The Essence of Roots Reggae: Taj Weekes & Adowa

Taj Weekes & Adowa

There are some CDs you can play over & over and never get tired of like ALL of Bob Marley’s work, Earth Wind & Fire’s “I Am” & “All ‘n’ All”, The Commodores Greatest Hits, The Bee Gees Greatest Hits, Branford Marsalis’ “I Heard You Twice The First Time”, Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” and Steel Pulse’s ” True Democracy”,  to name a few of my favorites which I will probably play until Jah calls me home. Add to this list Taj Weekes & Adowa’s roots reggae classic, “Deidem”. Being a big fan of roots reggae in the vein of The Abyssinians,  I-Wayne & Luciano, the sound of Taj Weekes & Adowa  easily secures itself into the deep & rich legacy of conscious reggae’s uplifting vibration. Adowa’s deft musicianship coupled with Taj’s haunting, poetically poignant &  spiritually-soaked lyrical flow is truly a feast for our famished souls.

“Deidem”(which means “all of us”) was well received & was up for consideration for Best Reggae Album by The Recording Academy for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in 2009. If you were to listen to the music of the artists who were on the list of nominees for this category–Burning  Spear, Elephant Man, Heavy D, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Shaggy and Sly & Robbie–you’d have to admit that Taj Weekes & Adowa had a superior product that year. I listened to all of the CDs that were nominated and, with the exception of Burning Spear’s “Jah Is Real”, none of them was in the same league as “Deidem”.

Adding to the exceptional talents of this St. Lucian-based reggae band, is their commitment to humanitarian issues. Taj Weekes practices what he preaches as demonstrated by his work as Goodwill Ambassador to the Caribbean in cooperation with the International Consortium of Caribbean Professionals (ICCP) and as founder of his charity, They Often Cry Outreach, which is dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and orphaned children in the Caribbean and beyond. It is blazing fires like this that point to a better way to BE in this world. As Taj reflected in an interview, “What is the use of art if it doesn’t provoke  discussion or stir thought?  Music certainly doesn’t need another artist singing about rims and women’s body parts.  There’s enough of that already.  We’ve been jumping and waving for what seems like forever, maybe it’s time we sit down and get our thoughts provoked a little.”

Preach my brother!

Stay conscious.


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