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Black Roots is a roots reggae band from the St. Paul’s area of Bristol, England, that after more than 35 years of existence continues to offer up a style of roots reggae with rock influences that draws you into its spell. Their message is still universal and “Ghetto Feel” their brand new album that comes out on September 23rd on Soulbeats Records, the independent French Reggae Label, lays open the band’s ideology. “Ghetto Feel is the place where the forgotten live, forgotten from all over the world“. After the recent album release in 2012 titled “On the Ground” that completed the band’s big come back, this newest offering is deeper and more profound, exploring more serious themes and social problems expressing a real point of view. It is a point of view that is open to the world, reflecting on the differences between peoples but also what draws them together as part of the human race. Since the start of their career, Black Roots has always maintained a clear independence of expression and style of working. Their first release, a 4 track 12” vinyl record, titled ‘Bristol Rock’ was released in 1981. It was produced by raising the money from gigs that the band organized in Bristol and released on Nubian Records, the label the band set up.
That friends, originally from Jamaican, who met on Bristol’s streets and formed a band that very quickly became the idols of the UK reggae scene was due largely to the support of the legendary BBC Radio 1 DJ and Presenter John Peel, the national music broadcaster, who played this debut release regularly on national radio and had them in his studio twice performing live sessions to his audience! They built on this success and released their debut album ‘Black Roots’ in 1983 to huge acclaim. However their strong uncompromising and defiant lyrics that spoke out against the pace of reforms being introduced by in Britain by Margaret Thatcher, in the early 80’s, created many obstacles to their career… But people followed them, filling the venues they played in and becoming loyal fans. The band then exploded onto the European stage and started to play all over Europe, and people quickly made the connection between their style and the percussive reggae rock of Toots & the Maytals.
Even today their music is inspired by and draws on the origins of the roots it is a clear and profound sound. They are notes that influenced them in their youth and Black Roots wants to share them with today’s younger generation. They want people to open their eyes, to wake up and know that they can take matters into their hands. The future is theirs and the mission is to show them a righteous and positive path. This is the “Ghetto Feel” message.
Listen to this album. The songs that it contains are constructive and a good dose of positive conscience. Black Roots explores again and always the heart of roots music, being aware that other styles exist today, but knowing that this is the origins of it all.