Freedom Shines EP
Truckback Records
Digital Release
March 19, 2012

Track list
  1. Tarrus Riley Original Dancehall
  2. Busy Signal Tell Dem Already
  3. Gyptian In My Arms
  4. Warrior King Time & Wisdom
  5. Turbulence Respect Woman
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
The choice of brothers Steve and Adrian Locke from Truckback Records to musically celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence in 2012 with a revitalized version of the classic "Freedom Blues" riddim couldn't have been any better! It was actually Roy Richards Studio One classic "Freedom Blues" that gave the riddim its name, before it was re-licked many times after it's original release. Best known later versions include Tappa Zukie's "MPLA" (1976), Admiral Tibet's "Serious Times" (1986), Brigadier Jerry's "Invasion SA" (1988), Cocoa Tea's "Kingston Hot"(1993), Buju Banton's "God Of My Salvation" (1994), and Luciano's "Where There Is Life" (1995).

Now we can add another bunch of cuts from a small but internationally well known crew of Jamaican artists to the list of tunes that have been voiced on the riddim. The classic riddim has been injected with up-to-the-time vibes and thus may strongly appeal to longtime dancehall fans and the younger generation of reggae and dancehall aficionados as well. Tarrus Riley's "Original Dancehall", in which he calls for a return to old-time, good-natured dancehall vibes, and Busy Signal's "Tell Dem Already" are equally strong efforts and definitely the best this EP has to offer. Gyptian isn't exactly an artist one would expect to voice this riddim, he manages to deliver a satisfying piece, although he can't match Warrior King's surprisingly good "Time & Wisdom". Turbulence, from whom we haven't heard that much in recent times, rounds off in truly fine style with "Respect Woman".

Don't know if we can expect more cuts on this "Freedom Shines" riddim, but it's already a real joy to listen to the tunes of this commemorative release.