Sister Carol takes time out with Jason MrazSunday, July 12, 2020
By Howard Campbell
Last week reggae watchers waited to see how well highly anticipated albums by Buju Banton and Vybz Kartel would do on the Billboard charts. Both made the top 10 of the Current Reggae Albums Chart along with Look For The Good by American singer Jason Mraz.
Released on June 20, six days before the Buju and Kartel sets, Look For The Good contains Time Out, a feel-good ganja song with veteran roots toaster Sister Carol.
Michael Goldwasser, founder of Easy Star Records, who produced the album, brought her in for an unlikely partnership with Mraz whose previous six albums have sold millions.
“I knew his music but never him [Mraz]. I was familiar with the big hit I'm Yours but didn't know much about him. Recording with him can introduce me to his fan base while I'm introducing him to mine,” Sister Carol told the Jamaica Observer.
Released in 2008, I'm Yours is one of two songs by Mraz to make the top 10 of the Billboard pop chart. His other major hit is The Remedy (I Won't Worry) which gave him the breakthrough six years earlier.
Sister Carol, 61, recorded her vocals for Time Out at producer/musician Paul “Computer Paul” Henton's studio in Harbour View, St Andrew. Her link with Goldwasser goes back 20 years when they co-produced her album, All I Have Is Love: A Tribute To Studio One.
Goldwasser was also aware of THC (The Healing Cure), Sister Carol's 2017 ganja album. She was a natural to accompany Mraz on Time Out.
“When Jason needed an artiste to join him on the track Michael linked me in Jamaica. I recorded my part on Bob Marley's birthday,” she disclosed.
Born in Kingston, Sister Carol (real name Carol East) migrated to New York City in the early 1970s and developed her sound there. Her career is similar to many roots-reggae artistes who record albums annually and tour tirelessly to promote them.
Albums like Black Cinderella and Lyrically Potent have made her one of reggae's best touring acts for over 20 years. She was about to embark on another tour of the United States when the novel coronavirus emerged and forced a cancellation.
For Sister Carol, Time Out is another validation of her staying power.
“There were times we had to endure stereotypes, like being called foreign artiste or New York artiste but to no deterrence for me. Most times, Jamaica is not just geographically existing, it can also be a state of mind, culturally speaking,” she said.
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