Top Ranking Albums of August 2012

Slightly StoopidTop of the World [Stoopid Records 2012]

CultureNatty Dread Taking Over: Reggae Anthology [VP Records 2012]

Neneh Cherry & the ThingThe Cherry Thing [Smalltown Superound 2012]

Easy Star All StarsThrillah [Easy Star Records 2012]

Various ArtistsOut of Many: 50 Years of Reggae Music [VP Records 2012]

Brigadier JerryJamaica Jamaica [Sanctuary Records 2010]

Bost & Bim meet FabwizeTo Bring the Amazing Dub Monster Back to Life !!! [The Bombist Records 2012]

Django DjangoDjango Django [Ribbon Music 2012]

Adrian SherwoodSurvival & Resistance [On-U Sound 2012]

David Byrne & St. VincentLove This Giant [4AD Records 2012]

ConveyorConveyor [Paper Garden Records 2012]


Old Crow Medicine ShowCarry Me Back [ATO Records 2012]


Don WilliamsAnd So It Goes [Sugar Hill 2012]

Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do [Epic 2012]

Top Ranking Albums of August 2012

Top 100 Ranking Singles of 2010

The Top Ranking Singles of 2010
  1. Damian Marley, Nas, and Dennis BrownLand Of Promise
  2. Alborosie & Dennis BrownCan’t Stand It
  3. Cee LoFuck You
  4. GyptianHold You
  5. Jamey Johnson – Set ‘Em Up Joe
  6. Busy SignalSweet Love (Night Shift)
  7. Chuckle Berry, Sly & RobbieGood Life
  8. Courtney JohnLove Is
  9. Ryan BinghamThe Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart)
  10. Carolina Chocolate DropsHit ‘Em Up Style
  11. AlborosieNo Cocaine
  12. Gappy RanksPut The Stereo On
  13. Erykah Badu Window Seat
  14. Romain VirgoMi Caan Sleep
  15. Busy SignalOne More Night
  16. Damian Marley & NasAs We Enter
  17. Spragga Benz – Shotta Culture
  18. AlborosieMama She Don’t Like You
  19. Prince Fatty & HorsemenInsane In The Brain
  20. Johnny Cash Ain’t No Grave
  21. Broken Bells The High Road
  22. Lloyd Brown Cold Blooded
  23. Michael Franti & SpearheadThe Sound Of Sunshine
  24. Spragga Benz, Shabba Ranks, Kardinal Offishal, & Swizz Beatz Red Dot Special (Rhatata)
  25. Willie Nelson, Leon Rausch, and Asleep at the WheelTruck Driver’s Blues
  26. Ed RobinsonOur Heroes
  27. Spragga Benz & Nas – This Is The Way
  28. AlborosieBlue Movie Boo
  29. Damian Marley, Nas, & Lil WayneMy Generation
  30. GorillazOn Melancholy Hill
  31. Yim Yames & the Preservation Hall Jazz BandLouisiana Fairytale
  32. Sean Paul Turn Me On
  33. Kings Go Forth – One Day
  34. Gappy RanksButterflies
  35. Merle Haggard I’ve Seen It Go Away
  36. Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know
  37. Lil Jon, Damian Marley, & Stephen MarleyOn De Grind
  38. Prince Fatty & Winston FrancisDry Your Tears
  39. Vampire WeekendHoliday
  40. Lee “Scratch” Perry & George ClintonScary Politicians
  41. Junior Kelly Too Late
  42. Damian Marley, Nas, & K’NaanTribes At War
  43. Jamey Johnson – Lonely At The Top
  44. Rootz UndergroundMakisupa Policeman
  45. Gorillaz, De La Soul, and Gruff Rhys – Superfast Jellyfish
  46. John Legend, Common, Melanie Fiona, & the RootsWake Up Everybody
  47. Kanye WestRunaway
  48. Spragga BenzDread Don’t Go Down
  49. Robert Plant Angel Dance
  50. Gappy RanksHeaven In Her Eyes
  51. Alejandro Escovedo – Anchor
  52. Damian Marley & NasPatience
  53. JonsiGo do
  54. Major Lazer, Collie Buddz, & Linda OrtegaGood Enuff
  55. Vampire WeekendHorchata
  56. Vybz Kartel & Popcaan Clarks
  57. Cypress HillBang Bang
  58. Kanye West Monster
  59. Overproof SoundsystemKing Step
  60. Cas Haley & Tanya Stephens Wolfman’s Brother
  61. Lil’ Wayne Gonorrhea
  62. Alborosie & Steel PulseSteppin Out
  63. Michael Franti, Lady Saw, and Spearhead Shake It
  64. Ray Benson, Jason Roberts, Leon Rausch, and Asleep at the WheelIt’s a Good Day
  65. I-Octane Puff It
  66. Lil Jon & Ying Yang TwinsRide Da D
  67. Romain Virgo Alton’s Medley
  68. Willie Nelson & Mishka Homegrown
  69. Damian Marley & NasNah Mean
  70. Tony AllenSecret Agent
  71. AssassinHand Inna Di Air
  72. Gorillaz, Mod Def, and Bobby Womack Stylo
  73. Prince Fatty & Horseman Shimmy Shimmy Ya
  74. Spragga Benz, Queen Ifrica, Stephen Marley, & Jah Cure – More Life
  75. Surfer BloodFloating Vibes
  76. Lil Jon, Ice Cube, & Elephant ManKillas
  77. Justin Townes EarleHarlem River Blues
  78. Damian Marley & NasCount Your Blessings
  79. SpoonWritten In Reverse
  80. Chalice & YellowmanBouncing Around The Room
  81. Broken BelllsThe Ghost Inside
  82. Alborosie & Horace Andy Money
  83. Cypress Hill, Pitbull, & Marc AnthonyArmada Latina
  84. Prince Fatty and Little Roy Christopher Colombus
  85. Vampire WeekendDiplomat’s Son
  86. MGMTCongratulations
  87. Gorillaz, Snoop Dogg, & Hypnotic Brass EnsembleWelcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach
  88. Kanye WestAll Of The Lights
  89. Two Door Cinema ClubSomething Good Can Work
  90. Carolina Chocolate DropsYour Baby Ain’t Sweet Like Mine
  91. Elizabeth Cook – El Camino
  92. Broken BellsVaporize
  93. NnekaHeartbeat
  94. The Rolling StonesPlundered My Soul
  95. Kanye WestPower
Top 100 Ranking Singles of 2010

The Best Albums of July 2010

Street Songs Of Love

July Music

  1. Alejandro EscovedoStreet Songs Of Love [Fantasy 2010]
  2. GyptianHold You [VP Records 2010]
  3. Various ArtistsReggae Gold 2010 [VP Records 2010]
  4. Ernie SmithThe Best of Ernie Smith – Original Masters [VP Records 2010]
  5. Mike StensonThe Jukebox In Your Heart [STAG 2010]
  6. M.I.A.Maya [N.E.E.T./Interscope 2010]
  7. Sleigh BellsTreats [Mom & Pop Music 2010]
  8. Gary P. NunnTaking Texas To The Country [Guacamole/Campfire Records 2010]
  9. Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot…The Son Of Chico Dusty [Def Jam 2010]
  10. Jah Mason Keep Ya Head Up [Rastar Records 2010]
  11. The RootsHow I Got Over [Explicit][Def Jam 2010]
  12. Clinton Fearon Mi Deh Yah [Makasound 2010]
  13. Scissor Sisters Night Work [Downton 2010]
  14. EminemRecovery [Aftermath 2010]
  15. Various ArtistsThe Definitive Collection of Federal Records, 1964-1982 [VP Records 2010]
  16. LucianoUnited States of Africa [VP Records 2010]
  17. Lincoln DurhamEP [Lincoln Durham 2010]
  18. Various Artists Bobo Revolution 2 [Greensleeves 2010]
  19. Jimmy Vaughan Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites [Shout Factory 2010]
  20. Various ArtistsFoundation Dub [Trojan 2010]
  21. Walt Wilkins & the MystiquerosAgave [Blue Boot Records 2010]

The Best of Ernie Smith - Original Masters

Jimmie Vaughan-Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites

Trojan Dub-Foundation Dub

The Best Albums of July 2010

Guru – “The Experimental Fusion of Hip-Hop and Jazz”

Loungin'

Unfortunately, one of the greatest American rap and hip-hop MCs died this month. Guru was an extraordinary rapper. He was both gritty and smooth. He rose to fame rhyming for the famed rap group Gang Starr. The old school rap duo featured Guru on the mic and DJ Premieron the turntables.  I was a big fan of Gang Starr. And I followed Guru into his solo work, especially the first Jazzmatazz album. If you haven’t heard of Gang Starr check out their songs “Blowin’ Up The Spot” and “Full Clip.”

Guru was one of those rappers that kept in touch with the roots of his craft. I often saw him on the local cable network in Austin, visiting recreational centers in East Austin. He got kids involved in the hip hip culture on the ground level. He was definitely a grassroots artists. A man who explored the musical world from the bottom up and not from the top down. This viewpoint gave his music real soulpower.

Keith Elam aka Guru will probably be most remembered for his multi-volume Jazzmatazz collaborations with famed jazz and pop music artists. The first Jazzmatazz album was an instant classic. Jazz artists like Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd, Branford Marsalis, and Lonnie Liston Smith joined Guru for a fusion of jazz and hip hop. Guru explored this blend creating genius tracks like “Loungin’.'” Another one of my favorite songs on this album is the cut “No Time To Play” with Ronny Jordanand Dee C. Lee. The track “Le Bien, Le Mal” mixes rap and jazz music as well as French and English lyrics. The French rapper Mc Solaar shared the mic with Guru on this cutting-edge experimental Franco-American rap-jazz tune.

Guru fused rap with a diversity of sounds and artists through his Jazzmatazz collection, performing with such notable musicians as Ini Kamoze, Erykah Badu, Macy Gray, the Roots, Junior Reid, Les Nubians, and Herbie Hancock. From rap to  jazz to R&B to reggae this rapper crossed musical boundaries and set new trends.

Guru made substantial inroads into the reggae genre as well, especially on a collaboration with Stephen Marley. Marley and Guru reworked the Bob Marley classic “Johnny Was” into a beautiful mix of rap and reggae music on the album Chant Down Babylon. And check out the killer hit on the album Jazzmatazz, Vol. 4: The Hip Hop Jazz Messenger – Back To The Future entitled “Stand Up (Some Things’ll Never Change)” with the talented dancehall wordsmith Damian Marley.


Guru – “The Experimental Fusion of Hip-Hop and Jazz”

World of Reggae Music–Roots and Culture: Rastaman

World of Reggae Music: Roots and Culture

Rastaman

Red, gold, and green flags emblazoned with the Lion of Judah fly above swirling clouds of ganja smoke while pulsing bass and driving reggae riddims flow through sound systems stacked ten-feet high. This edition of the World of Reggae Music Collection is entitled Roots and Culture. This first volume of Roots and Culture features the Rastaman. The Rastaman is an integral part of Caribbean culture and the reggae movement.

Rita Marleyintroduced Robert Nesta Marley to the foundations of the Rastafarian religion or “way of life.” She had seen the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I on his visit to Jamaica and had been struck by the spirit on seeing what she believed to be an incarnation of God, Jah Rastafari. Bob Marley and The Wailers later became a great messenger of the “king’s music.”

Bob Marley and The Wailers, the I-Threes (Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt, and Marcia Griffiths), Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailerall professed to the wisdom of Jah in their music. Not only did Marley and the Wailer family play roots and culture reggae, but so did the great rastaman icons Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, and Jacob Miller. The Rastafarian-inspired bands The Abyssinians, Black Uhuru, Aswad, Gladiators, The Melodians, The Mighty Diamonds, Steel Pulse, Culture,Wailing Souls, Third World, Israel Vibration, The Itals, and The Heptones rocked reggae for crowds of thousands of listeners and fired the souls and imaginations of millions of fans.

Not only the great reggae bands played tribute to the roots and culture of the rastaman, but so did the finest singjays from Dillinger, Barrington Levy, Ranking JoeSizzla, and Luciano to Buju Banton, Half Pint, Capleton, Anthony B, and Konshens. From the young to the old, from Tarrus Riley, Gyptian, Morgan Heritage, Alborosie, and Bushman to the old-school reggae originals of Jimmy RileyHorace Andy, Johnny Clarke, and Cornell Campbell, Rastafarian culture and reggae still captures the pulse of an Island people.

The AbyssiniansSatta Massagana

Capleton – Raggy Road

Bob Marley & the WailersRastaman Chant

Sly & Robbie – Rastaman Chant

Stephen Marley & Ziggy Marley – The Chapel

Black Uhuru & the Revolutionaries Dread In The Mountain

AswadCandles

The Melodians Rivers Of Babylon

Linval Thompson & U-Roy – Don’t Cut Off Your Dreadlocks & Joyful Locks

Steel PulseNot King James Version

Josey Wales – Bobo Dread

VC – By His Deeds

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Rastaman Live Up!

Burning Spear – Old Marcus Garvey

Burning Spear – Farther East of Jack

Chronixx – Capture Land

Sizzla – Praise Ye Jah

Peter ToshIgziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised)

Alborosie & Michael Rose – Callin’

Barrington LevyA Yah We Deh

Bunny Wailer, Toot & the MaytalsTake A Trip

The Heptones Cool Rasta

Luciano – It’s Me Again Jah

The ShadowsBrother Noah

Buju Banton – Untold Stories

Gregory IsaacsThief a Man

Jacob MillerTenement Yard

Israel Vibration Jericho

Busy Signal – Nah Follow Dem

Morgan HeritageDown By The River

Bob Marley & the Wailers Positive Vibration

The Mighty Diamonds – I Need A Roof

Ini Kamoze – I Want Ital

Delroy Wilson – Rascal Man

Tony Rebel – Jah Is By My Side

Kiddus I – Graduation In Zion

Sizzla – Rastaman Chant

Third World – Cool Meditation

Jah Cure – Trod in the Valley

Dennis Brown – To the Foundation

Luciano & Sizzla – Jah Blessing

Fred Locks – Black Star Liner

Willie Williams – Armagideon Time

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Jah Live

Sly & Robbie – Jah Live

Raging Fyah – Jah Glory

The Abyssinians – Declaration Of Rights

Buju Banton – Give I Strength

Steel Pulse – Babylon Makes The Rules

Chronixx – Rastaman Wheel Out

Burning Spear – Red, Gold & Green

Burning Spear – Workshop

Alborosie – I Rusalem

The Wailing Souls – Kingdom Rise Kingdom Fall

Black Uhuru – Whole World Is Africa

Alton Ellis – Back To Africa

Gentleman – Jah Jah Never Fail

Tenor Saw – Jah Guide and Protect Me

Tenor Saw – Jah Guide Dub

Alborosie – Rastafari Anthem

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Natty Dread

Irie Love – Put Jah First

Garnett Silk – Kingly Character

Horace Andy – Psalm 68

Horace Andy – Dub 68

Half Pint – Bless Us

Buju Banton – ‘Til I’m Laid To Rest

Johnny Clarke – Satta Massagana

I-Roy – Satta

Cocoa Tea – Heathen

Anthony B & Horace Andy – Enter The Kingdom of Zion

J.O.E. – Rasta Chant

The Abyssinians – Y Mas Gan

Alborosie – Dung A Babylon

Toyan – Dread in a Babylon

Damian Marley & Nas – Africa Must Wake Up

Sugar Minott – Black Roots

Burning Spear – Lion

Third World – Dreamland

Tarrus Riley – Love Created I

Johnny Clarke – Be Holy My Brothers And Sisters

Israel Vibration – We a De Rasta

Burning Spear – Jah No Dead

Bob Marley & the Wailers – Iron Lion Zion

Tenor Saw – Who’s Gonna Help Me Praise

Black-Am-I – Samson Strength

Black Uhuru – I Love King Selassie

Mad Cobra – Salassi I Rule

The Mighty Diamonds – Africa

Busy Signal – Jah Love

Ranking Joe & Michael Rose – Poor Man Struggle

Alborosie – Humbleness

Steel Pulse – Biko’s Kindred Lament

The Gladiators – Roots Natty

Sizzla – Black Woman & Child

Busy Signal – Run Whey

Gentleman – Strange Things

Raging Fyah – Music Isn’t Biased

Alborosie – Still Blazing

Yabby You – Conquering Lion

Burning Spear – Calling Rastafari

The Itals – Roll River Jordan

Johnny Clarke – Enter Into His Gates

Third World – Satta Massagana

Raging Fyah – Behold

Israel Vibration – Sodom and Gomarrah

Cornell Campbell – Lion of Judah

Freddie McGregor – Be Alright

Anthony B – Give Praises

Cocoa Tea – Holy Mount Zion

Bunny Wailer – Rastaman

The Mighty Diamonds – jah Will Work It Out

Johnny Clarke – False Rasta

Alborosie – Grow Your Dreads

Richie Spice – Better Tomorrow

Alton Ellis – True Born African

Black Uhuru – Leaving to Zion

Culture – Get Ready To Ride The Lion To Zion

Aswad – Back To Africa

The Mighty Diamonds – Jah Jah Bless The Dreadlocks

Ras Michael And The Sons Of Negus – Rise Jah Jah Children (The Lion Sleeps)

The Wailing SoulsJah Give Us Life

Winston Francis Going to Zion

Sylford Walker & Welton Irie – Chant Down Babylon

Alborosie – Call Up Jah

Morgan Heritage – Hail Up the Lion

Michael Prophet – Jah Love

NEED

Capleton & Luciano – Hail King Selassie

SizzlaReally And Truly

Patrick Andy – Living in Mount Zion

Wayne Wade – Poor and Humble

Ras Bug – Fisherman

I-Roy – Rootsman

Freddie McGregor – Rastaman Camp

Willie Francis – Let’s Go To Zion

Earth & Stone – False Ruler

BushmanKing Selassie I

Determinejah a mi sponsor

LucianoJah Is My Navigator

Horace Andy – Children of Israel

Justin Hinds & the Dominoes – Jordan River

Sugar Minott – Rome

Devon Irons – When Jah Comes

Max Romeo – Babylon’s Burning

Luciano – Jah Live

Morgan Heritage – Set Yourself Free

Bushman – What’s the Matter With the World

Beres Hammond & Flourgon – I Love Jah

Garnett Silk – Mama Africa

Culture – Humble African

Anthony Cruz & Marlene Johnson – Africa

Tarrus Riley – Marcus Teaching

Sylford Walker – Jah Golden Pen

Black Uhuru – Going To Zion

Hell & Fire – Show Us The Way

Little Roy – Bongo Nyah

Junior Byles – King Of Babylon

Konshens – Rasta Imposter

Luciano & Candy Man – Dem No Know Jah

Max Roemo, Conrad Crystal, & Suga Roy – Chant Rasta

Peter Tosh – Mama Africa

Alborosie – I Am

Frankie Paul – Red, Gold, and Green

Cornell Campbell – I Heart Is Clean/Zinc Fence

Dillinger – Gate Number

Pancho Alphonso & the Revolutionaries – Never Give Up In Babylon

Burning Spear – Jah Is Real

Jimmy Riley – Tell The Youths The Truth

Dolphin Morris & Prince Far I – Su Su Pan Rasta / Heavy Manners

Gregory Isaacs – Babylon Too Rough

Culture – Jah Rastafari 

The Wailing Souls – They Don’t Know Jah

Jacob Miller – I’m A Rastaman

Conrad Crystal, Suga Roy, & Gyptian – Jah Jah See Dem

Jah Is My Navigator

World of Reggae Music–Roots and Culture: Rastaman

Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township make music for all the “Ragamuffin” Kids

Nature lovin,’ tree-huggin, hippy musician and artist Graham Wilkinson put together a fascinating group of Austin-based musicians to accompany his original and inspirational songs on the new album Yearbook. Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township make beautiful music for mountain drives and nature hikes, but also for boisterous bars across North America. The music is original. Some might claim it is a kaleidoscope of roots music, folk, rock, Americana, jazz, and reggae, but really Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township melt away genres and make new and exciting music.

underground township photo

On Yearbook Graham Wilkinson writes beautiful ballads like “Star Blue” and blues tunes like “The Corner Store” underscoring his brilliance at song writing. Drummer Matt Morris, bassist Wayne Dalchau, guitarist P.J. Herrington, and Chris Stringer on keys make up the backbone of the Underground Township on this particular album with Graham playing a range of instruments from harmonica and guitars to percussion. The Township is joined by a revolving cast of musicians from the Austin scene including Hayes Carll, Alejandro Escovedo, Ray Hilner, Meg Kemp, Mista Swift, Margaret Whitt-Harn, Joe Fallhaeber, Trisha Keefer, Mark Levine, Nick Warrechuk, Mark Wilson, Kyle Clayton, Will Duppy, Leila Henley, Heidi Johnson, Danny Malone, David Moss, Hector Munoz, Ron Weisberg, Dawnerin Wilkinson, Sarah Lu Wilkinson, and even legendary Texan musician Lloyd Maines.

The track “Ragamuffin” sticks out as a particular favorite of mine. I’ve always liked this song, but when it came up on my iPod (in a random shuffle mode) while cruising through the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming it seemed to be the perfect song at the perfect time. Hayes Carll and Graham Wilkinson share vocals on the song with Lloyd Maines playing a beautiful steel guitar. The gliding pace of the song helped me to glide smoothly over the meadows and mountain lakes.

The tracks on Yearbook like “La Brisa,” “Let It Go,” and “Boys and Girls” are not only great songs, but they also have been well produced here by Township Records. Township Records, run by bassist Wayne Dalchau, is a great local Austin indie label with talented new artists like Danny Malone, James Levy, and Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township.

Yearbook is a concept album that takes a look back at the collaborations and music of 2008 in South Austin. The previous release from the band was the self-titled Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township, which took a different approach to Graham’s songs. On Yearbook the tracks are more filled out. And the good news is, The Underground Township are taking this wonderful music on the road for 2009. The late summer tour is exhaustive. Make sure to catch Graham & the Township playing in a town near you.

Aug 2 2009 6:00P Freds Texas Cafe Ft. Worth, Texas
Aug 5 2009 8:00P The Whitewater Tavern Little Rock, Arkansas
Aug 6 2009 9:00P Tres Hombres Carbondale, Illinois
Aug 7 2009 9:00P Duke’s Hideaway Chicago, Illinois
Aug 8 2009 9:00P Duke’s Hideaway Chicaco, Illinois
Aug 9 2009 8:00P Village Inn Suttons Bay, MI
Aug 10 2009 8:00P Village Inn Suttons Bay, MI
Aug 11 2009 8:00P Village Inn Suttons Bay, MI
Aug 12 2009 9:00P The Happy Dog Cleveland, Ohio
Aug 13 2009 9:00P Hill Country BBQ New York, New York
Aug 14 2009 10:00P Blak Oak Tavern Oneonta, New York
Aug 15 2009 8:00P Fred Fest Oneonta, New York
Aug 19 2009 9:00P Northside Tavern Cincinnati, Ohio
Aug 20 2009 9:00P Boone Saloon Boone, North Carolina
Aug 21 2009 9:00P Tasty World Athens, Georgia
Aug 22 2009 9:00P Westville Pub Asheville, North Carolina
Aug 25 2009 9:00P Lynagh’s Irish Pub Lexington, Kentucky
Aug 26 2009 10:00P The Basement w/ Rufus Huff (Kentucky Headhunters) Nashville, Tennessee
Aug 27 2009 8:00P The Whitewater Tavern Little Rock, Arkansas
Aug 28 2009 8:00P Smoke and Barrel Tavern Fayetteville, Arkansas
Aug 29 2009 8:00P The Parish w/ The Blue Hit & Danny Malone Austin, TX

Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township make music for all the “Ragamuffin” Kids

The World of Reggae Music Collection–Reggae’s Superstars: The Lion Youth (Over 230 Singles from Reggae’s Youth)

This week the Jam-Tex selector continues his exploration of the history of reggae music. The category “Reggae’s Superstars” has been divided into two volumes. The first volume included roots reggae masters from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. It was entitled “Reggae Superstar’s: The Lions of Jah” and can be found by clicking this link. This second volume entitled, “The Lion Youth,” focuses on the most current superstars of the Reggae movement (from the 1990s and 2000s). Many artists made the list, including reggae queens Queen Ifrica, Tanya Stephens, Etana, Cherine Anderson, Natasja, and Jah9; male roots reggae crooners like Junior ReidMichael RoseTarrus Riley, Cocoa TeaLuciano, Gentleman, Alborosie, Jah Cure, Courtney John, Romain Virgo, Duane StephensonJunior Kelly, and Daweh Congo. Singjays Half PintMavado, Sizzla, Anthony B, Capleton, Jah Mason, Ranking Joe, and Richie Spicethe Marley Brothers including Ziggy Marley and the Melody MakersJulian Marley, Stephen Marley, Kymani Marley, and Damian “Junior Gong” Marley; dancehall favorites like Sean Paul, Collie Buddz, Buju Banton, YTSweetie Irie, Shaggy, Vybz Kartel, and Spragga Benz; artists steeped in the roots and cultural tradition like Chronixx, ProtojeChezidek, Bushman, I-Wayne, Perfect, Gentleman, Lutan Fyah, Natty King, and Gyptian; and contemporary producers and reggae groups like Mungo’s Hi-FiSOJA, RebelutionSly & Robbie, Raging Fyah, Uprising Roots BandMorgan Heritage, Rootz Underground, Dubmatix, Rockamovya, Hot Like Fire, Inner Circle, Thievery Corporation, Long Beach Dub All Stars, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Steel Pulse, and Dub Syndicate assemble on this chart for a great selection of modern reggae music.

The World of Reggae Music Collection

Reggae’s Superstars—The Lion Youth

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marle– Welcome To Jamrock

Collie Buddz – Come Around

Alborosie & Dennis Brown – Can’t Stand It

Stephen Marley, Capleton, & Sizzla – Rock Stone

Luciano – Messenger

Bushman – You Can’t Blame the Youth

Richie Spice – Righteous Youths

Tarrus Riley – Lion Paw

Queen Ifrica – Lioness On The Rise

Anthony B – Waan Back

I-Wayne – Living In Love

Damian Marley, Nas, & Dennis Brown – Land of Promise

Ky-mani Marley – Royal Vibes

Stephen Marley – Chase Dem

Julian “JuJu” Marley & Damian “Junior Gong” Marley – Violence in the Streets

Ziggy Marley – Personal Revolution

Protoje – Black Ciderella

Solo Banton – Walk Like Rasta

Alborosie – Kingston Town

Stephen Marley, Buju Banton, & Akon – My Conclusion

Junior Kelly – Love So Nice

Gyptian – My Fadah Seh

Gentleman – On We Go

Marlon Asher – Ganja Farmer

Sizzla – Solid As A Rock

Daweh Congo – Straight Up Conscious

SOJA & Collie Buddz – She Still Loves Me

Jah Mason – My Princess Gone

Busy Signal – Kingston Town

Spragga Benz – Shotta Culture

Morgan Heritage – Brooklyn & Jamaica

Luko Adjaffi – Brand New Day

Half Pint – Mind Over Matter

Raging Fyah – Irie Vibe

Tanya Stephens – What A Day

Sean Paul & Sasha – I’m Still In Love With You

Chezidek – Harvest Time

Cocoa Tea – Israel’s King

Buju Banton – Bobby Reds

Rootz Underground – Victims of a System

Ray Darwin – People’s Choice

Jah Cure – Sticky

J Boog & SOJA – Fuck Your System

Capleton – Mark of the Beast

Rebelution & Lutan Fyah – Good Vibes

Kabaka Pyramid – World Wide Love

Shaggy & Tarrus Riley – Just Another Girl

Romain Virgo – Mi Caan Sleep

Natasja – Mysterious

Sweetie Irie – Rebel With A Cause

Wayne Marshall – On the Corner

Jah 9 – New Name

Natty King – No Guns To Town

Protoje – Roll

Courtney John and Sly & Robbie – Ready to Go

YT – Tightrope

Screw Driver & Inner Circle – Never Give Up

Notch & Thievery Corporation – The Richest Man In Babylon

Mavado – Money Changer

Warrior King – Virtuous Woman

Hot Like Fire – Hot Like Fire Tonight

Chronixx -Warrior

The Uprising Roots – Skyfiya

Tanya Stephens & Seeed – Double Soul

Perfect – Hand Cart Bwoy

Joseph Israel – Gone Are The Days

Taj Weekes & Adowa – Hollow Display

Cherine Anderson – Good Love

Tony Rebel – Another Bill Again

Morgan Heritage – Nothing to Smile About

Etana – I’m Not Afraid

Richie Spice – The Plane Land

Ranking Joe & Dubmatix – Tornado

Cocoa Tea – Rikers Island

Fantan Mojah – Hungry

Luciano – Sweet Jamaica

Busy Signal – Wicked Man

Richie Spice – Youths Dem Cold

Michael Franti & Spearhead – Rude Boys Back In Town

Tarrus Riley – Shaka Zulu Pickney

Protoje – Who Dem A Program

SOJA & Rebelution – Here I Am

I-Wayne – Book Of Life

Gentleman & Sizzla – Lack of Love

Vybz Kartel – Poor People Land

Alborosie – Dutty Road

Stephen Marley & Spragga Benz – Working Ways

Tanya Stephens – These Street

Half Pint & The Long Beach Dub All-Stars – Pass It On

Collie Buddz – Blind To You

Capleton & Dub Syndicate – Time

Queen Ifrica – Dem Nah Learn

Tarrus Riley – Start A New

Jahmali – El Shaddai

Winston Francis & Prince Fatty – Dry Your Tears

Junior Kelly & Queen Ifrica – Too Late

Lutan Fyah – Crystal Clear

Busy Signal – Hard Drugs

Pressure – Love and Affection

Jah Cure & Mavado – Like I See It

Iba Mahr – Sound a Alarm

Natasja – 45 Questions

Sizzla – Babylon Ah Listen

SOJA – Rest of My Life

Richie Spice – Earth Ah Run Red

Pinchers & Dubmatix – Rock And A Hard Place

Chezidek – Ghetto People

Luciano – Sweep Over My Soul

Rebelution – Bright Side of Life

Daweh Congo – Ghetto Skyline

Alborosie – Mama She Don’t Like You

Cocoa Tea – Let The Music Play

Rockamovya – Horse Dance

I-Wayne – I Need Her In My Arms

Mavado – Last Night

Rootz Underground – Hammer

YT & Mungo’s Hi-Fi – World News

Sanchez – Feel Good All Over 

Romain Virgo – Who Feels It Knows It

Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers – All Day, All Night

Julian Marley – Systems

Kymani Marley – Brave Ones

Damian “Junior Gong” Marley – More Justice

Stephen Marley & Damian “Junior Gong” Marley – Traffic Jam

Stephen Marley & Capleton – Break Us Apart

Capleton – Babylon A Use Dem Brain

Half Pint Dollar Man – Babylon Release The Chains

Richie Spice –  Wrap Up a Draw

Etana – Roots

Sizzla – Crucial Time

Busy Signal & Morgan Heritage – Run Dem Whey

SOJA, Gentleman, and Tamika  I Tried

Queen Ifrica – Keep It To Yourself

Duane Stephenson – Cottage in Negril

Alborosie & Gramps Morgan – One Sound

Mykal Rose & Dubmatix – Easy Down

Mykal Rose & Damian “Junior Gong” Marley – Shootout

Damian “Junior Gong” Marley – We’re Gonna Make It

Turbulence – Only Love

Chezidek & Perfect – Journey

Mavado – On The Rock

Gentleman – Changes

Gentleman & Morgan Heritage – Man of My Own

Morgan Heritage Raid Rootz Dance

Cocoa Tea – Tune In

Alborosie & Steel Pulse – Steppin Out

Tarrus Riley – Ease Off

Romain Virgo – Live Mi Life

Gyptian – I Can Feel Your Pain

Iba Mahr – Will I Wait In Vain

Richie Spice – Gideon Boot

Gappy Ranks – Butterflies

Rootz underground – Farming

Collie Buddz – Tomorrow’s Another Day

Sizzla – Be Strong

Half Pint & Sizzla – Bad Boy

Half Pint and Sly & Robbie – Blessing Darling

Gyprtian & Dean Frazer – Where You Belong

Kali Blaxx – Farmer Man

Michael Franti & Spearhead – Only Thing Missing Was You

Mr. Easy – Moving

Alborosie & Horace Andy – Money

Anthony Cruz – Halfway Tree

Richie Spice & Gentleman – Let’s Go

Queen Ifrica – Daddy

Sizzla – Pressure

Morgan Heritage – Gun Town

Jah Cure – Miles Away

Spragga Benz, Stephen Marley, Queen Ifrica, Sizzla, & Jah Cure – More Life

Christopher Ellis, Stephen Marley, & Jah Cure – End of Time

Stephen Marley – Tight Ship

Capleton & Stephen Marley – Sunshine Girl

Capleton – I Rise

Stephen Marley & Capleton – Chase Dem (Acoustic Version)

Stephen Marley Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley – The Mission

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley – One Loaf of Bread (Something For You)

Julian “JuJu” Marley & Bugle – Move Dem

Ziggy Marley – Reggae in my Head

Chronixx – Ain’t Know Giving In

Daweh Congo – Joy Brings Pain

Duane Stephenson – August Town 

Tarrus RileyEtana, & Duane Stephenson – Let Peace Reign

Etana – Warrior Love

Michael Franti & Spearhead – Soundsystem

Michael FrantiGentleman, & Spearhead – Is Love Enough?

Gentleman & Alborosie – Celebration

Alborosie – Work

Oba Simba – Pressure

Luciano – Trod Out

Luciano & Dub Syndicate – One In A Billion

Dub Syndicate – Jah Rasta

Junior Reid & Dub Syndicate – God Is A Man

Junior Reid – Love Is the Answer

Raging Fyah – Judgement Day

Richie Spice – The World Is A Cycle

Rebelution – Wake Up Call

Queen Ifrica – Pot Still Haffi Bubble

I-Wayne – Pure as the Nile

Busy Signal – Part of Life

Ed Robinson – Our Heroes

Jahdan Blakkamore – The General

Tarrus Riley – Living The Life Of A Gun

Romain Virgo – Murderer

Gyptian – My Number One 

Rootz Underground – In The Jungle

Rockamovya – Red Rose

Ini Kamoze – Hill & Gully Ride

Raging Fyah – Running Away

Jah Cure – Trod in the Valley

Rebelution & Jacob Hemphill – Meant to Be

Richie Spice – Street Life

Alborosie – Kingdom of Zion

Romain Virgo – I Am Rich In Love 

Tarrus Riley – Beware

Tarrus Riley and Sly & Robbie – Pul Up Selector

I-Wayne – Real and Clean

Collie Buddz – Too Watchy

Etana – People Talk

Fantan Mojah – Stronger

Rootz Underground – 20 Centuries

Raging Fyah – Karma

Queen Ifrica – Times Like These

Tarrus Riley – Protect Yu Neck

Alborosie – Still Blazing

Richie Spice – Yap Yap

Romain Virgo – The System

Queen Ifrica – It Hard

Tarrus Riley – Never Leave I

Alborosie – Rolling Like A Rock

Gentleman – Dem Gone

Cocoa Tea – Young Lover

Exco Levi – Reggae Calling

Bugle – Anointed

NEED

  1. Lutan Fyah – Gangsta Living
  2. Chuck Fenda – I Am For the Poor
  3. Alborosie and the Tamlins – Garrison
  4. Lukie D & Busy Signal – Man A Yardie
  5.  Gappy Ranks & Nerious Joseph – Soul Rebel

The World of Reggae Music Collection–Reggae’s Superstars: The Lion Youth (Over 230 Singles from Reggae’s Youth)

Reggae on the River 2009 – Reggae on the River in Humboldt County

I got to attend this year’s Reggae on the River Festival in Southern Humboldt County, California. The festival had a great local community feel and funds raised went to support the Mateel Community Center in Redway, California. The Eel River flowed through the picturesque venue located at Benbow State Recreational Area. Reggae on the River celebrated its 25th Anniversary in fine style. Positive vibrations flowed all day long. Soul Majestic played early in the day bringing their brand of soul-drenched reggae to the stage. The track “First Light” set the vibe and songs like “Rough N’ Tuff ” displayed the musical prowess of this young group. Soul Majestic also played the single “Better World,” which dovetails nicely with their positive vibe and eco-friendly message.

Queen Omega ignited the stage with soul, dancehall, and roots reggae. A native of Trinidad and Tobago Queen Omega sang “Love Ya Color,” “Judgement,” “Warning,” and “Ganja Baby” to an appreciative crowd.  The Roots Revealers bought Jamaican dancehall to northern California playing the songs “Long Road” and “No More Killing.”

The crowd-pleasing crown princess of roots reggae Etana turned it up a notch dropping the killer hits “Roots” and “Blessing.” The lovely songstress covered some Bob Marley and the Wailers tunes creating a wonderful vibe with the classic “One Drop.” Etana played some tracks from her newest hit album The Strong One performing “Jah Chariot” and “Don’t Forget,” and “Caltariba System.” And I was pleasantly surprised by Etana‘s cover of the Beatles “Don’t Let Me Down.” Etana finished her set singing “I Am Not Afraid,” which is from one of my favorite riddims: the “Rub-A-Dub” riddim.

The legendary vocal group from Jamaica The Abyssinians took the stage under the afternoon sun. Roots reggae filled the air with classic tunes like “Y Mas Gan,” “African Race,” “Let My Days Be Long,”  “Meditation,” and “Know Jah Today.” The Abyssinians took us to the Bible and the book of Daniel with “Abendigo,” turning the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendigo into a wonderful reggae and dub experience. And of course the reggae legends performed their megahits from the Satta Massagana album, including “Peculiar Number,” “Black Man’s Strain,” “Declaration Of Rights,” “Forward Unto Zion,” and “Satta Massagana.”

The Abyssinians at Reggae on the River 2009
The Abyssinians at Reggae on the River 2009
The Abyssinians Dancing at Reggae on the River 2009
The Abyssinians Dancing at Reggae on the River 2009

Tanya Stephens livened things up with a raunchy-rough riding performance that included plenty of references to “long ding dongs” with high-energy versions of “Boom Wuk” and “Good Ride.” The dancehall favorite “Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet” set a playful vibe and then she played the killer singles “Can’t Breathe,” “It’s A Pity,” and “These Streets.” Stephens showed her soulful side too with songs like “What Ah Day” and “Little White Lie.” But it seemed Stephens dominated with the playful tunes like “Tek Him Back” and “To The Rescue.”

Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009
Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009
Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009, California
Tanya Stephens at Reggae on the River 2009, California

Then the Yellow Wall Dub Squad took the stage to warm it up for The Mighty Diamonds. The bassist sang the song “Overlaod” and then King David sang a reggae version of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.” The Mighty Diamonds entered the stage and played “Poor Marcus Garvey” and “Rise Up” from the album titled Rise Up. The roots reggae gems “Have Mercy,” “Right Time,” “Africa,” and “I Need A Roof” all made the set list. The “I Need A Roof” jam extended and transitioned into a cover of the Bob Marley‘s anthem “Get Up, Stand Up.” An extended version of “Pass The Kutchie” and a sweet version of the Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions tune “It’s All Rightt” capped off the set. Etana, The Abyssinians, Soul Majestic, Queen Omega, and The Mighty Diamonds then returned to the stage and all performed together for a finale. The all-star group of reggae performers sang the Bob Marley and the Wailers classic hit “One Love / People Get Ready.”

The Eel River at Reggae on the River 2009
The Eel River at Reggae on the River 2009
Dancin' Crowd at Reggae on the River 2009
Dancin' Crowd at Reggae on the River 2009

Reggae on the River 2009 – Reggae on the River in Humboldt County

Top 30 Albums of July 2009! – HOT SUMMER MUSIC for JULY 2009

July 2009

  1. Major Lazer Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do [Explicit] [Downtown 2009]
  2. Chali 2na Fish Outta Water [Decon 2009]
  3. Slaid CleavesEverything You Love Will Be Taken Away [Music Road 2009]
  4. Zee AviZee Avi[Brushfire Records 2009]
  5. Lady Saw Extra Raw: The First Lady of Dancehall [VP Records 2009]
  6. AswadCity Lock [Rhythm Riders 2009]
  7. Rhett MillerRhett Miller [Shout! Factory 2009]
  8. Mishka Above The Bones [J.K. Livin Records 2009]
  9. Bob DylanTogether Through Life [Columbia 2009]
  10. MicachuJewellery [Rough Trade 2009]
  11. ScientistInternational Heroes Dub [Tameki Wambesi Dove 2009]
  12. Mojo Morgangot Mojo? [Gedion Soldiers 2009]
  13. The LemonheadsVarshons [The End Records 2009]
  14. The AggrolitesIV [Hellcat 2009]
  15. The Low Anthem Oh My God Charlie Darwin [Nonesuch 2009]
  16. Various Artists Riddim Driven: Sweet [VP Records 2009]
  17. Dinosaur Jr.Farm [Jagjaguwar 2009]
  18. Ryan Bingham & the Dead HorsesRoadhouse Sun (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version) [Lost Highway Records 2009]
  19. EminemRelapse [Explicit] [Aftermath Records 2009]
  20. Jason LytleYours Truly, The Commuter [Anti/Epitaph 2009]
  21. Todd SniderThe Excitement Plan [Yep Roc Records 2009]
  22. Son VoltAmerican Central Dust [Rounder Records 2009]
  23. Mos DefThe Ecstatic [Downtown 2009]
  24. Levon HelmElectric Dirt [Amazon Exclusive] [Vanguard 2009]
  25. Tanya MorganBrooklynati [Explicit] [Independent Media/iM Culture 2009]
  26. DoomBorn Like This. [Explicit] [Lex Records 2009]
  27. Laura IzibiLet The Truth Be Told [Deluxe] [Atlantic 2009]
  28. J Dilla Jay Stay Paid [Explicit] [Nature Sounds 2009]
  29. St. Vincent Actor (Amazon Exclusive) [4AD 2009]
  30. Matthew Sweet & Susanna HoffsUnder The Covers: Vol. 2 [Shout! Factory 2009]
  31. WilcoWilco [The Album] [Nonesuch 2009]

Diplo and Switch present Major Lazer‘s Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do with special guests Santogold, Mr. Lex, Vybz Kartel, T.O.K., Mr Vegas, and many more. The creative DJ/producer duo amalgamates and mashes up tunes sampling from soca, calypso, merengue, and reggae, dropping fat beats, gun blasts, reggae air horns, and choice samples. An example of one of the more interesting and creative cuts is “Baby,” which adds an auto-tune to a crying baby. The killer reggae track on this work is “Can’t Stop Now,” which features Mr. Vegas and Jovi Rockwell. The harmonic Rockwell and Mr. Vegas create an easy-sounding classic reggae track among the hard-pounding dance jams. The track “Hold The Line” samples surf guitars from Dick Dale And His Del-Tones classic “Misirlou,” adding heavy beats and the vocal duo of Mr. Lex and Santogold. Some of my personal favorites on this album include the rough shod “Bruk Out” featuring T.O.K and Ms. Thing; “Cash Flow” featuring the roots reggae flavor of Jah Dan; “Anything Goes” with chaotic verses from Turbulance; and the dancehall sensation Vybz Kartel working “Pon De Floor.”

Chali 2Na‘s Fish Outta Water snap, crackles, and pops. A guest appearances by the Marley Brothers, Damian Marley and Stephen Marley, on the cut “Guns Up” piles deep booming funky fresh rhymes over a sweet melodic reggae chorus peppered by a Jr. Gong flow. The King of the Dancehall Beenie Man joins Chali 2Na on the tune “International” for searing dancehall reggae/hip-hop fusion. I found the single “Lock Shit Down” with Talib Kweli appealing and the track “Comin’ Thru” to be a hip-hop jam.

Texas songwriters Slaid Cleaves, Rhett Miller, and Ryan Bingham made the list this month. The Austin-based musician Slaid Cleaves sings heart-wrenching ballads playing Texas country music like it should be played. The song “Cry” on the album Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away will rip out your heart and have you reaching for the bottle of whiskey. American folk legend Bob Dylan dropped the new album Together Through Life featuring the ominous dark-sounding hit single “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’.

Zee Avi and Mishka add international flavors to the best albums of July, providing fun flip-flop rock and reggae sounds for the summertime. Jack Johnson‘s Brushfire Records handpicked Zee Avi for the label where she fits well with the laid back surfer motive. The Malaysian-born ukulele player’s new album is self titled Zee Avi. Reggae-drenched Canadian/Bermudian seafarer Mishka is the new artist appearing on Matthew McConaughey’s record label JK Livin Records. Mishka’s new album Above The Bones provides good summer tunes and positive vibes.

Top 30 Albums of July 2009! – HOT SUMMER MUSIC for JULY 2009

TOP 20 ALBUMS OF JUNE 2009 – BEST OF 2009 SUMMER MUSIC

Top 20 Albums of June 2009

  1. Bob Marley and the Wailers B Is For Bob [Tuff Gong/Def Jam/Island Records 2009]
  2. Various Artists Dark Was The Night (Red Hot Compilation) [The Red Hot Organization/4AD 2009]
  3. N.A.S.A. – The Spirit Of Apollo [Anti/Epitaph 2009]
  4. AlborosieEscape From Babylon [Greensleeves 2009]
  5. Dave Matthews BandBig Whiskey And The GrooGrux King [Bama Rags 2009]
  6. The ItalsLet Dem Talk [Ital Records 2009]
  7. Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley BandOuter South [Merge 2009]
  8. DJ JS-1 No Sellout [Ground Original 2009]
  9. The Dub MachinistWorldwide Dub [Control Tower France 2009]
  10. Various Artists Reggae Gold 2009 [VP Records 2009]
  11. Ini Kamoze 5150 Rule [Hottis 2009]
  12. Amadou & MariamWelcome to Mali [Nonesuch 2009]
  13. Los Granadian del Espacio Exterior Donde Ningun Hombre Ha Llegado Jamas [Liquidator Spain 2009]
  14. Method Man & RedmanBlackout! 2 [Explicit] [Island/Def Jam 2009]
  15. Regina SpektorFar [Sire 2009]
  16. Black Eyed PeasThe E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) [Interscope 2009]
  17. 311Uplifter [RCA/Jive 2009]
  18. The Dirty ProjectorsBitte Orca[Domino Recording 2009]
  19. Natural BlackGuardian Angel [Zion Roots Music 2009]
  20. Sonic Youth The Eternal [Matador 2009]
  21. Paul WallFast Life [Explicit] [Asylum/WB 2009]

“Life is one big road with lots of signs,” Bob sings “So when your riding through the ruts don’t you complicate your mind.” On this album we see why Bob Marley and the Wailers ruled the world of reggae music, especially with roots reggae tracks like “Wake Up And Live – Pt. 1.”  On the new album B Is For Bob executive producer Ziggy Marley reworked some of the Bob Marley classics giving them a kid friendly edge. The album pulsates with positive vibrations. A stripped down acoustic version of “Three Little Birds” leads off the album followed by a classic acoustic version of “Redemption Song.” These two songs make for fun summer road trip  sing-a-longs. I found the version of “Satisfy My Soul” to be very sensual and in my opinion this song could be one of the best lovers’ rock tracks ever cut. A bongo almost-dancehall infused “Jamming” and new takes on “Small Axe,” “Bend Down Low” and “Stir It Up” fill out this nice addition to the Bob Marley discography. “Could You Be Loved” and “One Love / People Get Ready” also fit perfect with the kid album theme. “High Tide Or Low Tide” excellently caps off the work.

Finding their way to the top of the Jam-Tex music charts this June are a cadre of Indie-rockers and rappers. The benefit album and compilation Dark Was The Night (Red Hot Compilation) and the N.A.S.A. hip-hop project The Spirit Of Apollo. Dark Was The Night (Red Hot Compilation) includes indie rockers collaborating to make wonderful music and really this album needs to be listened to in its entirety for the best effect. The Dirty Projectors team up with David Byrne on “Knotty Pine,” while Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings provide some soulful “Inspiration Information.” The Decemberists perform “Sleepless,” while Feist and Ben Gibbard team up on “Train Song.” Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird, My Morning Jacket, and Arcade Fire all appear on the album.

On N.A.S.A.’s The Spirit Of Apollo George Clinton and Chali 2na Fish rock “There’s A Party (Feat. George Clinton & Chali 2na)” and dancheall wonder Sizzla joins Lovefoxxx, and the nasty female rapper Amanda Blank on the track “A Volta (Feat. Sizzla, Amanda Blank & Lovefoxxx).” My favorite duo on any of these indie compilations appears on the N.A.S.A. album when Tom Waits and Kool Keith collaborate on “Spacious Thoughts (Feat. Tom Waits & Kool Keith)”. M.I.A., Santogold, Nick Zinner, and Spank Rock drive the electro-rap jam “Whachadoin? (Feat. Spank Rock, M.I.A., Santogold & Nick Zinner)“. The N.A.S.A. album certainly contains the most interesting lineup of artists, including David Byrne, Gift of Gab, Chuck D, DJ Z-Trip, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, KRS-One, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo, and Scarface on tracks like  “Money (Feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge & Z-Trip),” “The People Tree (Feat. David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab & Z-Trip),” “Hip Hop (Feat. KRS-One, Fatlip & Slim Kid Tre),” “Strange Enough (Feat. Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Fatlip),” and “The Mayor (Feat. The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, Scarface & DJ AM).”

Alborosie, Ini Kamoze, the Itals, and Reggae Gold 2009 provide this year’s sweltering summer reggae soundtrack. On the new Dave Matthews Band album Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King the track “Funny The Way It Is” proves the band is still putting out quality music. DJ JS-1 gathers some talented indie rappers on No Sellout, for example, Aesop Rock and C Ray Wallz rock the mics on “Karma Killerz.”

TOP 20 ALBUMS OF JUNE 2009 – BEST OF 2009 SUMMER MUSIC