Tag Archives: reggae


Feel-Good Friday: The Green

Welcome to another edition of Feel-Good Friday. If you’ve listened to Jay Mohr Sports, you know that every Thursday is Positivity Thursday on his show. Feel-Good Friday has the same idea. We want to send you off to the weekend with some good vibes.

Our song for this edition of Feel-Good Friday is “Power in the Words” by The Green. This song encourages you to think about the words you say. If you’re thoughtless when you speak, then negative things will come your way. On the other hand, if you say a lot of good words to others, then positive things will come your way. It’s hardly earth-shattering, but frankly it’s a message we probably all need to hear at some point. So on this Friday, let’s all take the words of The Green to heart. Let’s all feel good on this Friday by saying good things about others.

The Green’s latest album Hawai’i 13 is available now from Easy Star Records.


Feel-Good Friday: Gary Dread and Jahmen

A recurring theme in music – particularly reggae – is the journey of life. It makes sense. After all, we all experience life although each person’s journey is different. Gary Dread and Jahmen have an excellent song about the journey of life. It is a song that is just packed with lyrics that we should all take to heart. And if we do, I think we’ll all have not just a better feel-good Friday, but a better day every day of the week.

It includes lyrics about love and respect for everyone, working harder, being strong and righteous. You don’t need me to catalog all the great lyrics in this song. Just give it a listen for yourself. I think you’ll find – as I have – that this is a great song for Feel-Good Friday and every day.

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Groove and rise up with By The Rivers

Feel Good Friday: By the Rivers

England has long had a connection with reggae, ska, and rocksteady. So it was no surprise that I stumbled onto a reggae band from England (Leicester specifically) for Feel Good Friday. And this band is an excellent choice for the occasion.

This band works a pretty good groove, and – like a lot of reggae bands – it delivers a lot of messages that people need to hear. A good example of this is “Make Your Own Road.” Let’s face it. The message itself is not new. Poets and writers for generations have been telling us to forge our own paths. And yet, so many of us still end up in cubicles. Maybe it’s time we started taking that message to heart instead of just hearing it and grooving to it.

Another good example of a message we all need to hear is in “Rise Up.” This song encourages the listener not only to “rise up and know yourself” but also to avoid being sidetracked by things like politics. Frankly, I can’t think of any better advice than to avoid politics at all costs. Generally, thoughts of politics only bring people down. But I’m not here to talk about politics. In fact, that is the antithesis of Feel Good Friday.

Do yourself a favor this Friday. Check out this album from By The Rivers. Even if you’re (regretfully) sitting in a cubicle, the grooves this band produces will help you feel better.

Feel Good Friday: Wookiefoot

Loyal reader, I know you’re expecting Funk Friday, but I want to try something different today. It’s a Friday, and probably more than any day of the wee, this is a day we need good vibes to get us going into the weekend. And so, I present to you the first Good Vibes Friday. Leave your comments to let me know what you think of it.

Wookiefoot: thought-provoking good vibes

Wookiefoot: thought-provoking good vibes

Before I get on to the music, allow me to say that I am a sucker for a good, unique band name. I like to think that a band put at least some thought into its name. Wookiefoot obviously put some thought into its name and didn’t just play Mad Libs to come up with The [nondescript noun].

As for why this band gets the inaugural Good Vibes Friday slot…well, it’s partly because of the band name, and partly because of the lyrics. Ready or Not is filled with lyrics that make you think and make you feel pretty good about being a human. The best example is the song “Don’t Stop!” This song is all about fighting your way through the hard times and includes the lyrics, “When you’re going through hell, don’t stop!” Frankly, it’s a message we all need to hear. Repeatedly. We should probably all make this a personal anthem. Hey, that’s a pretty good idea. Add this song (if not the whole album) to your phone or MP3 player, and whenever you feel like you’re going through hell, play it and sing along. Make it your theme song.

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Incognito pick of the week: Lionize

Fist-pumping reggae? Yup.

Fist-pumping reggae? Yup.

Yes, loyal reader, I know what you’re thinking. Normally for our pick of the week, I will feature a an album that has been out a couple months at most. But by now you shouldn’t be surprised when I do something different than usual. And by the way, if you don’t like me featuring a band whose most recent album was released in 2011, then maybe you can reach out to us and let us know about your (or your friend’s) new release that we absolutely must hear.

So, maybe you’re asking yourself why I’m featuring Lionize now. Well, the reason is simple. I am preparing to see Clutch in about a month and Lionize is also on the bill.

Now with a name like Lionize, it’s not surprising that this band has some reggae influences. That being said, this isn’t like any reggae you’ve heard before. This is more like if a reggae guitarist and keyboard player joined Clutch. (Didn’t I tell you that this probably isn’t like any reggae you’ve heard before?) It’s unusual to be sure: music that gets you grooving and pumping your fist simultaneously. Don’t believe it’s possible? Just check out that video for “Saviour of Fontana.” Sure, this post isn’t about a new release, but it’s a fine band. I will tell you this: I am excited to check this band out next month.

Incognito pick of the week: Natty Nation

Live at the UW Terrace is available now

Live at the UW Terrace is available now

No, this is not a band devoted to every middle-American college student’s favorite cheap swill: Natural Light. Natty Nation is a reggae band. Although there is a college tie-in. While Madison might not be the first place you think of when you think of reggae, it’s not unusual to find a reggae band near a college campus. But you didn’t come here to read about cheap beer and demographics.

Unfortunately some bands will refer to themselves as reggae, but when you listen you realize that it’s reggae through a 311 or Sublime  filter. That is not the case with Natty Nation. This is a legitimate reggae band and it’s easy to tell that these guys know their stuff from the funky bass lines to the muted guitars to the message. This is a band that knows how to get its mellow on not only with its good-vibin’ grooves (seven of the 18 songs are longer than 10 minutes), but also with its messages, a lot of which are very much like The Dude. On this album are songs about: meditation, avoiding chasing material things, and stopping violence. No matter what is your stand on gun regulation (no, I won’t delve into that topic), I don’t think it’s out of order to say that between war and civilian shootings too many good people have died needlessly. In any case, this is one of those rare bands that can make you feel good, move, and think all at the same time.

I wonder if Natty Nation thought it was Christmas when it recorded this album and subsequently when it released the album. There aren’t too many bands that give you two hours of music for the low price of $10. Especially not two hours of music that will put you in a good mood like this band does. So get this album (it’s a bargain), then listen to it and enjoy the good vibes.



The musical meal: “starters”

Reggae, surf, and jazz are all like this soup: appealing but not always enough to make a meal.

Yesterday, I wrote about how in the simile of music as food, pop music is junk food. Today, we move onto the musical soups and salads. What do I mean by that? Well, let’s face it. There are times when a soup or salad is all you need. It tastes really good and somehow it hits the spot well enough that you don’t need anything else. At Thanksgiving, however, a soup or salad is a nice way to start your meal. So here are some musical starters for me.

Reggae is a great example of a starter. There are times when I feel like I could listen to heavy doses of reggae and not require anything more. Then there are other times where I feel like reggae is good to get the vibe going before I move on to something else. This is particularly true if the Pandora reggae channel is on and somehow UB40 gets thrown into the mix. Sorry, Pandora. I’m more reggae than UB40.

Surf music is another starter. Some days at work I feel like I could listen to surf exclusively. Other times, I feel like I need a little more variety between songs and something I can sing along with. In other words, there are times when surf music is definitely more satisfying than a “snack” but not quite enough to make a full meal.

Jazz is the ultimate starter, like a really tasty and spicy soup. I can be satisfied listening to one album of jazz. Beyond that, I feel like I need something that I can sing along with and possibly pump my fist to.

What types of music fit into your musical “starters” category? Leave them in a comment.