Blackstones - Salute Slim Smith & The Uniques -
Bunny Lee once again is at the controls of this latest fantastic set from The Blackstones. The vocal groups of Jamaica once played a major role in reggae music, now there are just a few of them. The Blackstones though represent the UK in this tradition, Leon, Junior, and Tony take their inspiration from the rock steady and reggae era's. Vocal groups like The Heptones, The Gaylads, and of course The Uniques. This album salutes the music made by the latter The Uniques who featured Slim Smith in there member. Bunny produced more than enough hits with the group - so to bring these songs and rhythms together with the talents of The Blackstones makes a lot of sense. This a wonderful tribute. Magnificent harmonies. My only gripe is that its not on CD yet. VP must release this set on CD. Its a simple as that. Downloads are not for everyone, they were never meant to be.
The Blackstones - Greater Power - Jet Star
The year started with a great album from the Blackstones, and its with great pleasure to say that it finishes with even a better one! You always know when someone is on a roll, and the Blackstones are truly rolling!!!! This set produced by Bunny Lee, employes Duke Reid rhythms. Not a big fan of this practice, but at least this makes some sense - Bunny working for the Duke and all. The real challenge is what you can add to such mighty rhythms. And this is where The Blackstones rise to the challenge. In fact they make some of these rhythms there own. Track after track they turn it on. Great songs, great harmonies. And when they do go in for a cover its done with such style and grace. Reggae vocal groups are back! And the Blackstones without a doubt are on top.
The Blackstones - Tribute To Studio One - Studio One - CD
The Blackstones have been reggae's music best kept secret for to long. Since 1973 they have been making some great music their set from 1999 'Someone Should Write About It' on Prestige is a vocal group classic - and its still available today! This album is a big event. The first reggae artists from the UK to record at Studio One, and the first album to come from Studio One since the passing of Mr Dodd. Being a big fan of The Blackstones and recalling that in recent years Studio One had released indifferent sets from The Viceroys and The Silvertones made me wonder if this set was going to work. No problem!!! This is a magnificent set. Full of great songs most of them written by the Blackstones - Leon Lieffer, Tony Mahoney and Junior Bailey. When it comes to covers listen out for great versions of 'Satta' , 'Only Sixteen' and 'You Don't Care' As good as they are, the real highlights come from the songs written by the group - The Blackstones are something else!!! And with this set have given the UK reggae scene something to be proud about.