Entertainment

A New Day for Winston McAnuff

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer writer

Thursday, January 30, 2014    

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IT'S been a decade since singer Winston McAnuff's career renaissance began in France. His latest album, A New Day, has expanded his European fan base but he also wants to be heard in Jamaica.

"Dat's wha' wi working on now, so wi plan a strong attack fi get the music on the radio stations here," McAnuff said in an interview with the Observer.

Little is known in Jamaica of McAnuff's recent work which includes A New Day. Garden of Love, a song from the set, was selected Song Of The Year (2013) by German radio station WDR Funkhaus.

McAnuff, who plays the Glasgow Celtic Connection show in Scotland tomorrow, has enjoyed a career revival by blending reggae and European sounds.

That fusion is the focus of A New Day, a collaboration with French accordion player Fixi.

McAnuff, 58, says the album's success is responsible for his six-month tour which is scheduled to start in March.

"I've neva had an album like dis, it do well all over Europe. To get 60-odd show nowadays is unheard of, nuff man can't even get 10 date," he said.

McAnuff and Fixi are scheduled to kick off the tour on March 7 at the File 7 venue in Magny Le Hongre. The duo will perform on a handful of dates in France.

For most of the tour, McAnuff goes solo, with dates in Scandinavia, Germany, Hungary and Russia. He also has dates confirmed for Colombia and Brazil, reggae's biggest South American markets.

A New Day is the latest triumph for McAnuff who went off the radar in the 1990s after showing promise when he started out as a singer-songwriter in the late 1970s.

His previous albums such as A Drop and Paris Rockin' featured the roots-reggae/French traditional sound that has become synonymous with his work.

A Drop and Paris Rockin' were strong sellers in France. They have helped make McAnuff one of the most popular reggae acts in that country.

Born in Manchester, Winston McAnuff was a student at Excelsior High School in the late 1970s when his career started.

His energetic performances earned him the moniker 'Electric Dread'. Although he recorded for Derrick Harriot early in his career, McAnuff also wrote Malcolm X, a hit for Dennis Brown and producer Joe Gibbs.

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