October 26, 2011

My little buddy turned 6 today and things have been so busy his big sister was nice enough to write me a sticky note to remember to wrap his birthday presents last night.

I’m so busy that I probably won’t get out to see the legendary Jamaican band The Mighty Diamonds, playing for the first time in Philly (that I know of) TONIGHT at the Blockley. The Mighty Diamonds are a rarity in that they still feature the ORIGINAL lineup since 1969. That’s damn rare.
Great classic roots, but one caveat: Lead singer Donald “Tabby” Shaw sings so flat (or is it sharp?) that sometimes it makes me cringe to listen.

His voice isn’t too bad on this track, not one of their larger hits but one of my favorites. From 1976:

MP3: The Mighty Diamonds- Ghetto Living

It is actually too common that Jamaican artists sing flat/sharp. No, not all, but far too many do so. Check out Tony Curtis for just one example.

And it is almost de rigueur for FEMALE reggae singers. Again, not all, but MOST of them sing that way. Not so in American soul. Check out Marcia Griffiths. Phyllis Dillon. Hortense Ellis. Is it a cultural thing? Anyone else notice this? Anyone know why?


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