You can’t say that the reggae world has been spoiled with sweet harmony vocal trios the last twenty years or so. They had their heydays in the 60’s and 70’s and since the glory days of Culture, Mighty Diamonds and Gladiators nearly no new groups have emerged.
That’s why it’s such a blessing to listen to Re-Birth, the new album from Derrick Lara, Carlton Smith and Sylvanus “Junior” Moore, better known as The Tamlins.
This outfit began recording in the mid 70’s and have had some well-known tunes, mainly covers such as Smiling Faces and the wicked Sly & Robbie production Baltimore.
Sly & Robbie are also present on Re-Birth. Not in persons, but in production style. Alborosie and Clifton “Specialist” Dillon have managed to create a sound that’s very reminiscent of early 80’s Sly & Robbie. The production is bubbling, organic and vital. It’s fun to listen to.
Their voices and harmonies are as good as in their prime. Just listen to the Send Them Come, on the Full Up riddim, or the bouncy Delano Stewart cover Tell Me Baby.
Included are also two duets, a reworking of Baltimore with Alborosie himself, and the pleading Who Are Leading Us, with an – for me – unknown singer called Spiritual. Both work really well since Alborosie’s and Spiritual’s rugged voices contrasts nicely to the beautiful harmonies.
The Tamlins albums and singles from the 70’s are today quite hard to find. This great new set shows that they’re in desperate need of a reissue program or anthology.