Barack Goes Reggae
Kingman & Jonah’s New Election Single “Rock Obama!”
HAIL TO THE CHIEF, CARIBBEAN STYLE A new voice has joined the presidential debate: Roots reggae legend Claudius “Kingman” Linton with his band Kingman & Jonah. This is worldview reggae — Kingman & Jonah singing for people of all colors as they honor the United States’ black candidate for the White House. (DJ/Press: Email us for download links at email@example.com)
“Let’s rock, rock, rock to the love song of Rock Obama!” sing Kingman & Jonah on their new single, urging Americans to get behind the message of positive change during this troubled era. The new MP3-only single is just the latest addition to Kingman & Jonah’s growing catalog of uplifting message songs, from “Baghdad” to “World War III,” heard on their critically acclaimed new CD release “Sign Time” (Sun King Records).
As PRI The World’s Marco Werman said: “It’s surprising to find a veteran of the business coming back and singing songs about the troubles he sees in the world, when most big-selling Jamaican artists these days make their mark with short-lived pounding dancehall hits about girls and greed.”
But it’s no surprise from Kingman. As heard on Sun King Records’ first-ever CD reissue of his classic ‘70s tracks “Roots Master,” Linton spent years issuing roots reggae anthems of unity, togetherness and social protest in an effort to offer a positive message during Jamaica’s election-cycle upheavals, from 1975’s “Reach Out” to the 1984 classic “Reduce the Arms Race, Mr. President.” Even three decades later, Linton’s reggae classics sound ever topical: The “Roots Master” energy crisis track “Put Your Shoulder to Jah Wheel” shot into the Top Ten on the Australian Indie Radio Reggae Chart during this Summer’s oil and gas price explosion.
Linton returned to the music world this year after an absence of over two decades, thanks to a chance encounter on a Negril beach with US rock guitarist/producer Ian “Jonah” Jones. “Can you tune this thing, sire?” the beach singer said as he held out his guitar to the passing tourist. Their quick oceanside jam session was a meeting of minds and voices — the next day they were in the recording studio beginning a songwriting process that would culminate at Bob Marley’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, JA, and Linton’s reunion with a backing band of veteran reggae session players.
“As if Jones hasn’t done enough with the ‘Roots Master’ compilation, he also convinced Linton (Kingman) to record again, with him (Jonah), for the surprisingly spry ‘Sign Time.’ Twenty-two years has done zero damage to Linton’s mellifluous vocal chords, full of butter and syrup still. And the all-star band assembled for Marley’s old Tuff Gong studios — Dwight Pinkney, Ansel Collins, Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, Keith Francis, Dean Fraser, Bongo Herman — ensures that Sign Time has a vintage feel despite cleaner ’00s recording,” according to The Big Takeover magazine. “Linton’s awareness has also not faded.”
“One of reggae’s greatest singers has resurfaced,” writes renowned US reggae critic Chuck Foster in The Beat magazine. “One of the originators from the golden age of reggae…returns to recording as if 30 years had not gone by, and reminds us what a great voice, writer and talent he is. I give thanks for the spirit in which this work was recorded, Jonah’s loving treatment of Linton (the group’s name comes from the ‘70s song that launched Linton, ‘Kingman Is Back’) and the sound of Linton’s voice, still amazing after all these years.”
Hear the voice and the message of the early reggae master in full force today on the new election track “ROCK OBAMA.” As Kingman & Jonah sing: “Tell the rich man up there, and the poor man down here, let’s rock to the love song of Rock Obama!”
The song is available for streaming or purchase on this Website or at http://www.myspace.com/kingmanjonah . For more information, a video documentary, audio samples and more, visit Sun King Records.com.
To learn more and watch the making-of EPK, visit www.SunKingRecords.com. Sun King Records is distributed worldwide exclusively through Morphius Records (www.morphius.com).
Anthony Scott Piatt
Fly on the Wall Media
10002 Kent Rd E
Bloomington, IN 47401