With his deep, gruff, and oh-so-soulful voice, Jerry Harris's "Mama Roots" CD is a funky reggae album with roots as deep as the singer's own legacy. The prolific composer, a fixture in the NY reggae scene since the '70s, has once again delivered an album of potent rhythm and soul, a propulsive mix of Roots Reggae and Rocksteady that reflects the legion of key Jamaican talents he has worked with in 4 decades as a leading and important Reggae artist. Highlights include "Just a Little Love We Need" and the topical "Global Warming," both owing a debt to Bob Marley-influenced grooves, but on "Mama" he shines with a Jimmy Cliff-like pop sensibility that transcends mere reggae-style labels. On "Mama Roots" Harris is once again backed by a stellar rhythm section, typically concise guitar fills, affecting horn parts, and backing vocals from a female chorus that is integral and subtle. Lyrically, there is a '70's-centric affirmative and positive social relevance running through all his songs as he alternately exhorts, cajoles, and pleads for the kind of world that seemed nearer to realization in those more innocent times. Nevertheless, there is nothing out of date about either Jerry Harris' message or the timeless brand of reggae he so effortlessly puts forth. Jerry Harris' "Mama Roots" CD continues an ageless tradition of intoxicating Reggae/Rocksteady music.
-Rice B. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
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