The Congoes - Swinging Bridge - Congoes
'Heart Of The Congoes' is a true classic. When Blood and Fire reissed the album, they gave it the full works, and it truly deserved it. The problem this group have had since the release of their debut in 1977/78 is how to follow it. Every album since then as some serious lyrically problems. But at long last - they have done it! And album to match 'Heart Of The Congoes' This set as got everything, great rhythms, great lyrics - and some very strange harmonies - that make the Congoes what they are. It really sounds like they have spent some time on this album. And its great to hear that are now on the road again - if they are singing songs from this set - there fans will love it. Lets just hope the next set maintains the very high standard found on this, this is what reggae music needs more of.
The Congoes & Friends - Fisherman Style - Blood And Fire - 2C
In the past the success of a riddim album was measured over 12 tracks. With the CD that as been pushed up to twenty tracks. To get 20 tracks from twenty major artists can be very expensive task- so the riddim album turned into a place where new artists could be given a try, which is a great idea. On the 12 track sets, you often found a instrumental cut and a dub cut - but in recent years that have been dropped off. Well Blood And Fire have just upped everything with this release, because not only is it a 2CD set, itís a massive 24 tracks, with big stars and upcoming stars. Its also got 2 instrumental cuts and a dub cut.
Thankfully there are no songs about how great reggae music is either. Or sound system so called specials. What you find here are great great songs from the likes of Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor, Max Romeo, Sugar Minott, Tony Tuff. The Congoes open up CD1 with 'Row Fisherman Row' and close CD2 with a dub. My favourite cuts all come from the new artists. Country Culture, Early One, two DJ's. Dean Fraser plays some nice mellow sax over the rhythm. And Mr Raggamonica blows some great melodica melodies over it as well. The whole thing was mixed and engineered by Rhythm and Sound in fine style in Berlin, Germany. Not seen the final product yet, but the notes from Steve Barrow go into great detail of how the project came about. And there is even going to be some video footage!!!! A truly amazing CD set and a real event in the history of reggae music.