Black Roots were a powerful and potent force in the British reggae music scene throughout the 80’s and left a legacy of no less than ten albums and more than eight singles before bowing out of the public eye in the mid-90’s. Hailing from the St Paul’s area of Bristol, the original eight-member band were formed in 1979 and quickly gained a large following by touring almost non-stop around the country, playing their brand of ‘militant pacifism’ roots.
Their debut album “Black Roots” released in 1983 was a highly acclaimed debut for Black Roots and saw them make their mark immediately on the national music scene. Their second album “The Frontline” included the title track “The Frontline” which had been composed at the request of BBC TV for a new television comedy series of the same name. Black Roots’ fourth album “All Day All Night” was produced by Mad Professor. The album “Live Power” was recorded at a gig at the Moles Club in Bath on 22 September 1988, which came about after fans asked for a live album, seeking to capture the power and strength of Black Roots’ tight, vibrant and entertaining stage performance.
In 1991 Black Roots and Neil Fraser released “Dub Factor: The Mad Professor Mixes” along with Black Steel and the horn section from the All Day All Night album. The tenth and final album “Dub Factor 3: Dub Judah & Mad Professor Mixes” released in 1995 finally brought the curtain down on Bristol’s finest exponents of reggae and without doubt, one of Britain’s best loved performing bands of the Eighties.
“If anyone tells you that there is no such thing as good British reggae, first tell them that they are a herbert and then listen to Black Roots.” – John Peel
Black Roots Interview, with Jabulani from the Band:
1. What are your earliest memories of getting bitten by the music bug?
My earliest memory was listening to a radio competition on RGA in Jamaica in the 60’s with artists such as the Wailers, Toots and the Maytals and so on.
2.Was your family background musical in any way?
No, only singing in church.
3. What were you original influences and how have they changed over time?
My original influences were by the Wailers and Burning Spear and over the years it’s more or less the same because I’m a roots man at heart.
4. Have you ever been to the Isle Of Wight?
I’ve never been but I would like to because I’ve heard that they will have a great festival this summer 🙂
5. Tell us about your live sound?
Our sound is a mixture of roots, melodic, spiritual and uplifting.
6. How has your sound changed over the years?
From militants to middle age spiritual fulfillment.
7. What have been the highpoint’s of your career?
Touring Europe with UB40 in the late 80’s.
8. And the low-points?
When we had a break.
9. What about the present day set up?
The 6 original members and 5 new additions that complete the jigsaw.
10. Thoughts on today’s music scene?
Very computerised without the sense of human feel.
11. What’s in the pipeline for the future?
We have a new album coming out in September and a tour coming to promote the album in the new year.
12. What can we expect for your WOWfest 2012 Show?
You will see Black Roots in a new rock reggae style with reggae at its heights, the way reggae should be played.
Originally posted 2012-04-19 18:26:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter