Make A Change
Winston Reedy & The Donkey Jaw Bone
Chapter Two Records
May 7, 2012
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Winston Reid aka Winston Reedy is renowned as one the most successful and popular UK based reggae singers. His first foray into music making came when he joined popular local band X-Press as their lead singer. The group came to prominence after backing Ginger Williams on her recording of "I Can't Resist Your Tenderness", a massive hit in UK West Indian circles.
Shortly after this, he joined forces as lead vocalist with one of the UK's top reggae bands The Cimarons. Their debut album "In Time", recorded at London's Chalk Farm studio, was released in 1974.
Then the band made a trip to Jamaica in 1975 to record their second album called, "On The Rock", one of the greatest British reggae albums of the 1970s. They also scored a deserved #1 hit in Jamaica with a version of Bob Marley's "Talking Blues". After signing a deal with Polydor, The Cimarons released and album entitled "Maka" in 1978, which was followed by "Freedom Street" on the Virgin label in 1980. The Cimarons failed to keep the pace, however, and by 1982 their last album, the pop-oriented "Reggaebility", seemed well out of time with the new decade.
Then Winston Reedy embarked on a solo career. His first solo single after leaving The Cimarons was "Daughter Of Zion", which immediately soared to the top of the Black Echoes reggae chart. This was followed by a string of top selling singles, including the lovers tunes "Paradise In Your Eyes", "Moi Emma Ooh Je Taime", and "Dim The Light", which topped the Black Echoes reggae chart for nine weeks and remains one of the most popular UK reggae hits of all. As a result of all this activity, Winston was voted Best British Male Vocalist by the listeners of BBC Radio London for three consecutive years, 1982, 1983, 1984. In recent times he's often doing live performances together with Dennis Alcapone.
Winston Reedy's brand new "Make A Change" cd, is the result of his collaboration with French roots reggae band The Donkey Jaw Bone, known from their late last year released "Paris Is Burning" project with Jamaican singer Derajah. Although he's best known as a singer whose songs deal with affairs of the heart, he now and then has shown that he's also capable of delivering thoughtful roots & culture material. And the latter is exactly what this 15 track album is all about. While the musicians of The Donkey Jaw Bone have laid down great sounding original riddims (although listeners might recognize horn parts of Aswad's "Promised Land" riddim on "Steppin' Outta Babylon") with a 1970s roots rock reggae vibe, Winston Reedy is in truly great shape, vocally as well as lyrically.
Not one single weak song can be found on this album, which makes it a thoroughly enjoyable collection from start to finish. Our personal favourites are the title track and album opener "Make A Change", the beautiful "Mama Africa" with its 'back to Africa' theme, "Lion Of Judah", the very strong cultural tune "Open The Door", and "Selassie-I". Last but not least, don't overlook Eric 'Rico' Gaultier's flute and sax play, because that adds a real nice vibe to tracks such as "Missing You" (the only lovers tune around), "Thy Kingdom Come", "Buying And Selling" and "Steppin' Outta Babylon".
All in all this is a quality effort from both vocalist Winston Reedy and the players of instruments who call themselves The Donkey Jaw Bone.