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ROCKSTEADY: THE ROOTS OF REGGAE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
A joyful reunion in Kingston, Jamaica, of surviving pioneers of the 'rocksteady' sound of reggae in the late 60s, all there for a giant jam and to talk about the roots of the music and to rehearse for a large outdoor concert.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
If you want to put a smile on your face, but this DVD in your player and start smiling. The infection is instantaneous. The joy just flows ... like The Rivers of Babylon, one of the most popular songs of the era. The film has been likened to the Buena Vista Social Club, both for its basic concept and its radiating musical groove, paying homage to some of the greatest artists of the musical genre.

The Tide is High, You Don't Love Me, Stop That Train, Shanty Town, Rivers of Babylon ....If we took to heart (almost) all the lyrics of all the songs, we'd all be very laid back. But even if we just let the music wash over us, it's like an injection of positive vibes. Some of these veterans play like fresh youngsters, with verve and energy - albeit relaxed energy. The music is rhythmic and addictive, but it's interspersed with some great survival stories of the musos who took reggae to the world, Like Hopton Lewis.

Narrated in matching laid back style by the legendary Stranger Cole (Stranger was his nickname as a little kid 'cause he didn't look like anyone in his family), the doco is accented with the lilting Jamaican voices of its stars, some of whom are reunited after 40 years. Wonderful stuff.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

ROCKSTEADY: THE ROOTS OF REGGAE: DVD (PG)
(Switz/Canada, 2009)

CAST: Documentary featuring Stranger Cole, Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, Dawn Penn, Hopeton Lewis, Derrick Morgan, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles, Rita Marley, Ernest Ranglin and others

NARRATION: Stranger Cole

PRODUCER: Valentin Greutert, Betty Palik

DIRECTOR: Stascha Bader

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Piotr Jaxa

EDITOR: Teresa De Luca, Mathieu Grondin

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9;

SPECIAL FEATURES: Live concert (1 hour) recorded in Montreal 2009;

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Aztec

DVD RELEASE: July 11, 2010







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