The Congos & Friends ~ Fisherman Style
Blood & Fire-Munich
2CD / 2LP
April 14, 2006

Track list
Disc 1

  1. Fisherman (Edit) - Congos
  2. Feed A Nation - Big Youth
  3. Love Love Love - Horace Andy
  4. Give Praises - Max Romeo
  5. Master Builder - Tony Tuff
  6. Live Good Today - Prince Jazzbo
  7. Man Should Know - Freddie McGregor
  8. Fisherman's Anthem - Dean Fraser
  9. Fisherman Style - U Roy
  10. Captain Of The Ship - Sugar Minott
  11. Row Fast - Dillinger
  12. Let Your Love - Mykal Rose
    CD Extra
  13. Give Praises (Video) - Max Romeo

Disc 2

  1. Going Home - Luciano
  2. Whitewash Walls - Lutan Fyah
  3. Carthago - Paul St. Hilaire
  4. Make Povery History - Country Culture
  5. Jig Jig Jig - Early One
  6. Nuh Worry Your Mind - MacLaw
  7. Fisherman Melody - Mr. Raggamonica
  8. Spot And Beat The Bank - Gregory Isaacs
  9. Behold Jah Live - Ricky Chaplin
  10. Nine To Five - Lucan I
  11. Enjoy Your Blessing - Al Pancho
  12. Bring The Mackaback (Dub) - Upsetters
    CD Extra
  13. Fisherman Style Megamix (Video)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
After Blood And Fire's first venture into the world of one-riddim albums with their "Abyssians & Friends ~ Tree Of Satta Vol. 1" on which the Blood And Fire Crew around Steve Barrow released 10 original version of 'Satta' - including the original vocal and version side - alongside 10 excellent new versions, Cedric Myton of the Congos proposed them to do a one-riddim album using the Congos' seminal - in 1977 at Lee Perry's Black Ark recorded - "Row Fisherman Row", one of the best tunes appearing on one of the most outstanding classic roots and culture albums "Heart Of The Congos". In the spring of 2005 Congos lead vocalist Cedric Myton (ex- Bell Star, the Tartans, and Royal Rasses) and his former tenor vocalist "Ashanti" Roy Johnson, - who 30 years ago recorded the tune together with bariton Watty Burnett - had contacted enough artists to start the sessions for this album at Leggo Studio in Kingston. The flawless editing and mixdown resulting in the excellent sound of this album has been done by Mark Ernestus & Moritz von Oswald from Berlin, Germany a.k.a. Rhythm & Sound, who have been, using their Basic Channel label and its subsidiaries, the driving force behind lots of great Wackies rerelease in their ongoing attempt to rerelease the full catalogue. The first disc opens with the 7" edit of the Congos seminal 1977 original "Fisherman (Edit)", followed by Big Youth' DJ-cut to it "Feed A Nation" and a wonderful plea for "Love Love Love" by Horace Andy. It's fun to think about the fact that all artists included on the first disc could have been voicing their tune 30 years ago, when the riddim was originally recorded, and this album now still sounds firmly rooted in those heydays of roots reggae. Max Romeo and former African Brothers' member Tony Tuff both sing their praises in "Give Praises" and "Master Builder" before Prince Jazzbo shows his voice and riding the riddim is still above par on the at the Lion's Den recorded "Live Good Today" aided by newly recorded, different Congos Sodom and Gomorrow backing vocals and Freddie McGregor is in very fine form on "Man Should Know" that he recorded at his own Big Ship Studio. Dean Fraser's saxophone instrumental "Fisherman's Anthem" is one of the highlights on this set, but so is U Roy's titletrack "Fisherman Style". Tony Tuff's former colleague in the African Brothers Lincoln 'Sugar' Minott delivers a fine tune ascribing various roles to the Creator, including that of taxi-driver, pilot, watchman of the city and ultimately, captain of the ship. Dillinger delivers, like Big Youth, really a good DJ-cut to the Congos' tune with his "Row Fast". Mykal Rose closes the audio part of the 'veterans' disc with the excellent "Let Your Love", before the bonus "Give Praises (Video)" shows Max Romeo recording his tune at Bravo's Leggo Studio. Luciano opens the second disc with the great repatriation tune "Going Home" and then Lutan Fyah completely rips it up with the magnificent "Whitewash Walls". Paul St. Hilaire's - formerly known as Tikiman - at his own False Tuned Studio voiced the brilliant there ain't no city like "Carthage" over a completely different sounding Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald mix of the riddim as a tribute to the black man's town. The Manchester, UK based chanter Country Culture recorded his call to "Make Poverty History" in Blackburn, Lancashire with additional production by Blood And Fire's Dom & Steve Barrow. Self-employed fisherman and deejay Early One delivers "Jig, Jig, Jig", a fine track about the hardship of making life as a fisherman in Jamaica. MacLaw, the son of Winston 'Electric Dread' McAnuff, renders the entertaining "Nuh Worry Your Mind" before Raggamonica, the East-London based multi-instrumentalist who often appears alongside the Blood And Fire soundsystem delivers the excellent melodica version "Fisherman Melody". The only veteran to appear on this 'new artists' disc is Gregory Isaacs, and he sounds as out of place on this disc as he would have on the 'veterans' disc as his "Spot And Beat The Bank" clearly proves the damage some substances can do, and yet I must admit, that no matter how substandard his delivery might be, I do like the tune. Charlie Chaplin's younger brother Ricky Chaplin deejays the nice "Behold Jah Live" before Lucan I, who wasn't only inspired by Luciano in choosing a moniker, sings about fishermen's life in "Nine To Five". The underrated Al Pancho, delivers the last vocal on this second disc, with the fine "Enjoy Your Blessing" clearly showing the influence of Buju Banton on his style. The last audio track is the superb "Bring The Mackaback (Dub)" featuring the Upsetters mixed by Lee Perry at the time his Black Ark productions were pure magic. The "Fisherman Style Megamix (Video)" on this disc shows Luciano, Al Pancho, Tony Tuff, Horace Andy, Gregory, Lucan I, Ricky Chaplin and U Roy recording their tunes at Leggo Studio in a fluent mix. In my opinion this is a must have album with the veteran disc slightly in front of the new artist disc. This set might probably be selling better with the dancehall massive (who have embraced one drop (one-riddim albums) so vigorously) than with traditional roots enthusiasts but I recommend this album wholeheartedly to every reggae-listener, this is a must-buy!