Dub Street Rockers

Zion Ready

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You have to get past the initial Nyabinghi-accompanied Old Testament blah-blah-blah that opens the album, but once you do, this new album from the Los Angeles-based Dub Street Rockers, featuring singer Eddie Asherman, is a wonderfully warm and laid-back genre exercise, a celebration of roots reggae and rocksteady as it was practiced 30 years ago. Asherman is no Dennis Brown, but he hits almost all the notes right and he sings with a sweet assurance, and when he occasionally lapses into a singjay chat he rides the rhythm expertly. The two-man band's sound is spare but rich: No synthesizers, just multi-tracked guitar, bass, horns, organ, and clavinet courtesy of J. Bonner, and real drums courtesy of Jason Castillo. The grooves are slow and thick, just like they should be, and although all the songs on this album are original, you could swear that tracks like "Keep Steady" (and its DJ cut, "Steady As She Goes") and the rockers-flavored "Moving On" were written and recorded in 1973. Very highly recommended to all roots reggae fanatics.