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Burning Spear - Winston Rodney  (NEW Burning Spear - listen in to NPR story)

Winston Rodney is Burning Spear.  He is one of contemporary music's Masters and has carried the torch of Reggae Music for over three decades.  He was born the same year as Bob Marley.  As youths, they knew each other and as they grew older, they both took a strong spiritual and political message to a world audience.  We have seen and had the pleasure of hearing Burning Spear perform many times over his thirty years of touring and each show has been a powerful musical event with the capability of transporting those attuned members of the audience to a mystical plane carried by a spiritual vibration.  The Burning Spear musicians have changed over the years but Winston has always drawn other talented artists to his side and honed their playing to a distinctive BURNING SPEAR groove.  With Grammy trophies to his credit and an awesome catalog of albums, he is still producing new material and his band sounds better than ever.  We had the pleasure of being at The Culture Room packed in with a few hundred other lucky people for a mesmerizing show - at a rare club date - on a July stop of Winston's 59th Birthday Tour.  Here's a link to get a copy of the Bonnaroo Music Festival Show a few weeks earlier in June.  You'll find another link and the set list below.  

Once in a great while, an artist emerges that has a profound effect on popular culture. Grammy Award-winning reggae pioneer Burning Spear is such an artist. A certifiable legend, Spear is celebrating 35 years in the music business and shows no sign of slowing down. His concerts regularly last over two hours, a live show that delivers more energy and vibrancy than many rock and roll bands that are half his age. Spear, who has been featured in Vanity Fair's music issue, generates excitement from his message as well as his music.

Carrying the torch for the gospel of Marcus Garvey, Burning Spear is one of the single greatest proponents of self-determination and self-reliance for all African descendants, but his message is not exclusively based on the teachings of Garvey. Through his music, Burning Spear has consistently been able to educate, inform, and uplift people the world over with his positive message based on honesty, peace, and love.

Growing up in the parish of St Ann's Jamaica, the same musical hotbed that produced Bob Marley and the Wailers, Burning Spear made his first recording of "Door Peep" in 1969 for the esteemed Studio One label. In fact, it was Bob Marley himself that referred Winston Rodney to Studio One. Shortly before the release of "Door Peep," Rodney chose to release the recording under the name Burning Spear, a reference to Jomo Kenyatta, a political activist who championed for a free and democratic Kenya and went on to become the country's first president after being charged and jailed for the Mau Mau insurrection.

As Spear recalls,"The way the whole thing came about is that I found myself moving along up in the hills of St. Ann's and I ran into Bob [Marley] at the same time. And Bob was going to his farm. The man was moving with a donkey and some buckets and a fork, and cutlass and plants. We just reason man-to-man and I-man say wherein I would like to get involved in the music business. And Bob say, All right, just check Studio One. "

While at Studio One, Burning Spear recorded his first two classic albums, Burning Spear and Rocking Time. Building on this solid foundation, Spear went on to record for Island Records in the 70's, releasing three albums (Marcus Garvey, Man in the Hills, and Garvey's Ghost) that not only reshaped the face of reggae music, but also saw the emergence of Burning Spear as an international artist whose artistic vision began to permeate popular culture around the world. He followed these up with the release of Hail H.I.M. for EMI and set the stage for a prolific string of releases through the 80's and 90's, including the Grammy winning Calling Rastafari, as well as Rasta Business, The World Should Know, Fittest of the Fittest, and more.

In 2002, Burning Spear, along with his wife and partner Sonia Rodney, embarked on a new journey with the launch of Burning Spear Records. The label has released, Live At Montreaux Jazz Festival 2001 and the 2003 Grammy-nominated studio release Free Man.

In 2004, Burning Spear Records is gearing up for its next phase. With the recent announcement of a deal with MRI/Ryko Distribution, a series of newly remastered classics are being reissued through the summer: a special edition of Free Man, the double CD Burning Spear Live In Paris/Zenith '88, plus People Of The World, Resistance, Living Dub Vol. 2 and the DVD Home to My Roots/Live In Paris. An extensive U.S. tour celebrating Spear's "59th Earthday" is set for June through September, with highlights including major summer festivals such as Bonnaroo Music Fest, Bumbershoot, and Central Park Summerstage.  

Get a download or order the CD's of the rockin' Bonnaroo Show (CLICK HERE NOW).

Intro 03:45
Joe Frazer 07:36
The Youth 07:55
Rocking Time 07:44
Call On You 06:07
Marcus Garvey 05:58
Jah No Dead 06:22
Columbus 08:09
Burning Reggae 05:34
Niah Keith 06:05
Driver 07:28
Happy Day 06:33


The bio is from Burning Spear's website located at: www.BurningSpear.net

Here are some picks if you don't have a bunch of Spear in your collection: 




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