During the late '60s and early '70s Maestro Percy Faith was churning out some of the best releases with top notch arrangements ~ thus enters the album at hand "Angel of the Morning/Black Magic Woman", featuring Faith's Orchestra and Chorus. Each song had an upbeat tone to it, with "DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE?" and the beautiful ballad "THIS GUY'S IN LOVE WITH YOU", both tunes from the composing team of Hal David and Burt Bacharach
Over the course of four CDs, this is the essential musical history of the loudest island in the world, with the emphasis on essential. It starts in the time before ska, and brings it all up to the dominance of dancehall in the '90s. Along the way there's ska, rocksteady, reggae, and dub; 95 great tracks, every single one a classic. About the only major artist not represented is Lee Perry, and his productions sneak in there. Steve Barrow's notes will carry you through the story. This is about as perfect as they come, in both form and content.
Robert Randolph is one of the rare artists who's been able to convince a sizable audience that the pedal steel guitar has a place outside country music. This is partly due to his over-the-top skills on the instrument, but just as importantly, Randolph and his Family Band have consistently shown their ability to launch a soul shakedown party of major proportions whenever they take the stage or set up in the studio. 2017's Got Soul, Randolph's fifth studio album, seems designed to capture the energy and power of Randolph and his band in full flight, and producer Matt Pierson has gone out of his way to give this material a big, rollicking sound that makes the most of the muscle and sweat of this music. While the tough, funky report of the rhythm section and the call of the organ provide the backbone of these songs, it's Randolph's pedal steel that gives Got Soul its unique sound, as the wailing peals of his instrument tear through the mix and lend this as much of a vocal presence as any instrumentalist can provide. While vintage soul and funk figures play a big role in these arrangements, Randolph's background in gospel is never entirely out of the picture, and there's a churchy passion at the heart of this music that adds plenty to the emotional resonance, especially on tracks like "Be the Change" and "Heaven's Calling".