Big changes for Kenny Rox

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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FOR most of his long career, singer Kenny Rox has shared the stage or recording booth as a member of vocal groups.

The journeyman performer however has changed gears and gone solo. He recently released his debut solo album, the aptly titled Changes.

It is also the name of the album's lead track, a ballad co-written by Rox and his wife Mirtha Tomlinson.

The 66-year-old Rox was a member of The Emotionals and Wadadah. The latter (which also included Franklin Thompson and Denzil Williams) recorded one album, Take A Stand, and also appears as backup vocalists on Mind Control, Stephen Marley's Grammy-winning album.

Rox welcomes the change of pace after 40 years shaing vocals.

"My career has been a lot of ups and downs, some failures. The group thing neva work for me, so this is a different vibe," he said from his Chicago home.

Rox wrote or co-wrote the 12 songs on Changes, which has been released digitally and on compact disc.

Rox was born Kenneth Roxborough in Belmont, Westmoreland, hometown of reggae great Peter Tosh. His father, Solomon Roxborough, was a tenor saxophonist who had his own band which played the tourist circuit.

Rox says he moved to Kingston in 1967 and found a mentor in Conroy Cooper, who became his vocal coach. In the early 1970s, he was a member of The Emotionals, a trio that recorded intermittently.

He had measured success with Wadadah, a solid roots-reggae unit in the mould of harmony groups of the 1970s.

Rox made his solo debut as a performer in 2006 with Shower You With Love.




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