Corey (Ashes of Babylon) What's In Your Playlist?
One of the most talented bands to emerge out of Lake Charles, Louisiana and now residing in Austin, TX is Ashes of Babylon. Their debut album "Revolutionary Roots" is an album that can be listened to from front to back not once, not twice, but 3 times if not more in a row. Vocalist Corey Saucier tells us who he listens to over and over again in his top playlist countdown.
#5 Lyle Lovett - “Road to Ensenada”
Ever since I moved to Austin in July of '09, I've found myself finding out about and listening to more Texas music and specifically Texas country. I really don't care too much (or at all) for pop-country twang rock, but there are definitely a few gems scattered in the landscape of "country".. Robert Earl Keen, The Gourds, and my hands-down favorite, Lyle Lovett. This album is the only one I actually own, but all of his stuff is dynamite in my opinion. His voice is so smooth, his arrangements are always masterfully done and inspiring.. especially his "large band" pieces. He easily works between cutesy, light-hearted tunes and deeply emotional and touching ones.. the man knows what he's doing. That's right, I'm not from Texas, but Texas wants me anyway.
#4 Midnite “Jubilees of Zion”
What can I say about this one that hasn't already been said before? My absolute favorite Midnite album of all time. This is the first Midnite album I ever got my hands on after moving to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (the home island of Midnite themselves) and it hasn't left my playlist since. Every track from top to bottom brings the fiyah, no doubt. When I first lived there ('02-'05) Midnite was still around, and every full moon you could catch their live show at a hopping little venue called Cane Bay Beach Bar (they also had a killer Sunday brunch with lobster omelets and the best rum punch I've ever had, but I digress) for $5 at the door.. but the only catch with that is that you had to get in line at the door hours before the club opened to get one of the first 100 coveted spots. Regardless of actual entry, however, the beat bumped through the air and the party lined the parking lot, the beach, and the vehicles lined up for miles on either side of the road along the way were the proof. There was ganja burnin, shroom tea passed around, vendors on the beach selling jewelry and clothes and all kinds of things.. every one of their shows was an event and a damn good time. Vibes was always right. I actually made it in the door a few times to see them and was blown away.. they made such a huge impact on my influence as a reggae musician, and I'm glad to see they're getting the stateside respect they deserve.
#3 Claudius Linton - “Roots Master: Vintage Roots Reggae Singles (Vol. 1)”
This album was a gift to me from a dear family friend and I've cherished it (and played it a ton) ever since. A close personal friend of Bob Marley's from Trenchtown, Claudius Linton was of the same Joe Higgs tutelage as Bob, Peter Tosh, and some other future roots rock stars, but Linton (somehow) never reached the acclaim of his friends, though he did catch some success while fronting The Angelic Brothers and The Hofner Brothers.. his voice is smooth and soulful, and will remind you (or at least reminds me) of a hybrid between Burning Spear and Joseph Hill of Culture, but it's said that Linton was the one to originate that style of roots vocals-- instead of the other way around. You can find this album on Amazon in MP3 and Vinyl.. whatever you're into. I'd definitely suggest you pick it up, either way. R.I.P. Claudius..
#2 John Legend “Get Lifted”
Another oldie but a goodie.. I consider this album to be amongst the best R&B albums ever made. It's got everything you need.. sweet beats, harmonies, and of course John Legend doin' his thing. R&B was a huge influence on me as a kid growing up.. I loved listening to Blackstreet, Boyz II Men, 112, Dru Hill, and many others.. and those types of tunes really have made an impact on my songwriting style. This album is timeless.. even with the bit of neo-soul feel to it, I feel like I can listen to this album 10,000 more times and never get tired of a single song.. which is why it's still on my playlist. Every track can pull a specific memory for me and a specific emotion.. and that's what I love about good music.. to feel a connection to that artist.
#1 Sizzla - “Words of Truth”
I've listened to and owned a whole lot of reggae in the last decade or so, and it would be really hard for me to say if I had one "favorite" reggae artist.. but there's a gut feeling I get when I hear a Sizzla track get jammed, that if I had to pick a favorite, he would be the one. The man does it all, ghetto dancehall toasting, soulful roots-rock with beautiful harmonies and damn near everywhere in between.. Sizzla does work. He gets it done. There are a bunch of his albums that I absolutely adore.. Royal Son of Ethiopia, Black Woman and Child, Be I Strong, Taking Over, etc. etc. I could go on forever, but both discs of "Words of Truth" are just jam-packed with hot tracks.. tune after tune after tune. I've played these discs til they were scratched and worn out and useless and then burned new copies and worn 'em out again.. I don't see myself ever being without these discs from this album.. definitely worth the price for the 2 disc set. Get it now!