Sista Presents Blessings
SISTA Productions-Jet Star
April 26, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3|
This one riddim album oddly enough has
hardly made any waves since its release almost 3 months ago and being
recorded some 5 years ago. It's more than just a one riddim album using
Jackie Mittoo's (infrequently used) "Jericho Skank" a.k.a. 'Jericho Rock'
as it is in the first place a tribute to Vyris 'Sista V' Edgehill - who
untimely passed away in July 2002 - the then leadsinger of London's all
female reggaeband Sista (Women In Reggae), that was
founded by members of UK (female) reggaebands Akabu and AbbaKush. The
remaining Sista members play this spare, bass heavy production of this
beautiful Studio One riddim aptly retitled 'Blessings' after the last
record made by Vyris Edgehill before her untimely death.|
With "Blessings" Vyris Edgehill delivered a haunting (UK style) roots vocal with great backing vocals by the other 'Women In Reggae' fully exploiting the strength of the riddim with its great horn lines and echoed keyboard riff, followed by Prince Malachi once more showing he's an as skillful singer as he was at the shortlived peak of his career immediately after his debut in 1999 and 2000 with the heartfelt lovers tune (and yes I know, at his best he does sound like Luciano) "Strength In You". Former (?) Suncycle Crew member Gappy Ranks, in my opinion one of the most talented UK dancehall DJs, contributes a little history lesson in "Stop Light": it was invented by a black man, before one of the sweetest male voices of not only the UK but of reggae as a complete genre Peter Hunnigale sings the superb conscious "My Lord" and (Jamaican born) UK deep roots (think Jah Tubby's, The Disicples and Roots Hi Tek) singer Clive 'Colour Red' Hylton delivers the fine deeply religious "Don't Cry".
Empress Ayeola (it's Yoruba meaning "joy and wealthy life") presented herself to the record buying reggae massive with "Isat Innat" (Ethiopian Amharic for "Fire Mamma") a year ago and one of the outstanding tracks of that debut album was her tune over 'Blessings' "Ketch Him Heng Him", Braveheart is as a singjay clearly inspired by Sizzla, but succeeds in having a sound of his own on the great upful "Joy" and UK lovers singer Nereus Joseph (who could deliver a fine message tune as well and was one of the founding members of UK reggae supergroup Passion - Leroy Mafia, Dave Fluxy, Peter Hunningale, Glamma Kid and Nereus Joseph -) is in conscious mood as well for the wonderful "Got To Move" before Jamaican born Anthony John - despite his beautiful voice almost unknown outside the scene of UK roots followers - sings the excellent "Just Can't Hide".
Sista's lead DJ vocalist, former Ariwa recording artist and UK reggae veteran Trilla Jena delivers a vital cut as she seemingly effortless rides the 'Blessings'-riddim. It's Trilla Jenna's vibrant singjay style in combination with her constant strong and positive message that will certainly appeal to the fans of artists such as Sizzla, Jah Mason and Warrior King, like here in "Focus", followed by another UK lovers rock icon, UK singer, producer, engineer and writer, for ever world famous within the reggae community for his 1997 smash "She's Having My Baby", Don Ricardo delivering the smooth "Love Will Take You There" and Selvey Wonder, who took on the DJ part on Luciano's hit "Neighbourhood Watch" delivers the very catchy "Shouldn't Be Like That". Trinidad's roots reggae queen (pun intended) Queen Omega sings the great "Can't Stop I", followed by UK roots veteran Tony Roots - whose album "Vision Tomorrow" featuring Russ D & the Disciples Rhythm Section has just been released on Manila Jeepney - trying to convince us - with his beautiful melodic voice - of the need for a "Theocratic Solution".
Vivian Jones is the next UK roots stalwart who delivers a tune to this album and his soulful delivery of "I Can Hear Your Voice" Sista V and it's as clear as it can be is an absolutely scorching hearfelt tribute to Vyris 'Sista V' Edgehill and a very eloquent tune about life and untimely death and memories in our hearts and heads of those who have gone from us. Normally there would have been probably no other way to finish this magnificent one riddim tribute to Sista V album than with that song, if it weren't for Sista's members Zion Erb on drums, Diane 'D Bass' White on bass, Christine 'Cozmic' Allen-Porter and Valerie 'Vybz' Skeetie on guitars and Denise 'Jena' Davis providing the backing for the riddim version "Sweet Nature" with its great keyboards paying tribute by Sista's Caroline 'Rhythm Queen' Williams not only to their former leadsinger Sista V but to the composer of this riddim the late legend Jackie Mittoo as well. This album is a must have for every lover of UK roots and UK lovers as well as good live played roots reggae.