In the teaser promotional video for The Banyans debut album Steppin’ Forward a number of acclaimed Jamaican musicians and artists are praising the band and wishing them luck. And they obviously know what they’re talking about, because The Banyans has put out a mature set heavily influenced by Jamaican 70’s roots and albums by Bob Marley and Burning Spear.
This six piece French band has played more than 300 shows in the past five years and shared stages with Aswad, The Wailers, Anthony B, U Roy and Clinton Fearon among many more. And it’s obvious that they know what they’re doing.
The organ is blistering, the guitar is sharp, but not dominate. The vocal is lively, the horn section – courtesy of guest musicians – is vital and the riddim section trudges on driving the beat forward like a bulldozer. Just listen to the closing track Dreamer where the bass is pulsating making the blood almost boil over.
I’ve previously written about the thriving and vibrating French reggae scene with roots warriors such as Dub Inc, Donkey Jaw Bone, Rockers Disciples, Postive Roots Band, Danakil and Tu Shung Peng. These bands have just been challenged by a highly-skilled newcomer. Bring it on.