Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Reggae Wednesday

Judy Mowatt, along with two other teenage girls formed the Gaylettes in 1967. They released a number of soul-infused rocksteady singles before she joined the I-Three, Bob Marley's backing singers who also included Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths in 1974. The following year her debut solo album hit the shelves.

But it was the follow-up that propelled Judy Mowatt into the annuls of reggae history. 'Black Woman' from 1979 is regarded as not only one of the best reggae albums by a female artist, but one of the best reggae albums period. It was groundbreaking in many ways, not least because it was the first self-produced reggae album by a female artist.

Judy loved soul voices like Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Curtis Mayfield and the Staple Singers and she proudly wore her influences on her sleeve on 'Black Woman'. In the late 90s, she converted from Rastafari to Christianity and started recording gospel music. However, even in her early records you could hear the strains of gospel breaking through. Today's track, Down In The Valley from that seminal album, is a good example of that.

1 comment:

  1. I'm woefully ignorant when it comes to Judy Mowatt's solo work and judging by this fine tune, it's a situation that needs rectifying.