Amongst the myriad acts that sprung up in the second half of the Seventies was Hell and Fire, a vocal group whose sparse canon hides some lovely cultural gems. "Show Us the Way" was one of their earliest recordings, cut for Jo Jo Hookim at Channel One in 1975.
Of course, at this time Hookim and his engineering brother Ernest had already laid the foundation for the studio's supremacy in the roots age, and that's evident here. The Hookims's house band, The Aggrovators provided the sizzling riddim, powered by a blizzard of beats, percussion, insistent bass, and reggae guitar. Only the occasional keyboard flourish stem the rhythmic tide of this backing.
But as insistent as the riddim is, Hell and Fire refuse to be rushed, they're taking time to give thanks and praise to Jah, to ask for His blessings, and patiently waiting for Him to "Show Us the Way". Their gentle, emotive vocals are beautifully juxtaposed against the simmering riddim, which gives an urgency to their prayers. A lovely cultural number.