Top Ranking Albums of January 2013

FoxygenWe Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic [Jagjaguwar 2013]

McPullishBlack Metal White Reggae [Charlie’s Records 2013]

ProtojeThe 8 Year Affair [Don Corleon Records 2013]

La Santa CeciliaEl Valor [Rebeleon Entertainment 2012]

Various Artists Impossible Riddim [Bizzarri Records 2013]

Various Artists Queen of Queens Riddim [Larger Than Life Records 2012]

Various ArtistsWorld Wide Love Riddim [Flash Hit Records 2012]

Various ArtistsIndo Riddim [Jah Youth Productions 2013]

Tim TimebobLip Up Fatty [Hellcat Records 2013]

Ra Ra RiotBeta Love [Barsuk 2013]

Various ArtistsTropical Escape Riddim [Chimney Records 2012]

ChronixxAin’t No Giving In [Chimney Records 2012]

Various ArtistsCorner Shop Riddim [21st Hapilos 2012]

Ben Harper and Charlie MusselwhiteGet Up [Stax 2013]

BladzunHeavy Flowers [Krian 2013]

Oliver “Tuku” MtukudzoSarawoga [Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzo 2012]

Various ArtistsFrom France to Jamaica [Undisputed Records 2013]

A Tribe Called RedNorthern Cree – Red Skin Girl [Masalacism Records 2011]

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Top Ranking Albums of January 2013

Top Ranking Singles of 2011

Graham Wilkinson – Focus

Stephen Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, & Buju BantonJah Army

Hayes Carll – KMAG YOYO

The Decemberists – This Is Why We Fight

Busy Signal – The Gambler

Stevie Face – Can’t Go Round

Emmylou Harris – My Name Is Emmett Till

Damian “Jr. Gong” MarleyWanted (Just Ain’t The Same)

Bright EyesOne For You, One For Me

Courtney John – Never Keep You Waiting

GyptianDuggu Duggu

Pokey LaForge & the South City Three – Feel So Good

Richie SpiceMy Life

Paul Simon Getting Ready For Christmas

Alborosie & Junior ReidRespect

Peter Bjorn & John – Second Chance

Iron & Wine – Tree By The River

Third World, Damian Marley, & Stephen Marley96 Degrees 

Amos Lee – Windows Are Rolled Down

Mr. Vegas, Shaggy, and Josey Wales – Sweet Jamaica

The Uprising Roots Band – Steamers

Mac MillerParty On Fifth Ave

Richie Spice – Soothing Sound 

Raging Fyah – Irie Vibe

Stuart Duncan, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, & Yo-Yo MaAttaboy

Sanchez – El Paso

The Decemberists – Down By The Water

Courtney John – Everyday

The Beastie Boys & Santigold – Don’t Play No Games

Cham – Stronger

Bright Eyes – Firewall

I-Wayne – Pure As the Nile

The Decemberists – June Hymn

Vybz Kartel – Poor People Land

Protoje – Take Control

Tarrus Riley – The Chair

Lil Wayne, Bun B, Nas, Shyne, & Busta Rhymes – Outro

Chino – Driving Me Insane

Iba Mahr – Will I Wait

Thievery Corporation – Culture of Fear

Laza – One By One

Gillian Welch – Scarlet Town

Stephen Marley – Pale Moonlight (How Many Times)

Robert Earl Keen, Jr. – Waves on the Ocean

Alborosie – La Revolucion

Brian Wilson – Listen To Me

Assassin – How Mi Feel

James Blake – Limit to Your Love

Shaggy  & Tarrus Riley – Just Another Girl

Stephen Marley – Can’t Keep I Down

Lyle Lovett – Well…Alright

Shabba Ranks – None Ah Dem

Wilco – I Might

Freddie McGregor – A House Is Not A Home

Smith Westerns – Weekend

Romain Virgo & Larry Gatlin – California

Das Racist – Booty in the Air

DeMarco – Love My Life

Tune-Yards – You Yes You

Richie Spice – Legal

Gillian Welch – The Way It Goes

Easy Star All Stars – Paid My Dues

Queen Ifrica – Pot Still Haffi Bubble

Wiz Khalifa & Too Short – On My Level

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – So Long Honeybee, Goodbye

Stephen Marley – No Cigarette Smoking In My Room

Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What

Collie Buddz – Playback

Bright Eyes – Shell Games

Gyptian – My Number One

The Decemberists – All Arise!

L.U.S.T. – Flowers on the Wall

Lil Wayne – How To Love

Romain Virgo – The System

Alexi Murdoch – Crinan Wood

Easy Star All Stars, Daddy Lion Chandell, & Junior Jazz – One Likkle Draw

Bright Eyes – A Machine Spiritual (In The People’s Key)

Richie Spice – Father

YACHT – Dystopia

Alborosie & Giuseppe Tarantino – International Drama

Zooey Deschanel – It’s So Easy

Tarrus Riley – Never Leave I

The Decemberists – January Hymn

Beres Hammond – Pull Up

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – Keep Your Hands of My Gal

Paul Simon – Love Is Eternal Sacred Light

Richie Spice – Yap Yap

Coldplay – Paradise

Stephen Marley – Old Slaves

Gillian Welch – Hard Times

Gramps Morgan – Feels So Right

The Decemberists – Calamity Song

Alborosie – Rolling Like A Rock

Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie

Beres Hammond – He Stopped Loving Her Today

Adele – Rolling in the Deep

Queen Ifrica – Times Like These

Gillian Welch – Six White Horses

Stephen Marley & Spragga Benz – Working Ways

James Blake – Wilhelm Scream

Tarrus Riley – Shaka Zulu Pickney

Robbie Robertson & Robert Randolph – How To Become Clairvoyant

Chino – God Nah Sleep (Rise and Fall Story)

Jeff Lynne – Words of Love

Richie Spice – Black Woman

Adele – Someone Like You

Alborosie – Ragamuffin

Paul Simon – The Afterlife

Stephen Marley – Freedom Time

Lil Wayne – President Carter

Vybz Kartel – Summertime

Alexander – In the Twilight

SuperHeavy – Miracle Worker

Ziggy Marley & Heavy D – It

Paul Simon – Rewrite

Alexi Murdoch – Through the Dark

Bounty Killer – Ready Fi Dem

Alexander – Truth

Snoop Dogg & T-Pain – Boom

Easy Star All Stars – Reggae Pension

Alexander – Awake My Body

Stephen Marley – Tight Ship

Robert Earl Keen, Jr. – Black Baldy Stallion

Luciano – He’ll Have To Go

Wilco – Dawned On Me

Vybz Kartel – Whine (Wine)

Ringo Starr – Think It Over

Stephen Marley – Now I Know

Robbie Robertson, Eric Clapton, & Steve Winwood – Fear of Falling

The Beastie Boys & Nas – Too Many Rappers (New Reactionaries Version)

Easy Star All Stars – Don’t Stop the Music

Smith Westerns – Only One

Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On

Ziggy Marley – Personal Revolution

Pokey LaForge & the South City Three – Drinking Whiskey Tonight

Alborosie – One Draw

Paul Simon – Love and Blessings

Stephen Marley – Break Us Apart

Das Racist – Relax

Richie Spice – Got To Make It

Wanda Jackson – You Know That I’m No Good

Beres Hammond – I Am Missing You

Mavado – Peppa

Hayes Carll – Stomp and Holler

Tarrus Riley – Groovy Little Thing

Tune-Yards – Bizness

Snoop Dogg & Willie Nelson – Superman

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – Weedwacker Rag

Shaggy & Agent Sasco (aka Assassin) – Feeling Alive

Alexander – Let’s Win

Alborosie – Camilla

Bright Eyes – Haile Selassie

Richie Spice – Serious Woman

Robert Earl Keen – Top Down

Stephen Marley – The Chapel

Alborosei & Etana – You Make Me Feel Good

Gillian Welch – The Way The Whole Thing Ends

Shaggy & Alaine – For Yur Eyez Only

Alexander – Let’s Make To Not Make A Deal

The Decemberists – Rise To Me

Etana – People Talk

Smith Westerns – Still New

Richie Spice – Confirmation

The Decemberists – Rox in the Box

Dr. Dre – Kush

Richie Spice – Mother of Creation

The Beastie Boys – Funky Donkey

Tune-Yards – Killa

Hayes Carll – Another Like You

Alborosie – Who You Think You Are

Robert Earl Keen, Jr. – Who Do Man

Hayes Carll – Hard Out Here

Richie Spice – Jah Never Let Us Down

Paul Simon – Questions For the Angels

Stephen Marley – She Knows Now

The Decemberists – Dear Avery

Wiz Khalifa – Black & Yellow

Jamelody – This Time

Stuart Duncan, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, & Yo Yo Ma – Less Is Moi

Chipmunk – Every Gal

Wanda Jackson – Thunder On The Mountain

Etana – Crazy

The Beastie Boys – Here’s A Little Something For You

Beenie Man – Let’s Go

Tessanne Chin – Firework

Dr. Dre – I Need A Doctor

Alexander – A Million Years

Easy Star All Stars, Lady Ann, Tony Tuff, and the Meditations – Easy Now Star

Paul Simon – Dazzling Blue

Stephen Marley – False Friends

Alexander – Bad Bad Love

Tune-Yards – Gangsta

Harvey and Mista Brown – Hot Gyal

Robbie Robertson – Tango for Django

The Decemberists – Don’t Carry It All

Mavado – Final Destination

Emmylou Harris – Hard Bargain

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – River Rock Bottom

Thievery Corporation – Overstand

Richie Spice – Better Tomorrow

Lil Wayne – 6 Foot 7 Foot

I-Octane – Nuh Ramp Wid We


Top Ranking Singles of 2011

The Top 40 Albums of May 2010!!!

Distant Relatives

May 2010 has been a fruitful month for music. Reggae, country, jazz, and rock music have been well represented. The Junior Gong aka Damian Marleydropped his long anticipated album Distant Relatives with rap legend Nas. The album features reggae, sick African beats, hip-hop, and spot on guest appearances by k’naan and Lil Wayne.

On the country side, Texan outlaw Willie Nelson strikes again with Country Music and Merle Haggard makes one of his best records in recent memory with the album I Am What I Am (Amazon Exclusive Version). And the Preservation Hall Jazz Band made an amazing album An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program (Deluxe Version) with guests like Louis Armstrong, Andrew BirdSteve Earleand Jim James aka Yim Yames from My Morning Jacket. And on the rock scene, new albums from Cornershop, LCD Soundsystem, and Broken Social Scene add balance to a nice month in music.

From Latin rappers Cypress Hill to African drummer Tony Allen (part of Fela Kuti‘s legendary band) to Texan musicians Court Yard Hounds(part of the Dixie Chicks) this months selection is diverse and full of wonderful sounds. Here are the Top 40 albums of May…

The Best of May 2010

  1. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley & NasDistant Relatives [Universal 2010]
  2. Merle Haggard I Am What I Am [Vanguard Records 2010]
  3. Willie Nelson Country Music [Rounder 2010]
  4. Various ArtistsAn Album To Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program [Preservation Hall Recording 2010]
  5. Toots & the MaytalsFlip and Twist [D and F Music 2010]
  6. Jakob Dylan Women And Country [Columbia 2010]
  7. Tony Allen Secret Agent [Nonesuch Records 2010]
  8. Cornershop Judy Sucks A Lemon For Breakfast [Ample Play Recordings 2010]
  9. Peter Wolf Midnight Souvenirs [Verve 2010]
  10. The PhysicsFuture Talk [The Physics 2007]
  11. Pretty LightsMaking Up A Changing Mind [Pretty Lights Music 2010]
  12. V.V. BrownTravelling Like The Light [Capitol 2010]
  13. Winston JarrettBushwhackers Gangbangers [Bigmore Productions 2010]
  14. Various Artists Something Old, Something New, Volume 5 [Penthouse Records 2010]
  15. Various Artists Big Stage Riddim [Penthouse Records 2010]
  16. Very Be Careful Escape Room [Barbes Records 2010]
  17. Various ArtistsSpecial Request, Volume 3 [Penthouse Records 2010]
  18. Mulatu Astatke Mulatu Steps Ahead [Strut Records 2010]
  19. Dr. DogShame Shame [Anti 2010]
  20. Radar Bros. The Illustrated Garden [Merge Records 2010]
  21. The Apples in Stereo Travellers In Space And Time [Yep Roc Records 2010]
  22. MGMTCongratulations [Sony 2010]
  23. Court Yard Hounds Court Yard Hounds [Columbia 2010]
  24. Caribou Swim [Merge Records 2010]
  25. LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening [Virgin Records 2010]
  26. Broken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock Record [Arts & Crafts Records 2010]
  27. The Kissaway Trail Sleep Mountain [Bella Union 2010]
  28. Passion Pit Manners [Columbia Records 2010]
  29. The Hold Steady Heaven Is Whenever [Vagrant Records 2010]
  30. Various ArtistsJoe Gibbs 12” Disco Showcase Volume 4 [VP Records 2010]
  31. The Dead Weather Sea Of Cowards [Third Man 2010]
  32. Gogol BordelloTrans-Continental Hustle [American Recordings 2010]
  33. Cypress HillRise Up [Priority Records]
  34. Solomon BurkeNothing’s Impossible [E1 Music 2010]
  35. GinjahNever Lost My Way [Digital Release 2010]
  36. Alan Jackson – Freight Train [Arista 2010]
  37. Judgement Day Peacocks / Pink Monsters [Judgement Day 2010]
  38. The RaftersAnimal Feelings [Asthmatic Kitty Records 2010]
  39. Jeff Beck Emotion & Commotion [Atco/Rhino 2010]
  40. SlashSlash [Dik Hayd 2010]
The Top 40 Albums of May 2010!!!

The Best Albums of March 2010

The Best Albums of March 2010

I listened to a lot of music this month. I caught some of the South By Southwest festivities this month increasing my music intake. I have starred the albums directly related to my SXSW experience.

  1. She & HimVolume Two [Merge Records 2010]*
  2. Romain Virgo Introducing? Romain Virgo [VP Records 2010]
  3. Brooklyn Rider Dominant Curve [In A Circle 2010]*
  4. Solo Banton Walk Like Rasta [Reality Shock 2009]
  5. GyptianRevelations [VP Records 2010]
  6. Various ArtistsRagga Ragga Ragga 2010[VP Records 2010]
  7. Various Artists Police In Helicopter Riddim [Necessary Mayhem 2009 and 2010]
  8. Erykah Badu New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh [Universal Motown 2010]
  9. JonsiGo [XL 2010]
  10. Various Artists Best of Bangers R Mashed: Volume Two [Bangers 2010]
  11. Wedding Dub Steppactivism [Sounds Around France 2010]
  12. Surfer Blood Astro Coast [Kanine Records 2010]*
  13. Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is! [Lost Highway 2009]*
  14. Black Joe Lewis & the HoneybearsBlack Joe Lewis & The Honeybears [Lost Highway 2009]*
  15. CALLmeKAT – I’m In A Polaroid, Where Are You? [Playground Music 2008]*
  16. Visqueen Message To Garcia [Local 638 Records 2009]*
  17. Adam Carroll & Michael O’ConnerHard Times [Self 2010]
  18. Method Man, Ghostface Killah, & Raekwon Wu Massacre [Island Def Jam 2010]
  19. Joanna Newsom Have One On Me[Drag City 2010]
  20. Vadoinmessico – Vadoinmessico – Ep [Vadoinmessico 2009]*
  21. Bright Light Social Hour Back and Forth [Bright Light Social Hour 2009]*
  22. Timber Timbre Timber Timbre [Arts & Crafts 2010]*
  23. Freelance Whales Weathervanes [Mom & Pop 2009]*
  24. Joe Pug Messenger [Lightning Rod 2010]
  25. Local Natives Gorilla Manor [Frenchkiss 2010]*
  26. E-40 Revenue Retrievin’: Day Shift [Heavy on the Grind 2010]
  27. The Band of Heathens One Foot In The Ether [BOH Records 2009]*
  28. The Daze – Straightjacket Hymns [The Daze 2009]*
  29. Speak Hear Here [EP] [Playing in Traffic 2010]*
  30. Gil Scott-Heron I’m New Here [XL 2010]
  31. Band of Skulls Baby Darling Doll Face Honey [Shangri-La Music 2009]*
  32. Natalie Merchant Leave Your Sleep [Nonesuch 2010]
  33. John Hiatt The Open Road[New West 2010]
  34. Texas Tornadoes Esta Bueno [Bismeaux 2010]
  35. Ludacris – Battle Of The Sexes [Disturbing the Peace 2010]
  36. The Minor Prophets Oscar [Single] [The Minor Prophets 2010]
  37. Mother Falcon Still Life [Mother Falcon 2010]*
The Best Albums of March 2010

BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL 2009

This year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival offered a fine mix of music from bluegrass to reggae to indie rock and jam bands to afro-pop and electronica music. The reggae musicians included Midnite, the Itals, and the Wailing Souls. I unfortunately missed Midnite on Thursday but I got to see amazing sets from the Itals and Wailing Souls. The Itals played roots reggae including songs like “In a Dis Ya Time.” And they played new cuts from the upcoming album Let Them Talk. The Wailing Souls played Saturday and dropped roots reggae classics like “Shark Attack ” alongside reggae covers of the Doors song “Love Her Madly” and the Grateful Dead classic “Casey Jones.” The Wailing Souls also played “War Down at the Pawn Shop” a track written by Sublime headman Bradley Nowell.

Phish played two shows. The first show on Friday night rocked with originals like “You Enjoy Myself” “Wolfman’s Brother,” “Wading In The Velvet Sea,” and “Chalk Dust Torture” and a cover of AC/DC‘s “Highway to Hell.” For an encore Phish covered the Beatles‘ “A Day in the Life.” The second show on Sunday night included a guest appearance by the Boss–Bruce Springsteen. The Boss and Phish played a brilliant extended version of “Mustang Sally.” Trey Anastasio and the Boss traded and then dueled guitar solos. It was an amazing show with a jammed out version of “Glory Days.”

Bruce Springsteen played his three hour show on Saturday Night with the amazing E-Street Band, which included Max Weinberg on drums. “Outlaw Pete,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Born to Run,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and “Devils & Dust” among other favorites kept the crowd on its feet. The Boss is quite a performer and storyteller.

The Beastie Boys played an amazing and energetic set with favorites like “So What’Cha Want [Explicit],” “Sabotage,” “Shake Your Rump,” “Paul Revere,” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” on the set list alongside punk rock favorites “Gratitude [Explicit],” “Tough Guy,” “Egg Raid On Mojo [Explicit],” and “Heart Attack Man.” Instrumental Jams like “Sabrosa” laced the Hip Hop and Punk Rock tracks. The Beastie’s DJ Mixmaster Mike is more than a DJ. The man is an exquisite turntablist and musician. MCA, Mike D, and AD Rock still have it going on after all these years. Also rapper NAS performed with the Beastie Boys on a track coming soon on the new Beastie album.

Rodrigo y Gabriela, Santagold, Girl Talk, Brett Dennen, Amadou & Mariom, Booker T with the Drive-By Truckers, Gov’t Mule, Merle Haggard, the Decemberists, and Snoop Dogg all played notable sets. I caught Booker T and the DBTs (Drive By Truckers) playing “Green Onions” and Merle Haggard covering Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Jackson.” The Hag played his own hits too, singing “Mama Tried,” “Working Man Blues,” “That’s The Way Love Goes,” and “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink.”

Immediately after seeing Merle Haggard’s set I trucked to the main “What Stage” to see Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound. Snoop strolled through hits “Gin And Juice,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?,” “Ain’t No Fun.” The LBC rappers paid tribute to 2pac with “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.” Snoop can still move the crowd. He even transitioned into Jamaican patois at one point sounding pretty good as a potential dancehall artist. Snoop needs to do a reggae album.  Merle Haggard and Snoop opening for Phish Sunday night seemed a perfect way to end this diverse mix of music.



BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL 2009

Welcome to JamTex

Texas and Jamaica link up connecting roots music traditions here at the JamTex blog. Music pulsates through both cultures, filling the evening air with intoxicating rhythms, beats, and melodies. Jamaican folkways produced amazing original forms of music, including mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, lovers rock, dub, and dancehall. The sounds formulated out of a vast cultural milieu. Music from native Caribs, Africa, China, and India to American musical forms like New Orleans Jazz, Motown Soul, Memphis Rhythm & Blues, Country & Western, and Rock & Roll, which all influenced the Jamaican music experience.

The state of Texas, the most independent state in the United States, geographically sits where continental North America meets Latin America. Flamenco, Tejano, Mariachi, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Bluegrass, Polka, Western Swing, Zydeco, Folk, and Rock met in Texas and fused into Texas roots music. Some might even argue that blues and jazz music originated out of East Texas, where African Americans like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Scott Joplin changed popular music forever.

As a connoisseur I’ve listened, collected, and appreciated the fine music playing and exploding out of these two North American bastions of sound. Although two very different places, Jamaica and Texas have several interesting similarities, such as a boastful bad boy-outlaw mentality that both cultivate. And the authentic people of both places hold deep soulful attachments to music, which expresses true feelings and reflects societies in Jamrock and Tejas. 

This blog celebrates the new and old music of Jamaica and Texas. It explores the originators like Bob Wills and U-Roy. It pays tribute to the copasetic psalms of Willie Nelson and Bob Marley, to the songwriters, dub pioneers, boss deejays, blues pickers, country fiddlers, and Third Coast rappers. From Austin to Kingston, from the sound systems of Boston Bay to the Fort Worth honky tonks, this blog explores and follows the musical worlds of Jamaica and Texas. Welcome to JamTex!

Welcome to JamTex