FOR most of his career, Dave Revels has done rhythm and blues music in the vein of his heroes who include The Temptations and The Four Tops. He goes reggae, however, on his latest single, A Good Jamaican Woman , which features deejay Junior Rex.
A former member of legendary soul group The Drifters, Revels was born in London to an American father and Jamaican mother. As a boy, he lived in Kingston with his mother.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, Revels said his first reggae single is dedicated to the women who helped shape his life.
“I was blessed to grow up around many uncles and aunts in Jamaica. I learned a lot from both. The women in the family were so beautiful, inside and outside, intelligent and regal. They were like queens. They were also very respected by the men in our family. I wanted to honour their memory and to relate to the world how special a man you would be to have a Jamaican woman by your side,” he explained.
Revels co-produced A Good Jamaican Woman with fellow singer Ed Robinson. It was released in December.
He has vivid memories of growing up at Lincoln Crescent in Kingston during the early 1960s. Those childhood reflections helped when Revels composed A Good Jamaican Woman.
“I lived in Kingston at Lincoln Crescent, climbing ackee trees, breadfruit trees, mango trees and coolie plum trees. I even fell out of one. My favourite treat was asham. The guy would come down the road with his whistle blowing and I would run to catch him. They used to have a prize inside the cone. I remember racing newspaper boats down the side of the road when it rained,” he recalled.
Revels' music career started in the 1970s in the United States. A high point came during the 1980s when he joined The Drifters, whose hefty catalogue contains standards such as This Magic Moment, Dance With Me, and Under The Boardwalk.
With many relatives in Jamaica, Revels is a regular visitor to the country.
“[I visited] three times in 2021 and at least one time each previous year for the last 30 years. You can't stray far from your heart,” he said.