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Rock Steady Rodeo

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Album Review

There are good reasons to expect the worst when the band is called Reggae Cowboys and the program features songs with titles like "Wild West Indian" and "Gold Rush." The fact that the Reggae Cowboys (who hail from Toronto) are expressly interested in raising awareness of the role of black cowboys in the settling of the West makes things more interesting historically, but doesn't do much to settle the misgivings any rational person would have about how the music will sound. Amazingly enough, the music is quite good: country influences (which could easily have reduced the music to pure schtick) are kept minimal, while the reggae is modern but rootsy, with lots of great hooks and good singing. Most surprisingly of all, "Wild West Indian" is one of the most enjoyable tracks on the album; another is a perfectly respectable reggae version of "Like a Rolling Stone." The instrumental version of "Redemption Song" is a bit schlocky, and sometimes the production gets a little intrusively slick, but overall this is a fine album.


Formed: 1993 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Fusing the lilting rhythms of the Caribbean with the outlaw imagery of the wild west, the Reggae Cowboys were formed in Toronto, Ontario in late 1993 by singers/guitarists Bird "Stone Ranger" Bellony and Aljernon Delano "Click Masta Sync" Rabess, both natives of the West Indies. Subsequently adding bassist Roy "Gully" Clarke, keyboardist Marshall King and drummer Hitman I, the Reggae Cowboys debuted in 1996 with Tell the Truth; Rock...
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