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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Richie Booker, Randevyn CD reviews

Richie Booker
"Shine The Light" (SKD/Synkronized)

A less creative and adventurous artist boasting Richie's familial link to reggae legend Bob Marley might well be inclined to simply recycle the stylings of his famed brother, hoping for similar reward. But Richie's provocative and inspirational "alternative reggae" is of individually topical character, layering its technicolor, textured world party with rock and pop diversity, and intriguing studio effects. New reggae for the new age.

FROM DANCEHALLAREAZ.COM: "In addition to singing and acting (Palmetto, with Woody Harrelson), Booker produces the annual Bob Marley Caribbean Festival, where for the past 15 years, he and his family have brought together talented musicians as a fundraiser to help feed and shelter the homeless."

Recommended Tracks "Wow," "U Ain't From Around Here," "Station Revelation," "Deja Vu"

"The Randevyn Project" (Earthtone Music Group)

"I aspire to utilize my art to create positive, thought-provoking music that inspires and strengthens humanity," Randevyn says. Such life-affirming ambition abounds not only in the meaningful narratives ("This is my country," he declares in "Jena Tree." "I got a right to be here."), but no less so through equally moving, sophisticated music that often cherishes lush keyboards at its center.

And when he asks, rhetorically, "What if there are really no walls, at all?" you appreciate the wonderful ramifications -- and second that emotion.

Recommended Tracks "Jena Tree," "American Drum," "Dear Diary," "(The Dash In Between)"