In August last year singer Matthew McAnuff was stabbed to death in Jamaica in what has been described as a small dispute. But apparently the argue went the wrong way and Matthew died. He was only 27 years old, just like many other tragic deaths in the music business – Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jacob Miller, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and many more.
He had only released a handful of singles, among them the excellent digital scorcher If You Want War and the nyabinghi flavored Be Careful. But he had also managed to record material for a full album, and album that is now posthumously put out on Chapter Two Records, formerly known as Makasound.
Matthew McAnuff came from a musical family. His father is Winston McAnuff and his brother, Rashaun “Kush” McAnuff, is a driving force in The Uprising Roots Band. And his father has produced most of the album, which also includes talents such as Style Scott and Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace on drums, Dwight Pickney on guitar and Cedric Myton of The Congos on backing vocals.
Be Careful is a logical choice for an album title and the set collects 13 tracks, of which only two have been previously released. Roots reggae is the formula and a cover version of Hugh Mundell’s ethereal Book of Life is included.
Hugh Mundell and Matthew McAnuff have more in common than a tune. They both had youthful and vibrant voices and both died young. Far too young. They were promising talents with prophetical messages of peace, love and unity. Something much needed in world of segregation, war and antagonism.