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Below you can find 5 albums that currently dominate my playlist. This list will be regularly updated. Hope to see you back soon!

1. Willie LindoFar and Distant

Willie Lindo, an in-demand session musician who graces the cover of many records from Reggae’s golden age and with Far and Distant stepping out of the shadows to deliver a blazing set of guitar laden Reggae. Hard to pick favourites but Willie’s take on Jackie Mittoo’s “Drum Song” and “Darker Shade of Black” are both strong contenders. The more laid back nature of “Breezing” and “Charmers Mood“, the latter named after producer Lloyd Charmers, are just as strong making this one of the few guitar driven instrumental Reggae sets to look out for.

2. Nahawa DoumbiaKanawa

Staying in Mali for a bit longer only moving south towards the Wassoulou region known for its music and the many female vocalists keeping alive a tradition dating back thousands of years. Nahawa Doumbia, one of the most popular local singers, only gained attention internationally 20 years in her career with the highly praised Yalaa. However, it would be a shame to disregard her earlier work or the work that followed and 2021’s Kanawa makes a shining example.

3. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni BaSegu Blue

Living up to your next concert is at least half of the total experience and after scoring two tickets to Ngoni virtuoso Bassekou Kouyate and his Ngoni Ba a new journey began. One blessed with the enchanting sounds by one of Africa’s most ancient instruments which in its humble beginnings was made out of a calabash, a wooden neck, and six strings used for ceremonial purposes. Bassekou Kouyate has taken the instrument to new heights adding strings, developing new techniques to play the instrument, and amplifying the instrument honouring its status throughout the African continent in a new age.

4. Boule NoireReggae

According to multiple sources Boule Noire was abandoned by his birth parents and throughout his youth spend time within different foster families, including the one whom he adapted his name Georges Thurston from. Now considered a Canadian legend, music was his only salvation seeing the hand he was dealt, allegedly taking a different turn at life’s road in part due to a stranger who handed him a guitar. For the most part recorded in Jamaica working with the island finest seeped into Boule Noire’s Reggae with the first side nothing but a dread affair and the flip side leaning more towards Funk and Disco with a few surprises.

Be aware that the album on Spotify combines two of his albums. Boule Noire’s Reggae ends with “Encore Une Fois L’Amour“.

5. Phil UpchurchDarkness Darkness

Slingin’ his electric guitar since the mid-50’s, Phil Upchurch has been an in demand session player roaming the “Windy City” and as house guitarist for Chess played with virtually all Blues heavyweights passing through its legendary recording booth. Shortly after leaving Chicago for greener pastures, he recorded a spectacular double sider that yet has to find its match. Call it Jazz, call it Funk, call it Soul or call it Blues, or just music of the highest order.

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