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Roots of Creation - Livin Free


by Kevin Wierzbicki

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This New Hampshire-based reggae jam band opens Livin Free with "Get Ready," a leisurely reggae groove that totally embodies what a soundtrack for living free and easy might encompass. And that's the idea here; it'll be no worries and feelin' irie while the album's 18 cuts plays. A Yeti Beats remix of "3x a Lady" is a bit faster than most of the record and meant to give those who want to dance a no-brainer chance to do so; "Oh Lord" is back to easy skankin' with some dub effects and a brief but potent showcase for Billy Kottage and Andrew Riordan, respectively the band's trombone and sax players. Singer Brett Wilson isn't quite toasting on "Uplift" but he does spit a few lyrics, giving the song some hip-hop flavoring. "Rubber Bullets" also has a hip-hop beat going for it but the tune's title shouldn't be taken literally; the song is about haters and the words "rubber bullets" here are used in a similar context as to "words will never harm me" from the children's rhyme about sticks and stones. Boston by way of Jamaica singer Mighty Mystic guests on the politically-charged "Policy" and so does the horn section from Rubblebucket; the cut is one of the album's strongest and as such is reprised with a clean version that removes the f-bomb that's dropped in the original. Other guests include Pato Banton on the hopeful and uplifting "A Time Will Come;" Ras MG and Melvin Seals of Jerry Garcia Band fame both appear on the "skankin' mix" of "Struggle," another song that gets two slots on the record. A special 3-disc deluxe collection of Livin Free packed with dub, remix and acoustic versions is also available.

Roots of Creation - Livin Free
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