John Brown's Body: Daniel De La Cruz (flute, tenor saxophone); Scott Palmer (bass instrument); Alexander Beram (percussion); Tommy Benedetti.
Personnel: Kevin Kinsella (vocals, guitar); Elliot Martin (vocals, programming); Eric Aceto (violin); Hank Roberts (cello); Alexander Beram (trombone); Tommy Benedetti (drums).
Audio Mixers: Elliot Martin; Joshua Driscoll; Kevin Kinsella.
Recording information: E=MC2 (2004); Electric Wilburland (2004); Pyramid Studio, Ithaca, NY (2004); REP Studio (2004); Shut-In Studio (2004).
Photographer: Liz Linder.
Roots reggae is an international phenomenon, one that's played on every continent, with greater or lesser degrees of success. New York-based John Brown's Body have been doing it well for many years now, with great harmonies and strong melodies, as on "Follow Into Shadow." Singer Elliot Martin is a strong vocalist who brings a huge presence to the disc, most evident on a track like "Resonate." But he's far from being the only focal point -- guitarist Kevin Kinsella is excellent throughout. While the band are very convincing in their roots, they haven't completely ignored the last two decades of Jamaican music, as "Blazing Love" shows, tipping more than its hat to raga, and they're also comfortable dipping into R&B for "Not Enough." This is a band that's paid its dues, but also know what it can do, and does it very well indeed. Yet there's more than professionalism at work here; there's passion behind it all, and that's the most important factor. ~ Chris Nickson