Carl Dawkins to honour heroes

Howard Campbell

Monday, March 03, 2014

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ALONG with fellow singers Jackie Opel and Tyrone Taylor, Carl Dawkins is considered one of the finest exponents of soul-reggae.

Dawkins, 65, salutes some of his heroes and colleagues on Hard Times, his latest album.

He covers Stevie Wonder's Living For the City, Jackie Wilson's Lonely Teardrops and Cry me a River, originally done by Barbados-born Opel.

Granulated Sugar, Gregory Croons a Tune and Sing a D Brown are tributes to singers Sugar Minott, Gregory Isaacs and Dennis Brown, respectively.

Doing a version of Cry me a River was particularly special for Dawkins.

"When I was living at Wild Street in Allman Town he (Opel) lived across the road from me. He was one of my mentors, a dynamite performer," said Dawkins.

Opel recorded a number of ska songs while living in Jamaica during the early 1960s. He died in an auto accident in Barbados in 1970.

The son of drummer Joseph Dawkins, Carl Dawkins started his career in that period. He is best known for the hit songs Baby I Love You, Satisfaction and Give me The Right Love, all done over 40 years ago.

While those songs are must-dos for Dawkins on stage, he says there is a downside to their popularity.

"People love to box me in a corner with the old songs but I have so much more. I need my new songs to be heard."

Hard Times is distributed by Fort Lauderdale's Upstairs Music.

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