Keithus I rings the Changes

Monday, January 05, 2015

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Like many Jamaicans who came of age during the early 1970s, singer Keithus I believes the music from that period is the best produced in reggae.
That's not saying his tastes are discriminate. Far from it. On System Set, his latest song, he teams with neo-roots singer Jesse Royal.
System Set is from Keithus I's new album, Changes, scheduled to be released in March on his Jah Dynasty label.
Keithus I, who has been recording since the mid-1970s, made the link with Jesse Royal through sound engineer Delroy 'Fatta' Pottinger, a mutual friend.
"Fatta an' Jesse do some work in the past an' him pass on some of my songs to Jesse an' him like it," Keithus I told the OBSERVER ONLINE from his home in Hartford, Connecticut.
He also expressed admiration for Jesse Royal's music.
"I like him soun'...him have a writing style from the '70s. Love the song Modern Day Judas," he said.
Changes is Keithus I's (born Milton Samuels) second album. His first, Then and Now, was released in 2012.
That set included songs like Red Hot, the first song Keithus I recorded in 1975 at Tuff Gong studio with bassist Aston 'Familyman' Barrett, drummer Carlton Barrett and keyboardist Tyrone Downie of the Wailers.
Milton Samuels grew up in Allman Town, a working-class community in central Kingston, which produced outstanding musicians such as trombonist Don Drummond and singer Horace Andy.
Football, however, was his first love. He played for the formidable Vere Technical team in the daCosta Cup alongside Orville Edwards, Corsel Blair, Kenneth 'Bop' Campbell and Las Shaw.
After Red Hot, Keithus I recorded intermittently, but his substantive job was in film production in Montreal, Canada. He still works in that field with television station WFFB, a CBS affiliate in Connecticut.

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