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Young Tree

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Album Review

The grassroots consensus on this American reggae band is mixed. On the one hand, there is simply no denying its outrageous way with a roots reggae groove; other than the justly celebrated John Brown's Body, there may not be another white reggae band that plays this music so idiomatically and powerfully. On the other hand, there's singer Harrison Stafford. Unfortunately, he sounds like the demon spawn of Apple Gabriel and Bob Marley, delivering his lyrics with a whiny intensity that he probably thinks denotes spirituality but really comes across as both self-aggrandizing and laughably derivative. When he sings (on "Confusing Situation") "They say Marley gone/But I say no, na na no, na na no," it's hard to know whether he's betraying a baffling lack of self-awareness or (even worse) deliberately casting himself as Marley's Second Coming. In any case, there's lots of great instrumental music bubbling along under Stafford's overwrought vocals, including the horn-heavy "Craven Fe' Dead" and the album's uplifting title track, not to mention the jazzy piano part on "Dream." If Stafford would just settle down and let the songs speak for themselves, these guys could probably produce an almost perfect album or two.

Customer Reviews

GROUNDATION is a must have!

brah, relax. great reggae doesn't have to sound like Bob. In fact, you'd have to be an idiot or an ignorant fool to use Bob's genius as criteria for rating other bands. Reggae is the most diverse, soulful music genre there is. EXPAND YOUR MIND. LISTEN TO GROUNDATION!

itunes is bunk

every album by groundation is spectacular. they have their own style mixing jazz with roots. who ever wrote that first review is out of his/her head. the lead signer teaches the history of reggae at sanoma state, so he definatly knows what he is talking about. this music can touch your sole if you let it. dont let that one bad review stand in your way

fantastic reggae.

this is a great cd from a fine band. That review for this album baffles me. if the reviewer had read the lyrics he would know the answers to his own ridiculous questions. this is clean, well produced roots reggae and is imaginitve and creative. hard to find much better stuff. go ahead, look.


Formed: 1998

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Northern California-based reggae group Groundation were formed by guitarist/singer/lyricist Harrison Stafford, keyboardist Marcus Urani, and bassist Ryan Newman in 1998. The rest of the band personnel has fluctuated. As of 2009, it included a horn section consisting of David "Diesel" Chachere (trumpet), Kelsey Howard (trombone), and Dr. Jason Robinson (saxophone), as well as percussionist Mingo Lewis, Jr. and singers Kim Pommell and Stephanie Wallace. The group's newest member was drummer Te Kanawa...
Full Bio
Young Tree, Groundation
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Reggae, Music, World
  • Released: Apr 23, 2002

Customer Ratings