It’s a brisk Autumn night in the District. I want Hot Apple Cider, a flannel blanket and a fireplace. In other words, it’s the exact opposite of the Funk It Friday music selection. Tonight we travel to the tropical lands of the Caribbean islands, and bring back Jamaica’s finest legal export: reggae.

I composed this podcast knowing I was deep out my range. My roots don’t go further south than Mississippi and I’ve mismanaged every possible opportunity to bask and skin burn in the islands lapped by the Caribbean sea. I can do no more than eavesdrop on even a casual conversation about reggae, ska, calypso or soca. For most Americans, especially those from the Stax/Motown aesthetic, meaning those that believe American R&B is the singular definition of MUSIC, rhythms and beats from  “foreign” lands rarely receive more than a cursory listen. Caribbean-derived musical genres never fail to demand engagement. It is always a bold  invitation to release, relax and escape.  Yet, I don’t understand enough about it to be appropriately seduced.

So, in an amateurish pilgrimage to discover root music not seeded in Tennessee dirt, I’m tilling Jamaican soil, a good portion of it watered by the Marley family genius. However, diversity abounds with selections from Third World, Maxi Priest and Wailing Souls. In an arrogant lack of restraint, these traditionalist are joined by hip-hop and neo-soul remixes of Marley classics.

Autumn leaves crowd the landscape.  Add rum to the cider. Pretend the fireplace is a sandy beach midnight bonfire and  just FUNK IT! Jah-style…

Ashaki

Cool Me Down (Tiger)/Groove Master (Arrow)/Now that We Found Love (Third World)/Mother & Child Reunion (Wailing Souls)/Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Michael Rose)/Just a Little Bit Longer (Maxi Priest)/I’m Hurting Inside (Cedella Marley)/Sweet Jamaica (Tony Rebel)/Rebel Music- 3 O’clock Roadblock (Krayzie Bone)/Riding High (Bob Marley)/No More Trouble (Erykah Badu)/Live On (Wailing Souls)/Johnny Was (Guru)/OK Corral (Wailing Souls)/Tumblin’ Down (Ziggy Marley)/Trenchtown Rock-Live (Bob Marley)