Jerry Harris is a name that is synonymous with killer roots music, this comes from his extensive work with Lloyd ‘Bullwackie’ Barnes and the Wackies record label from New York in the 70’s. Wackies is a label that is one in a million, some of the music made especially in the 70’s was just out of this world, tunes like ‘Spreading All Over’ by Jerry Harris and ‘We Need Some Solution’ by John Clarke are untouchable tunes that are sought after the world over. Jerry Harris was not only a singer but the most prolific Wackies bassist and also a notable producer, with more Wackies productions under his belt than near enough anyone else.
This is why it’s very refreshing to hear that there is a new Jerry Harris LP ‘Consciousness’ which is produced by him on his own label called Listen Up records. The whole LP is very strong but for me in particular there are two exceptional stand out roots tunes that everybody should have. These are ‘Health Conscious’ and ‘More Schools’ asides from these two Jerry takes on many different styles of music especially the mento song ‘Let’s Go to Jamaica’. The track that I want to concentrate on, though, is ‘Health Conscious’ which has just had a video made for it too. The song is talking about how ‘your health is your wealth’ and that you should eat well and keep healthy, especially in these times where junk food is everywhere and people don’t look after themselves properly. It is also well informed warning of diabetes and high blood pressure. The song is a wicked piece of music with all instruments minus the drums played live by Jerry Harris himself and also apart from the horns courtesy of Dean Frazer and Jerry Johnson, two absolute behemoths of the reggae world with careers ranging back to the dawn of time! These two heavyweights alone appearing on an LP makes it worthy of a listen regardless of what I can say here, but this is real authentic roots and you can hear that it retains that famous Wackies sound. The LP is worth buying because its real reggae music first and foremost and secondly because it is from an authentic original artist/session musician/producer from one of the most noted reggae labels in the world, ever. Wackies also was responsible for one of the first rap tunes ‘Wack Rap’ in 1979, pure disco rap magic with crazy reggae mixing and effects – special heads up for the Hip Hop crew!
To buy this LP you can find it on itunes or cdbaby, its well, well worth your hard paper! Artists like Jerry Harris are legends and they need to be supported so get clicking!
Review by Jack Duffield