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Our Wonderful Jam-uary

We've had an absolutely amazing January. It's been a real time to kick back, re-focus, challenge ourselves and learn some new grooves!

This was by no means as simple as getting in the studio! We've had a crash-course in using tripods and cameras, editing videos and all that technology stuff.

We started out with trying to get the videos sounding right, so we only ended up with one video out of the first session, rather than the three that we were aiming for, but Dennis Brown's 'Wolf and Leopards' will be making an appearance in the coming gigs!

Once we'd straightened out our technical issues, we had a running start at week 2. A long while ago, when we were first planning on this little project, we asked you on social media "If you could hear us play any song, what would it be" and then we picked some of our favourites you suggested. We tried 'Picture on the Wall' by Natural Ites, which we absolutely adore, and we must thank Ashley Mee for the suggestion! It seems a really popular choice with you guys, so we'll slot it in there!

We don't know if you know, but our guitarist is like the master of tunes in our band. Clive just lives and breathes reggae music, and he's always randomly proclaiming a new song. We've learned to go with his instincts on this, because he's absolutely on point. Clive suggested 'Wolf and Leopards' for us.

A personal suggestion from Sugar gave us the idea of doing 'My Master's Will' by Israel Vibration. He showed us the song last year after Reggae's loss of Skelly from the band, and it's just got such a beautiful message and a blessed vibe, and you know that's what we're all about! So we tried that one and loved it too! The horn lines are actually a lot more intricate than we gave them credit for! You just can't underestimate the message of absolute goodness that you can get from the simplest lines in reggae music. They have a certain way of just hitting you differently.

We had the pleasure of being joined by our lovely keys boy, Teebs and James Crosdale (Yllavation) for week 3, which was Stevie Week! We thought we'd have a crack at some Stevie Wonder, because although it's not reggae, it certainly is amazing music and big big tunes! So we tried Another Star, Superstition and Master Blaster. My Lord, they were difficult, but we greatly enjoyed the challenge and we had a blast together. Music truly brings people together and creates happiness, and we had such a great time playing Stevie Wonder. If you've seen our out-takes and bloopers, you'll be reminded that we are just a bunch of weird musicians, getting together to create some music to make people happy, and that's really at the core of everything we do. We want to spread the love!

So, with many blessings and happy vibes, we sailed into our final week of Jam-uary, which came far too quickly for our liking! But we had some immense things to do! We started sketching out 'Prophecy' in Week 2 and finalised what we're going to do with it last night, which is to stitch it back to back with an already existing tune in the set. Took some working out, but it's very very exciting! Prophecy is a song that rings true in all times. Those lyrics make you stop and look about and NOD YOUR HEAD.

Clive, being the awesome musical encyclopaedia that he is, suggested an instrumental to us that we could not pass up. It's called 'Theme from the Gun Court', and there is another version that has used the riddim and some of the horn lines and has words, but we love an instrumental, so we plunged straight into that and fell in total love. Fair to say, that one will be staying too!

Finally, our last selection from your suggestions was a Gregory Isaacs tune, suggested by Salli Chance. It is the silkiest, most seductive tune we've ever attempted, but it certainly has a sexy groove to it! Thank you, Salli, for your suggestion. We did have a good giggle at the noises that Sugar had to make at us, but we love the song! It really goes places you don't expect it to go with the melody.

The last song we had a go at was suggested by our Anna, who came across the song being shared by Jonathan Firth (F Troop) back in lockdown, and she's loved it ever since. We didn't think it would catch us so hard, I mean, sure, it's a nice tune and all that, but we can't stop humming and singing it and the smile it puts on your face is just incredible! So thank you Anna (and Jonathan) for bringing us to The Tennors song 'I've Got To Get You Off My Mind (Cleopatra)' because it's such a lovely vibe.

I've got to say here, January has given us a whole lot of everything we love and we're feeling extremely grateful and humbled. We have so many amazing shows lined up this year, working all over the place with so many incredible venues and artists, and we couldn't do any of it if it weren't for ACTUAL YOU WHO IS HERE READING THIS. Every single one of you is so important to us, and we do it for you guys, to make you happy, to spread the word, to keep music live and to bring authentic reggae music to as many people as we can.

Love you, Reggufam!

Until next time...


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