Back to the Island: Reggae From Martha's Vineyard

Back to the Island: Reggae From Martha's Vineyard


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Here's what makes this album a little bit hard to take: Reggae is a music that emerged from a crucible of dire poverty, political violence, and racial oppression; it's a weird hodgepodge of disparate musical influences that came about primarily as a result of Jamaican youth taking local folk and calypso styles and combining them with the R&B they heard on clear nights coming over the airwaves from New Orleans and Miami. Now granted, Martha's Vineyard is an island, too. But there is tremendous irony in the juxtaposition (made explicit by the geographic double entendre of the album's title) of the Vineyard with Yard, given that the former is a longstanding bastion of white bohemian privilege every bit as rarefied as the white-shoe enclaves of the American mainland. Now, as for the music itself: There are some great moments on this album -- the Itals roll and skank effortlessly through "I Know a Place," Entrain gets nicely Police-y with "One Earth," and there's a very nice appearance by the gruff-but-genial Toots Hibbert. But there are also a few really embarrassing ones. There was probably no way to stop Carly Simon from trying to cover Bob Marley, but someone should have tried (she's saved, just barely, by Sly & Robbie and a great horn section), and David Mallett's "The Garden Song" sounds like Peter, Paul & Mary, only more earnest. But really, this isn't so much a reggae album as it is a Martha's Vineyard album, designed for baby boomers with memories of Camelot for whom the island itself has a totemic significance. And as such, it's not bad.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/08/2001
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661317024
catalogNumber: 613170

Album Credits

Performance Credits

David Mallett   Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Itals   Track Performer
Carly Simon   Vocals,Background Vocals
Michael Brecker   Tenor Saxophone
Ronnie Cuber   Baritone Saxophone
Don Grolnick   Organ
Leah Kunkel   Background Vocals
Tawatha Agee   Background Vocals
Alex Alexander   Drums
Andy Bassford   Guitar
Errol Crusher Bennett   Percussion
Dow Brain   Keyboards
Mitch Chakour   Keyboards
Guy DeVito   Bass
Neil Dorfsman   Recorder
Sly Dunbar   Drums
Steve Gaboury   Piano,Keyboards
Eric Gale   Electric Guitar
Winston Grennan   Drums,Vocals,Rap,Shaker
Toots Hibbert   Vocals
Mindy Jostyn   Violin
Stuart Kimball   Organ
Leslie Langston   Bass
Marcus Miller   Background Vocals
Geoff Patterson   Pedal Steel Guitar
Keith Porter   Vocals
Alan Rubin   Trumpet
Sabrina   Vocals,Background Vocals
Robbie Shakespeare   Bass
Mike Tinus   Piano
Joel Zoss   Track Performer
Johnny Hoy   Harmonica,Vocals
Jeremy Berlin   Piano,Accordion
Mike Muldoon   Percussion
Joe Belmont   Electric Guitar
Craig Eastman   Mandolin
Peter Simon   Recorder
Sam Bisbee   Guitar
Tom Major   Drums
Christine Box   Background Vocals
Judd Fuller   Track Performer
Charlie Esposito   Clavichord,Keyboards
Judith Ann-Marie   Background Vocals
Rick Bausman   Percussion,Steel Drums
Entrain   Track Performer
Jim Parr   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Bass Guitar
Sam Holmstock   Trombone
Rob Loyot   Piano,Saxophone,Background Vocals
Steve Tully   Saxophone
Chris Wilson   Guitar
Jemima James   Background Vocals
Chris Knight   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Leah Kunkel   Producer
Norman Blain   Engineer
Guy DeVito   Producer
Steve Gaboury   Producer
Mike Mainieri   Producer
Leon Pendarvis   Horn Arrangements
Peter Simon   Producer
Charlie Esposito   Producer,Horn Samples
Chris Wilson   Producer

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