Top Ranking Reggae Songs of 2014

Top Ranking Reggae Songs of 2014

Stephen Marley, Capleton, and Sizzla – “Rock Stone”
Protoje & Chronixx – “Who Knows”
Rebelution – “Fade Away”
Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, & Spragga Benz – “Bongo Nyah”
SOJA & Collie Buddz – “She Stills Love Me”
Pressure, Tarrus Riley, and Damian Marley – “Mental Disturbance”
Damian Marley – “Is It Worth It (Gunman World)”
Dre Island – “Live Forever”
Jah Sun – “Roots, Rock, Reggae”
Kabaka Pyramid – “Never Gonna Be A Slave”
Collie Buddz & Rebelution – “Had To Be The One”
Josey Wales – “Ready Fi Josey”
Tarrus Riley & Dean Frazer – “Cry No More”
Sean Paul & Iggy Azelea – “Wickedest Style”
Ali Campbell – “Cyber Bully Boys”
Kymani Marley – “Get High”
Anthony B & Dubmatix – “Detonator”
Chronixx – “Capture Land”
Wayne Marshall – “On The Corner”
Stick Figure & Collie Buddz – “Smokin’ Love”
Delly Ranx – “Sweet Reggae”
Richie Spice – “Reggae Music”
Tarrus Riley, Big Youth, & Mr. Cheeks – “Five Days”
Busy Signal – “Money Flow”
Tanya Stephens – “Wine Up On Mi”
Sean Paul & Konshens – “Want Dem All”
Prince Fatty, Top Cat, & Mungo’s Hi-Fi – “Herbalist”
Chronixx – “Rastaman Wheel Out”
Young J.R – “General”
Papa Michigan & Yami Bolo – “People Rise”
Busy Signal – “Nah Follow Dem”
Wayne Marhsall – “The Boom Draw”
Exco Levi – “Reggae Calling”
Sean Paul & Major Lazer – “Come On To Me”
Lutan Fyah – “Play It (Drums Them Beating)”
Notis & Iba Mahr – “Diamond Sox”
Kabaka Pyramid – “World Wide Love”
Spring Wata – “Hold Firm”
Ali Campbell – “Silhouette”
Pressure – “Virgin Islands Nice”
Richie Spice & Jah Sun – “Can’t Live Good”
Tarrus Riley & Whippa Demus – “Special Occasion”
Sizzla – “Gangsta”
Don Carlos & Rebelution – “Roots Reggae Music”
I-Wayne & Kabaka Pyramid – “Versatile”
Anuhea & SOJA – “Easier”
Jahdan Blakkmoore & Kabaka Pyramid – “For the Children”
Ali Campbell – “History”
Gyptian – “Stuck”
Sizzla – “Champion Sound (Spoonbill Remix)”
Sizzla – “Champion Sound”
Burro Banton – “Bad Like Mi”
Gentleman & Shaggy – “Warn Dem (Unplugged)”
Cham – “Wah Gwaan”
Gentleman’s Dub Club – “Give It Away”
Raging Fyah – “Jah Glory”
Million Stylez & DJ Hard2Def – Baddis Ting (Trappin’ Refix)
Tarrus Riley – “Burning Desire”
Matisyahu & Collie Buddz – “Confidence”
Jah Sun – “Babylon Funeral”
Chronixx – “Like A Whistle”
Jah Cure – “All of Me”
Micah Shemaiah, Infinite, & Matthias – “Reggae Rockit”
Duane Stephenson – “Cool Runnings”
Cornell Campbell & Burro Banton – “Pressure”
Tanya Stephens – “Unapologetic”
Jah Sun – “Rise As One”
Christopher Martin – “Steppin’ Razor”
Popcaan – “Everything Nice”
Magic! – “Rude”
Busy Signal – “Greetings”
Michael Franti & SOJA – “I Believe”
Tommy Lee Sparta – “Hero”
No Maddz – “Shotta”
Romain Virgo – “Stay With Me”
Jah Sun – “Never Give Up”
Stephen “Ragga” Marley & Damian “Junior Gong” Marley – “Strike Hard”
Skrillex – “Ragga Bomb”
Marina P & Mungo’s Hi Fi – “Divorce A L’Italienne”
Wayne Marhsall, Baby Cham, Ace Hood, & Waka Flocka – “Go Harder”
Toian – “Rude Boys”
Gentleman – “Superior (Unplugged)”
J Boog – “Love Me”
Damian Marley & SOJA – “Your Song”
Julian Marley & Junior Reid – “Never Too Ruff”
Jah Sun & Chronixx – “Top Rankin”
I-Wayne – “Seeking Souls”
Sizzla – “Make It Right”
Jah’lil – “One Wrong One Right”
Etana – “Trigger”
Jo Mersa – “Sunshine”
Konshens – “The Journey”
Shaggy – “Work So Hard”
Damian “Junior Gong” Marley – “Hard Work”
Pressure & Jah Mason – “My Herbs”
Busy Signal & Chris Martin – “Lock Di Endz”
Burro Banton – “Inna Mi League”
Collie Buddz – “Nice Up Yourself”
Saba Tooth & Adena Myrie – “Love Is Overdue, Part 2”
Matthew McAnuff – “Be Careful”
Toian – “Kingston Town”
Jo Mersa – “Rock and Swing”
Mala Rodriquez & SOJA – “Like It Used To”
Maxi Priest – “Easy To Love”
Ali Campbell – “Reggae Music”
Lady Ann & Alborosie – “Informa”
Jah Mason – “Wings of Wind”
Sizzla – “Sweet To My Brain”
Gappy Ranks – “Selling Stories”
Exco Levi – “Herb Man”
Mr. Williamz – “Ganja Palace”
Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Black-Am-I, Biggz General, Jo Mersa, Illestr8 – “The Living Breed”
Bugle – “Anointed”
Brooklyn Jungle Soundsystem – “Kulture (Dubmatix Remix)”
Black-Am-I – “In the Ghetto”
Alkaline – “Gyal Bruk Out”
Mavado & Nicki Minaj – “Give It To Me”
Shuga – “Ride De Riddim”
Raging Fyah – “Dance With Me”
Rocky Duwani – “African Thriller”
Queen Ifrica – “Love Is Not Blind”
Lutan Fyah – “Roll It Up”
Bushman & Skarra Mucci – “Pretty Looks”
Zagga – “Heal the Soul”
Clay – “Shadow After Dark”
Busy Signal – “Professionally”
Jah Cure – “Life We Live”
Christopher Ellis & Irie Love – “Better Than Love (Remix)”
Maxi Priest – “Gravity”
Nahko & SOJA – “Lucid Dreams”
Ali Campbell – “I Want You”
Cham – “Sh@T!”
Tarrus Riley & U-Roy – “Sail Away”
Alborosie & Black Uhuru – “Guess Who’s Coming”
Mavado – “My Own”
DeMarco – “Good Book”
SOJA – “Treading Water”
Ward 21 – “No Trouble We”
D Major – “Real Know Real”
Wayne Marhsall & Tarrus Riley – “Nah Give Up”
Christopher Ellis – “Roller Coaster”
Spice – “Like A Man”
Gyptian & Estelle – “Majestic Love”
Jemere Morgan – “Don’t Mean A Thing”
Gyptian & Kes The Band – “Fete Wet”

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Top Ranking Reggae Songs of 2014

Top Ranking Songs of 2014

Sturgill Simpson – “Turtles All The Way Down”
Stephen Marley, Capleton, and Sizzla – “Rock Stone”
The Temples – “Shelter Song”
Protoje & Chronixx – “Who Knows”
Hurrary for the Riff Raff – “The Body Electric”
Rebelution – “Fade Away”
Bleached – “For The Feel”
Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, & Spragga Benz – “Bongo Nyah”
Sturgill Simpson – “Life of Sin”
SOJA & Collie Buddz – “She Stills Love Me”
Robert Plant – “Little Maggie”
Pressure, Tarrus Riley, and Damian Marley – “Mental Disturbance”
Willie Nelson – “Crazy Like Me”
Damian Marley – “Is It Worth It (Gunman World)”
Conor Oberst – “Zigzagging Toward The Light”
Dre Island – “Live Forever”
Sturgill Simpson – “Long White Line”
Gentleman – “Superior (Unplugged)”
Blitzen Trapper – “To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)”
Clay – “Shadow After Dark”
Frazey Ford – “September Fields (Acoustic)”
Busy Signal – “Money Flow”
Meghan Trainor – “All About That Bass”
Jah Sun – “Roots, Rock, Reggae”
Sylvan Esso – “Coffee”
Kabaka Pyramid – “Never Gonna Be A Slave”
Zack De La Rocha & Run The Jewels – “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)”
Collie Buddz & Rebelution – “Had To Be The One”
Beck – “Morning”
Josey Wales – “Ready Fi Josey”
Roseanne Cash – “The Long Way Home”
Tarrus Riley & Dean Frazer – “Cry No More”
Willie Nelson & Jamey Johnson – “The Git Go”
Sean Paul & Iggy Azelea – “Wickedest Style”
Belle & Sebastian – “The Party Line”
Ali Campbell – “Cyber Bully Boys”
The Black Keys – “Fever”
Kymani Marley – “Get High”
Charli XCX – “Boom Clap”
Anthony B & Dubmatix – “Detonator”
Sturgill Simpson – “The Promise”
Chronixx – “Capture Land”
Chet Faker – “1998”
Papa Michigan & Yami Bolo – “People Rise”
Wayne Marshall – “On The Corner”
TV on the Radio – “Happy Idiot”
Stick Figure & Collie Buddz – “Smokin’ Love”
The Grouch & Eligh with Kyle of Slightly Stoopid – “People of the Sun”
Delly Ranx – “Sweet Reggae”
Old Crow Medicine Show – “Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer”
Richie Spice – “Reggae Music”
Sturgill Simpson – “Voices”
Tarrus Riley, Big Youth, & Mr. Cheeks – “Five Days”
Dr. John – “Let ‘Em In”
Busy Signal – “Nah Follow Dem”
Gentleman’s Dub Club – “Give It Away”
J. Mascis – “Every Morning”
Tanya Stephens – “Wine Up On Mi”
Old Crow Medicine Show 
– “Sweet Amarillo”
Sean Paul & Konshens
– “Want Dem All”
Spoon
– “Inside Out”
Popcaan
– “Everything Nice”
Magic!
– “Rude”
Prince Fatty, Top Cat, & Mungo’s Hi-Fi
– “Herbalist”
Mary J. Blige
– “Whole Damn Year”
Chronixx
– “Rastaman Wheel Out”
Busy Signal
– “Greetings”
Alvvays
– “Archie, Marry Me”
Young J.R
– “General”
Mac Demarco
– “Passing Out Pieces”
Papa Michigan & Yami Bolo
– “People Rise”
Sturgill Simpson – “Just Let Go”
Wayne Marhsall – “The Boom Draw”
First Aid Kid – “My Silver Linings”
Exco Levi – “Reggae Calling”
Latasha Lee – “Watch Me Now”
Sean Paul & Major Lazer – “Come On To Me”
Spoon – “I Just Don’ Understand”
Lutan Fyah – “Play It (Drums Them Beating)”
Willie Nelson – “I Thought I Left You”
Bugle – “Anointed”
Sturgill Simpson – “It Ain’t All Flowers”
Notis & Iba Mahr – “Diamond Sox”
Perry Farrell – “Got To Get You In My Life”
Kabaka Pyramid – “World Wide Love”
Willie Nelson – “I’ve Got A Lot of Traveling To Do”
Spring Wata – “Hold Firm”
DJ Snake & Lil Jon – “Turn Down For What”
I-Wayne & Kabaka Pyramid – “Versatile”
St. Vincent – “Digital Witness”
Ali Campbell – “Silhouette”
Sturgill Simpson – “Panbowl”
Pressure – “Virgin Islands Nice”
Benjamin Booker – “Slow Coming”
Richie Spice & Jah Sun – “Can’t Live Good”
Steve Miller – “Junior’s Farm”
Tarrus Riley & Whippa Demus – “Special Occasion”
Willie Nelson & Billy Joe Shaver – “Hard To Be An Outlaw”
Sizzla – “Gangsta”
Latasha Lee – “Pledging My Love”
Busy Signal & Chris Martin – “Lock Di Endz”
Michael Franti – “Same As It Ever War (Starts Today)”
Don Carlos & Rebelution – “Roots Reggae Music”
Willie Nelson – “The Wall”
Jahdan Blakkmoore & Kabaka Pyramid – “For the Children”
Benjamin Booker – “Violent Shiver”
Anuhea & SOJA – “Easier”
Phish – “Winterqueen”
Ali Campbell – “History”
Jack White – “High Ball Stepper”
Chronixx – “Like A Whistle”
Willie Nelson – “Yesterday”
Gyptian – “Stuck”
Sam Smith – “Stay With Me”
Sizzla – “Champion Sound”
Burro Banton – “Bad Like Mi”
Sizzla – “Champion Sound (Spoonbill Remix)”
Brett Dennen – “Wild Child”
No Maddz – “Shotta”
Cham – “Wah Gwaan”
Zara McFarlane – “Police & Thieves”
Million Stylez & DJ Hard2Def – Baddis Ting (Trappin’ Refix)
Moodyman & Andres – “Lyk U Use 2”
Chronixx – “Spirulina”
Phish – “The Line”
Tarrus Riley – “Burning Desire”
Weezer – “Back To The Shack”
Matisyahu & Collie Buddz – “Confidence”
Jah Sun – “Babylon Funeral”
Ezra Koenig & Karen O – “The Moon Song”
Jah Cure – “All of Me”
Micah Shemaiah, Infinite, & Matthias – “Reggae Rockit”
Phish – “Wombat”
Michael Franti & SOJA – “I Believe”
Skrillex – “Ragga Bomb”
Tanya Stephens – “Unapologetic”
Mr. Williamz – “Ganja Palace”
Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX – “Fancy”
Jah Sun – “Rise As One”
Grimes – “Go”
Marina P & Mungo’s Hi Fi – “Divorce A L’Italienne”
The Black Keys – “Gotta Get Away”
Wayne Marhsall, Baby Cham, Ace Hood, & Waka Flocka – “Go Harder”
Trevor Hall – “The Mountain”
Damian Marley & SOJA – “Your Song”
Beck – “Blue Moon”
Jah Sun & Chronixx – “Top Rankin”
Duane Stephenson – “Cool Runnings”
Kendrick Lamar – “i”
Mala Rodriquez & SOJA – “Like It Used To”
Phish – “Wingsuit”
I-Wayne – “Seeking Souls”
Christopher Martin – “Steppin’ Razor”
Brett Dennen – “Outta My Head”
Shaggy – “Work So Hard”
Sturgill Simpson – “Living the Dream”
Pressure and Jah Mason – “My Herbs”
Michael Franti – “Stay Human (Soulshine Remix)”
Collie Buddz – “Nice Up Yourself”
Burro Banton – “Inna Mi League”
Matthew McAnuff – “Be Careful”
Toian – “Kingston Town”
Julian Marley & Junior Reid – “Never Too Ruff”
Etana – “Trigger”
Willie Nelson – “Bring It On”
Maxi Priest – “Easy To Love”
String Cheese Incident – “Colorado Bluebird Sky”
Saba Tooth & Adena Myrie – “Love Is Overdue, Part 2”
D’Angelo & The Vanguard – “Another Life”
Ali Campbell – “Reggae Music”
Phish – “Halfway to the Moon”
Lady Ann & Alborosie – “Informa”
Jo Mersa – “Rock and Swing”
Rick Ross – “Coke Like The 80s”
Nahko & SOJA – “Lucid Dreams”
Beck – “Country Down”
Toian – “Rude Boys”
Willie Nelson – “Wives and Girlfriends”
Jah Mason – “Wings of Wind”
Michael Franti – “Yes I Will (Soulshine Remix)”
Sizzla – “Sweet To My Brain”
Mac Demarco – “Passing Out The Pieces”
Raging Fyah – “Jah Glory”
Sharon Van Etten – “Every Time The Sun Comes Up”
Gappy Ranks – “Selling Stories”
First Aid Kid – “Master Pretender”
Raging Fyah – “Dance With You”
SOJA – “Treading Water”
U2 – “Every Breaking Wave”
Exco Levi – “Herb Man”
Tommy Lee Sparta – “Hero”
Prince – “This Could Be Us”
Ali Campbell – “I Want You”
Sizzla – “Make It Right”
Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Black-Am-I, Biggz General, Jo Mersa, Illestr8 – “The Living Breed”
Bugle – “Anointed”
Brooklyn Jungle Soundsystem – “Kulture (Dubmatix Remix)”
Black-Am-I – “In the Ghetto”
Alkaline – “Gyal Bruk Out”
Mavado & Nicki Minaj – “Give It To Me”
Shuga – “Ride De Riddim”
Sinkane – “How We Be”
Tarrus Riley & U-Roy – “Sail Away”
Willie Nelson – “The Songwriters”
Alborosie & Black Uhuru – “Guess Who’s Coming”
Bruce Springsteen – “Frankie Fell In Love”
Ward 21 – “No Trouble We”
Foo Fighters – “Outside”
J Boog
– “Love Me”

Top Ranking Songs of 2014

Top Ranking Albums of July 2012

Top Ranking Albums of July 2012

Jimmy CliffRebirth [Sunpower 2012]

RodriguezCold Fact [Light in the Attic Records 2008]

Cutty RanksFull Blast [Philip Music 2012]

Courtney JohnFrom Letters to Words [Jamaica Records 2012]

Snoop LionLa La La [Berhane Sound System 2012]

Damian Marley & SkrillexMake t Bun Dem [Big Beat Records 2012]

Charles BradleyNo Time For Dreaming [Daptone Records 2011]

Lutan FyahTruly [One Drop Productions 2012]

Alejandro EscovedoBig Station [Fantasy Records 2012]

Menny MooreMenny’s Book of Riddims [Troback Sound 2012]

Jay FarrarNew Multitudes [New Rounder 2012]

Easy Star All-StarsBillie Jean EP [Easy Star Records 2012]

NasLife is Good [Def Jam 2012]

 

Top Ranking Albums of July 2012

Top Ranking Albums of January 2012

Alabama ShakesHold On [ATO Records 2012]

Leonard CohenOld Ideas [Columbia 2012]

RebelutionPeace of Mind [Controlled Substance Sound Labs 2012]

SkrillexBangarang [Big Beat 2012]

SOJAStrength To Survive [ATO Records 2012]

Sean PaulTomahawk Technique [VP Records 2012]

First Aid Kit The Lion’s Roar [Wichita Recordings 2012]

Imperial Teen – Feel the Sound [Merge 2012]

Various ArtistsChimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan [Amnesty International 2012]

Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes [Vagrant 2011]

Ani DiFranco – Which Side Are You On? [Righteous Babe 2012]


Top Ranking Albums of January 2012

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2011 – Saturday

On Saturday, I started the day with the cosmic cowboys vibes of Phosphorescent. I especially liked the song “Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)” off their album Here’s To Taking It Easy. Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros performed songs from this new solo release Alexander. As Alexander the hippy guru brings folksy grooves like the opener “Awake My Body.”

Alison Kraus with the voice of an angel and bluegrass band from heaven performed a sweet set of classics. The band Union Station includes the fantastic pickers Jerry Douglas and Dan Tyminski.  Tyminski sang the crowd please “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow,” the hit track from the Cohen Brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Alison Krauss and Union Station’s set list also included my favorites “When You Say Nothing At All,” “The Lucky One,” and “Let Me Touch You for Awhile.”

From the soft bluegrass of Alison Kraus to the ear crushing dubstep of Skrillex was a nice juxtaposition. Skrillex’s wobbling sounds and remixes included samples from Damian Marley and Major Lazer. This was the youngest and most energetic crowd I have seen in a long time. It reminded me of the grunge rock shows of the 1990s in an odd way. Skrillex has a punky feel in a in your face type of way. The music literally fucks with your brain. The crowd responded with gusto to the hit single “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites.” 

Cee-Lo followed Skrillex with a poppy soul set that included the summer banger and middle finger to the world jam “Fuck You.” He also performed the Gnarlz Barkley smash hit “Crazy.” The real musicianship though was under the tent where the Del McCoury Band joined forces with the Preservation Jazz Hall Band playing songs like “I’ll Fly Away” and “Jambalaya from their album American Legacies.

The evening concluded with a magnificent set by the king of Motown Stevie Wonder. “Superstition,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours),” “Sir Duke,” “For Once In My Life” and “My Cherie Amour” were all on the set list.  The funky politicized jam “Living For The City” rocked the park while the reggaefied funk of Master Blaster (Jammin’) brought people to their feet. My favorite song of the day was Stevie’s high powered “Higher Ground.”

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2011 – Saturday

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2011 – Friday

The 10th Anniversary of the Austin City Limits Festival brought together a diversified lineup from dubstep deejay Skrillex to bluegrass angel Alison Krauss to motown king Stevie Wonder to west Texas songsmith Ryan Bingham. As always I began my first day with the western swing revivalists Asleep at the Wheel. They opened with “Miles and Miles of Texas.” Ray Benson and his band of accomplished musicians played Bob Wills standards like “New San Antonio Rose” and songs about Bob like the Waylon Jennings classic “Bob Wills Is Still The King.” The Wheel played their hit “Hot Rod Lincoln” and a new song originally performed with Willie Nelson called “Hesitation Blues.” On the set list appeared “Get Your Kicks on Route 66,” “Bump Bounce Boogie,” and “Boogie Back to Texas.” The Wheel brought the sounds of western swing alive.

I caught the end of the Theophilus London set. Banging beats, fresh rhymes, and creative samples impressed this particular listener. For example, London looped a sample of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” over a fat beat dropping science in the rain. London also played his hit “Love Is Real.” The juxtaposition of hip hop with the sweet sounds of the Secret Sisters, in my opinion, is the beauty of a good festival. Diversity is essential.

The Secret Sisters played their hit song “Tennessee Me,” but it was their song selections from past country legends Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, the Everly Brothers, and Patsy Cline that really hit the spot. Take for example, their cover of “Why Baby Why,” which was soft and pure sweetness. These sisters from Muscle Shoals, Alabama strike a sentimental chord in me. The Southern ladies also played the Rufus Wainwright tune “Do You Love An Apple.”

We followed Secret Sisters with the electronic soul man James Blake. The Englishman opened with “Unluck” and “Give Me My Month.” For the most part the talented composer form London stuck with songs from his debut album James Blake, including the tracksI Never Learnt To Share,” “Lindisfarne I,”and “Lindisfarne II.” I especially liked his Fiest cover Limit To Your Love.” And, he spaced out “The Wilhelm Scream,” which concluded a nice set.

Big Boi from the Outkast crew brought Dirty South bounce and swagger into Zilker Park. Unlike many of the recent hip hop shows I’ve seen lately, Big Boi’s flow was exquisite and the sound clear. The set included tracks “General Patton” and “Follow Us” from the new album Sir Lucious Left Foot…The Son Of Chico Dusty. But the afternoon also saw a fair share of classics like the “cooler than a polar bear’s toenail” track “ATLiens” and the harmonica banger “Rosa Parks.” Big Boi proved he had a deep catalog with crowd pleasers “So Fresh, So Clean” and “Ms. Jackson.” He also brought rock and roll rap fusion with the protest song “B.O.B.” And, I was very pleased that the Atlanta native unleashed my personal favorite Outkast gem “The Way You Move.”  Nas & Damian Marley followed the Atlanta native rapper making this a lively stage.

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley entered the stage as the flag bearing the red, gold, and green and the Lion of Judah flew. “As We Enter” kicked off the set. One of my favorite things to do is to see a Marley brother in Austin. Mr. Marley brought the reggae magic while the rhyme-smith Nas dropped serious science. In reality both of these cats are amazing lyricists and when done in tag-team fashion over dope beats booties commence to shake. “As We Enter” the lead track off the excellent Distant Relatives album is a great example of the combination of danceable sounds spiced with tangling hip hop and patois rhymes. The hard-hitting “Nah Mean” kept the vibe alive displaying the perfect marriage of reggae dancehall, African culture, and American rap.

Then Nas unleashed one of my favorite old school rap gems “If I Ruled The World (imagine that).” Following on the heels of the rap standard the Africanized “Dispear” brought down the house. Rebellion drips from this tune. I love it. The fevered pitch of the pounding “Dispear” was cooled off nicely by the roots reggae jam “Land Of Promise.” This Dennis Brown infused track is modern reggae at its best. Positive messages entwined with earth crushing roots reggae sounds made for a perfect evening. Jr. Gong’s “More Justice” from 2001’s Halfway Tree kept the show on this track.

Marley played several songs from his popular album Welcome to Jamrock. “Move!” sampled Bob Marley’s “Exodus” merging classic reggae and new ragamuffin styles and phrasings. Similarly the title track “Welcome To Jamrock” mixes Ini Kamoze’s “out in the street they call it murder” sample and a riddim straight from Kamoze’s “World A Music” into the biggest reggae hit of the 2000s. Marley and Nas then displayed their skills on the “Road To Zion,” which I believe  set the original mood for the Distant Relatives collaboration. They closed with the Bob Marley smash hit “Could You Be Loved.”

Mavis Staples performed under the tent producing a revivalist feeling in the middle of Zilker Park. Civil Rights, spiritualism, and good music swirled under the tent, take for example, the songs “Freedom Highway” and “Creep Along Moses.” Staples made everyone dance and sing to the soul classic “I’ll Take You There.” To experience the best of soul music and to get a taste of what soul music was like in the 1970s go see Mavis Staples. The energy is extraordinary! We concluded the evening with the English rock group Coldplay. “The Scientist” and “Clocks” made the set list, while an Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” set up a very nice “Fix You.”

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2011 – Friday