Claudius Linton Roots Master

Claudius Linton Roots Master
Here’s a heart-warming story from the reggae hotbed of Baltimore, previously best known in reggae contexts for the Tamlins cover of the Nina Simone/Randy Newman song of the same name. Linton had a top selling tune in 1976 called "Crying Time,” which is the leadoff cut from this collection. It’s a great song — Linton’s vocals are very much indebted to Joseph Hill of Culture’s countrified delivery. The band are the Soul Syndicate, Dennis Brown’s backing ensemble during the beginning of his peak years. The rest of the material is in a similar vein: slow, roots-y and conscious. Many songs have a peculiar approach to harmony — one might call it the wrong approach were it not for everyone’s willingness to establish their own tonal space and live within it, Eurocentric standards be damned. Most of these tunes have been remixed from the original tapes, and these mixes sound fuller than many remastered recordings of the same era. A few songs from the ’80s feature stiff drum programming but are pretty good considering the competition at the time. The classic material is stretched a little thin with the inclusion of mono and stereo versions but Roots Master is a little gem well worth picking up for the serious roots fan. (Sun King)