Strings", subtitled "Instrumental Itations from Tuff Lion and I Grade". The tracks included here feature fourteen classic I Grade riddims and four brand new riddims (co-produced by Zion High Productions and Lustre Kings) with on top the stunning lead guitar work of a passionate musician who can be ranked among great reggae guitar maestros like Earl "Chinna" Smith and Ernest Ranglin.

The concept for this album was developed by Tuff Lion and I Grade producer Tippy I during their years of working together in the studio and on the road. The main idea was to allow the lead guitar the opportunity to "ride the riddim" as a vocalist would; to tell a story a story as passionate and intense as any lyric. Having listened to "Ten Strings" we can draw the conclusion that both Tuff Lion and Tippy I have fully succeeded in their efforts to achieve what they intended when they started working on this collection.

Throughout the entire album Tuff Lion shows that he's fully in command of his instrument. His guitar play is breathtakingly beautiful and the riddims -- all fresh originals and no machines or programmed sequences here -- are just great. Meditative and inspiring sounds all the way, with "Vibes Preservation", "Majestic Honor", "Ivahlasting", "A Different Iration" and "Ancient Trees" -- the latter known from Niyorah's "We Are One" and Ras Attitude's "Olive Tree" -- being our personal favourites.

Though an instrumental reggae album may not appeal to everyone, "Ten Strings" is truly worthwhile checking out!