Everton Blender

Live at the White River Reggae Bash

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Of the 15 tracks (not counting two brief instrumental "overtures") on this live album, ten were recorded at the White River Reggae Bash and five at various locations during Blender's Rootsman Credential tour in autumn of 1999. Blender is a very good live performer whose hits "Create a Sound" and "Blend Dem" translate well to the sweaty atmosphere of a live show; the combination of his uplifting, "cultural" lyrics and the lean dancehall rhythms of the Blend Dem Band is as winning onstage as it is in the studio. The only thing that keeps this album from being a completely unalloyed pleasure is the poor quality of the backing singers. While their dodgy pitch is easily overlooked on densely arranged songs like "We No Fear" and "Family Man," it is painfully apparent on the mostly a cappella "Where Do the Children Play." Still, Blender's charisma and his band's expertise are enough to carry the show. Recommended.

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