Uprising stays true to roots

Sunday, October 26, 2014

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RASHAUN 'Kush' McAnuff came of age in the 1990s, an era usually considered the golden age of dancehall. However, he has always been drawn to classic roots-reggae.


McAnuff is drummer/lead singer of the Uprising Roots band, which is preparing to release its second album, Black to I Roots, in early 2015.


The sextet's debut, Skifiya, was released in March 2011. McAnuff says while he and his bandmates have matured as musicians, their focus has not changed.


"Is the same works highlighting I an' I culture, the message of truth and rights an' upliftment," he told the Jamaica Observer.


McAnuff, bassist Ruel Ashburn, percussionist Junior Sutherland and keyboardist/dub poet Lloyd Palmer, are Uprising Roots' core members. Veteran guitarist Winston 'Bo Pee' Bowen and keyboardist Kimmy Gold are also members of the present line-up.


Though the band has strong ties to dancehall (they have toured and recorded with Gyptian), McAnuff believes there is not much regard for roots bands in Jamaica.


"Wi have nuthin' gainst dancehall but fi a country dat produce Bob Marley I an' I as a roots musician shoulda get more respect," he said.


Two songs have been released from Black to I Roots which was produced by the band -- Time and the title track.


While there has been an almost four-year gap between albums, Uprising Roots has maintained a steady live schedule. They have performed in Europe and North America on shows such as the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival.


-- Howard Campbell


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