Haunting and heartfelt, “Be Wise” finds Putus Roots singing with conviction over a subtle acoustic track. Putus, also known as Delroy Williams, is one of the sons of Count Ossie – the famed Jamaican bandleader and Nyabinghi drummer who fused African musical traditions with Rastafarian beliefs, beginning in the late 1950s up until his death in 1976. Early recordings included the Folkes Brothers’ “Oh Carolina” (produced by Prince Buster), which had a definite influence on the formation of what would become ska music, though it’s Ossie’s later group, the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, that is most well-known.

As a member of the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, it is apparent that Putus Roots has been involved in an ample amount of Jamaican musical history. However, more recently it was in a most unfortunate way, with his Kingston home burning down in a July 2014 fire. Inside were the drums and percussion of the entire drumming group: a piece of living musical heritage. The full story is available from the Jamaica Observer.

History aside, the conscious lyrics of “Be Wise” rest comfortably on the framework provided by the shuffling hand drum and rhythm guitar, creating a sense of intimate poignancy. The picked guitar melody nicely fills out the track to support the entrancing vocals of Putus Roots:

“Be wise, we don’t want no war in this time, be wise, just throw away war and crime”

The simple words belie the power of the message: a beckoning for change. Thoughtfully delivered, while the lyrics are firmly focused on Rastafarian themes:

“Be wise, jah jah people, just let us unite, Let us unite in this time, ya serious time inna Babylon.”

From Swiss dub specialists Duke Production [check out this full-length from related project The Giants], this release has been organised to directly support Putus Roots with all funds going to help replace what has been lost.

The Groove Thief

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