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Bass Chalice

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Album Review

America's second best reggae band (second only, that is, to John Brown's Body, with which it shares several members) is back with its fourth album, yet another celebration of deep, dark, '70s-style roots reggae. As usual, the personnel are unidentified and the focus is on dub-inflected instrumentals, though this time out the sound is a bit less murky and maybe a little bit less distinctively wonderful than before. But it's still pretty wonderful, and the band's usual secrecy concerning lineup is tempered by its open acknowledgment of contributions by roots reggae legends the Meditations, who appear on several of the album' strongest tracks. (They are also joined, at one point, by another guest vocalist who sounds suspiciously like John Brown's Body bandleader Kevin Kinsella.) The album's highlight track is "Deliver Us Jah," a briskly skanking sufferer's anthem on which the Meditations are shown to best advantage, but "To Each" and the bluesy "Last Dance" are both very solid as well. On the instrumental side, "Blood Money" and the heavily dubbed-up title track rock the hardest, while "Burning James," with its rather generic two-chord skank, struggles a bit to get off the ground. Recommended strongly overall.

Biography

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '00s

Hailing from upstate New York, surely one of the more unlikely locales for an authentic reggae act, 10 Ft. Ganja Plant are a mysterious roots and dub collective and splinter group of the better-known Ithaca, NY-based eight-piece John Brown's Body. Known for impromptu — rarely announced or promoted — live shows that incorporate a loose, improvisatory jam band feel, the group garnered some renown in the Northeast U.S. live music circuit throughout the 2000s. 10 Ft. Ganja Plant debuted in...
Full bio
Bass Chalice, 10 Ft. Ganja Plant
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: World, Music, Reggae
  • Released: Nov 15, 2005

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