In 2019, musicians Zak Starkey and Sharna “Sshh” Liguz launched the Trojan Jamaica record label, in partnership with BMG. The label’s critically-acclaimed debut offering, Red, Gold, Green & Blue, was a compilation of classic American soul, r&b, and blues tunes, as interpreted by legendary Jamaican reggae artists. That eclectic blend of stars and styles quickly landed RGGB on the pages of media outlets like Rolling Stone and MOJO.
The full collection now gets a remix treatment from UK sound designer Rob Jevons, whose credits include work on The Prodigy’ s No Tourists album, which debuted at number one on the Official UK Albums Chart. With label founders Starkey and Liguz producing, Trojan Jamaica proudly releases the 12-track Red, Gold, Green & Blue RMXZ album https://rggb.lnk.to/RGGB-RMXZ
Big Youth’s version of Bo Diddley’s “Gunslinger” now fires off like a militant dancehall march through a Spaghetti Western. Big Youth’s rhythmic chat rides the snares as he tells the story of his dub slinging precision. The charismatic deejay makes an appearance later in the tracklist on the ska-rocking remix of “Temperature,” a song originally recorded by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer bluesman, Little Walter.
Freddie McGregor’s take on Robert Johnson’s “Come On In My Kitchen” delves into classic rock territory, as psychedelic guitar solos soar over a slow and steady processionary stomp.
Already a standout number from the original RGGB release, newcomer Phylea Carley’s fiery vocal delivery on her version of Muddy Waters’ “Baby Please Don’t Go” is now supported by a head-nodding hip hop beat, complete with a lush brass arrangement and a touch of jazz piano.
Black Uhuru’s Mykal Rose, who is featured on three tracks, shows that his silky voice will shine through any music bed, whether it’s the dub-drenched one-drop riddim of “I Put A Spell On You” (originally a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins tune), the city street beat of his rendition of Howlin’ Wolf’s “44 Blues,” or his execution of Johnny and Shuggie Otis’ “Bad Luck Shadow” over a hauntingly dark trip hop arrangement that progressively builds in intensity until it becomes a manic drum ‘n bass exploration.
Andrew Tosh, son of reggae icon Peter Tosh, contributes vocals to Willie Dixon’s classic “Don’t Go No Further,” a song previously recorded by acts like Muddy Waters and The Doors. Rob Jevons, who also designs sounds and programs synths for such electronic instrument giants as Nord Keyboards, Steinberg, and Native Instruments, among others, flips the new version into a dubstep expedition that rides out through the end of the track.
The only song included on RGGB RMXZ that did not previously appear on the original RGGB album is a version of Paul Gayten and Robert Guidry’s “But I Do,” performed by musical luminary, Cyril Neville, the youngest Neville Brother, and vocalist/percussionist in the original New Orleans funk pioneers, The Meters. Cyril’s netherworldly rasp over Jevon’s moody remix is a far departure from the upbeat Charlie “Frogman” Henry version heard recently in Expedia commercials.
Trojan Jamaica co-founder and SSHH band vocalist Sharna “Sshh” Liguz brings a powerful angst to her bluesy, yet punk versions of Willie Dixon’s oft-covered “Wang Dang Doodle” (creatively blended with Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” here) that is elevated to arena-rock heights at the song’s crescendo.
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