Thursday, 10 April 2014

ZIGGY MARLEY - ALBUM REVIEW

Ziggy Marley - Fly Rasta (Tuff Gong Worldwide/V2 BeNeLux) 
Ziggy Marley - Fly Rasta

Release Date: 14th April 2014

It's gotta be tough to be the son of a modern legend but you don't make it any easier on yourself by trying to follow in their footsteps do you? I mean, if Ziggy Marley had tried to be an Architect or a Deep Sea Diver or even an Office Manager he'd have less pressure on him that trying to fill dad Bob's shoes. Nevertheless, you have to admire the nuts on the guy and, on this evidence, his old man would be proud. From the opening track, 'I Don't Wanna Live On Mars', you can tell that this is an album with a positive message but things are always likely to get deeper when there's a Marley at the helm. Album title track 'Fly Rasta' is a classic reggae tune with great energy and those unmistakable familial vocal tones backed up by a roaming bass, stabbing pianos and some soulful horns. Surprisingly, though, on 'Lighthouse' Marley has a go at a middle of the road rock ballad which doesn't really work out for anyone but, fortunately, 'Sunshine' comes along to skank things up and get us back on track.

Ziggy Marley is obviously an eclectic musician but it's the reggae that is in his blood so it's no surprise that it's on songs like 'Moving Forward' and 'You' that he really excels with those staccato rhythms and lilting bass lines. Having said that, the acoustic strum of 'So Many Rising' is a beautifully politicised song that sounds not dissimilar to the John Mellencamp classic, 'Jack And Diane'. There are some gorgeously retro keyboard sounds on 'I Get Up' before the reggae kicks in and on 'You're My Yoko' the organ gets to take the lead which is great as long as you ignore the lyrics that seem to suggest that Yoko Ono is a role model for all women wanting aiming to be a muse for a rock star. The album closes with 'Give It Away' which finds Marley in reflective mood to begin with before that unmistakable rhythm kicks in and this long player finishes on a high. Ziggy Marley has been at this game for a good long time now and he's obviously comfortable with his own musical space so I can only recommend you loosen your tie and come join him for the party - you never know, you might learn something...

More information: http://ziggymarley.com/

Live Dates:

11th April - Wanee Music Festival, Live Oak
12th April - Tortuga Music Festival, Fort Lauderdale
15th April - Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
17th April - Caprices Festival, Crans-Montana
18th April - Komplex 457, Zurich
19th April - Le Trianon, Paris
21st April - Den Atelier, Luxembourg
22nd April - Melkweg (The Max), Amsterdam
23rd April - London Electric, Brixton
24th May - California Roots Festival, Monterey
25th May - Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas
15th June - Olympia Theater, Montreal
19th June - Boarding House Park, Lowell
22nd June - Firefly Music Festival, Dover
5th July - Saturday In The Park, Sioux City
19th July - OC Fair / Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa
25th July - Floydfest 13, Floyd
26th July - The Fillmore, Silver Spring
3rd August - Gathering of the Vibes, Bridgeport
15th August - Jackson Rhythm & Blues Festival, Jackson

29th August - Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS), Aspen

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