Taj Weekes & Adowa – Love Herb & Reggae (Jatta Records, 2016)
Although reggae remains very popular, a lot of modern reggae has too much pop or R&B. Taj Weekes & Adowa, on the other hand, play roots reggae that is founded in tradition and still sounds fresh and modern.
The latest album by the band, Love Herb & Reggae, features seductive reggae beats combined with funk, blues, rock, jazz and a little dub. Message-wise, Taj Weekes & Adowa focuses on social issues like consumerism, the condemnation of homophobia, poverty, violence, an appeal for love, and the ongoing debate about the legalization of marijuana.
The bandleader, singer-songwriter and guitarist Taj Weekes, from the island of St. Lucia, is a committed Rastafarian seeking a better world: “The Rasta philosophy helped shape me. I’ve always spoken for what’s right, but in my songs I held back a bit. Now I want to shout it out for everyone to hear. No more Taj the person and Taj the musician – after all, they are one.”
Weekes’ social commitment goes beyond music lyrics. He founded a charity organization, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO), and also serves as UNICEF Champion for Children in St. Lucia.
The lineup on Love Herb & Reggae includes Taj Weekes on lead vocals, rhythm and acoustic guitar; Radss Desiree on bass; Adoni Xavier on lead guitar; Baldwin Brown on drums and vocals; Aya Kato on keyboards and melodica; John Hewitt on keyboards; and Valerie Kelley on vocals.
Love Herb & Reggae is a superb roots reggae album by one of the finest outfits in the current reggae scene.