Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Artist of the Week: Toots and the Maytals


"Reggae got soul, got so much soul"

Toots Hibbert and the Maytals are nothing short of legends when it comes to Reggae and Jamaican music. Their music was and still is a perfect combination of reggae and ska music mixed with gospel and soul influences. It is the ultimate chill, Jamaican sound.

Although the Maytals have never had the same deep poetic lyrics as Bob Marley, there music still has a way of penetrating the soul. It's simply two different types of reggae music, both awesome in their own way. Lead singer, Toots Hibbert was a reggae pioneer bringing reggae to American audiences for the first time in the '60s. Toots is also credited with coining the term "reggae".

One of the coolest things, in my oppinion, about Toots Hibbert is his Christian upbringing and the influence it had on his music. Toots has never had a Rastafarian agenda, but the soul of the music stays the same and I think that's awesome.

Another awesome thing about this group, is the perfect harmony and blend that their three voices created. You can feel a deep passion for the music they sing. It's all just so fun and care free. The Maytals are the original product when it comes to Reggae music and it shows. Also, Toots was one of the first artists to make going to jail cool, as he sang about his time in prison with "54-46 Was My Number". Take that Lil' Wayne. 

Bob Marley is the only other reggae musician that surpasses (or even comes close to) the caliber of Toots and the Maytals. And by the way, these guys are STILL recording albums! Check 'em out.  

My Top 5 Songs
1. Pressure Drop
2. 54-46 Was My Number
3. Time Tough
4. Pomp and Pride
5. Reggae Got Soul

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