Crucial Reggae From Outside Jamaica Vol. 2
Skank Productions
July 9, 2005

Track list
  1. Groundation - Praising
  2. Rocky Dawuni - My Love
  3. Mongoose - Out Of Range
  4. Danny I - Gun Play
  5. Identity - Peace
  6. Inner Visions - Spiritual Dancer
  7. Sheriff Ghale - Election Time
  8. Nasio Fontaine - Dangerous
  9. Jahson - No Blame
  10. Zion Judah - Divine Creation
  11. Ossie Dellimore - Justice
  12. Bambu Station - One Day
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
"Crucial Reggae From Outside Jamaica Vol. 2" follows up on the original release with another collection of strong roots tunes from non-Jamaican acts - this time however the contributors hail from a broader range of places. As with the first edition the Caribbean islands are the main focus; those represented include St Vincent, Trinidad & the Virgin Islands - but, critically, African reggae gets the inclusion it deserves.

Two of my favourite tracks on the album are by African artists both hailing from Ghana. Rocky Dawuni contributes 'My Love' (from his 1998 album 'Crusade') characterized by some great backing vocals and a catchy chorus. His countryman, Sheriff Ghale, gives us his opinion of politicians "…when they win they say bye bye, when you're down they pass you by…" on the fantastic 'Election Time' - one of the highlights of the album.

Groundation, arguably America's best known reggae group, open the album with lead singer Stafford's distinctive wailing vocals in fine form on 'Praising'. Highlights from the Caribbean contingent include Dominican-born Nasio's 'Dangerous' and Bambu Station, hailing from the Virgin Islands, who round things off admirably with 'One Day' (from their 2003 album of the same name).

The only disappointment is the lack of a track or two to demonstrate the growing quality of the European reggae scene. But this, as well as non-English speaking reggae, could well be given their chance on the next volume?

All in all this is a fine collection of conscious roots music and a great starting point for anyone not already familiar with the wealth of reggae talent from outside Jamaica.

To order this cd go to : www.skankproductions.com