Trojan Jamaica is proud to announce the release of the groundbreaking new compilation, RED, GOLD, GREEN & BLUE, available July 12, 2019 at all music retailers and streaming services.
RED, GOLD, GREEN & BLUE marks the eagerly anticipated debut full-length LP from Trojan Jamaica, the new record label co-founded by musician-producers Zak Starkey and Sharna "Sshh" Liguz. The landmark collection is a stunning array of iconic artists performing classic blues, R&B, and early rock 'n' roll songs that first inspired the reggae revolution.
"The conceptual adventure that became a compilation, RED, GOLD, GREEN & BLUE calls on the black cream of Jamaican artistry, generations of talent spanning decades," writes journalist, writer and musician Vivien Goldman in RED, GOLD, GREEN & BLUE's exclusive liner notes. "Completing a circle, the classic American blues songs performed here, bring out an intriguing tonality in this record's top-notch selection of already flavor-ful voices, familiar and brand new. This modern anthology throws down a creative challenge: how will today's great Jamaican artists, themselves descendants of captured Africans, reinterpret African-American blues songs written and sung by artists who are effectively their own long-lost family?"
Produced by Youth (U2, Paul McCartney) at Trojan Jamaica Studios in Ocho Rios, RED, GOLD, GREEN & BLUE was preceded by a series of acclaimed track releases, including "Man of the World," written by Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green and performed by the legendary Toots and the Maytals; Mykal Rose's stellar "I Put A Spell On You" (originally performed by Screamin' Jay Hawkins); and an exclusive Rob Jevons remix of Bo Diddley's "Gunslinger," performed by reggae legend Big Youth, all which are available now for streaming and download.
All three tracks are joined by vibrant companion videos, streaming now at the official Trojan Jamaica YouTube channel HERE. The official "Man Of The World" visual can be viewed HERE following an exclusive premiere via Rolling Stone, which raved, "Written by Peter Green and released in the pre-Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham days of Fleetwood Mac, 'Man of the World' is a slow, electric blues number about a world-weary man unable to find love. On their version, Toots and the Maytals kick up the tempo and anchor the track with a fresh, rocksteady groove. Frontman Toots Hibbert delivers a vocal performance that captures all of Green's anguish, especially in the way he wails the song's final line, 'And how I wish I was in love.'" In addition, the official "I Put A Spell On You" companion visual -- featuring a sizzling solo from Jamaican guitar great Ernest Ranglin - is streaming HERE following its own exclusive premiere via Rolling Stone; the official "Gunslinger (Rob Jevons Remix)" video is streaming HERE following its debut via LargeUp.
WATCH "MAN OF THE WORLD" PERFORMED BY TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS
WATCH "I PUT A SPELL ON YOU" PERFORMED BY MYKAL ROSE
WATCH "GUNSLINGER (ROB JEVONS REMIX)" PERFORMED BY BIG YOUTH
Trojan Jamaica arrives with a mandate to explore Jamaica's diverse musical legacy, from its African roots to the endless inspiration of classic and contemporary American soul, R&B, and blues. With that goal in mind, RED, GOLD, GREEN & BLUE sees such groundbreaking stars as Toots & The Maytals, Big Youth, Freddie McGregor, Phylea Carley, Kiddus I, Andrew Tosh, Robbie Shakespeare and Sshh, taking on definitive songs by Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson, Peter Green, and Johnny & Shuggie Otis. Backing throughout the 13-track LP comes from a truly extraordinary line-up of legendary musicians, including Starkey (guitar), Sly Dunbar (drum), Robbie Shakespeare (bass), Tony Chin (guitar), Cyril Neville (drums), Michael Rendall (keyboards, organ), and Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace (drums, organ).
"It feels like we are at a pivotal moment in time with regards to the global relevance of roots rock & reggae," says Sshh. "I give thanks every day to the island, its people and the culture that we have been given the opportunity to share it with the world."
The story of Trojan Jamaica began in 2016 when Starkey - known for his superlative work as drummer in The Who, Oasis, and Johnny Marr and the Healers, among countless other musical efforts - and Australian-born artist-musician Sharna "Sshh" Liguz united as SSHH, teaming up to reinvent such seminal songs as Bob Marley and the Wailers' "Get Up Stand Up," performed alongside Eddie Vedder and Carlton "Santa" Davis, George "Fully" Fullwood, and Tony Chin of the pioneering reggae backing outfit known as Soul Syndicate. A video of the performance made its way to Jamaican entrepreneur Kingsley Cooper who immediately invited Starkey and Sshh to perform at the November 2016 opening of the long awaited Peter Tosh Museum in Kingston. Another invitation followed in 2017, inspiring the duo to begin work on what would soon become Trojan Jamaica.
"We felt so warmly welcomed and at home in the musical community that we stayed and recorded all the music that has become Trojan Jamaica," says Starkey. "We're committed to presenting local artists together with international musicians who, like us, have been inspired by roots culture."
Starkey and Sshh were aided in their mission by GRAMMY® Award-winning rhythm section Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, both of whom make indelible contributions throughout RED, GOLD, GREEN & BLUE. An array of genre-spanning session superstars were enlisted, including drummer Cyril Neville (The Meters, The Neville Brothers), guitarist Tony Chin (of the famed Soul Syndicate session outfit), and keyboardist Michael Rendell (The Orb, Pink Floyd). With Youth behind the board, Starkey and Sshh lead this extraordinary band through all new performances of archetypal American music which deeply inspired the reggae revolution but whose influence on Jamaican music and culture is often forgotten.
"I find both reggae music and American blues to be similar with a different approach," Starkey told Jamaica Observer last year. "Very cleverly, Jamaican music is 'up' music with a serious message. US blues has a very similar message in the words but the music can be harder or more 'down', but both rock just as hard."