The Public Records 5/3/18
I know, I know; it’s too early in the season – but the weather has been a little on the glorious side for the last couple of days and I may be a little anxious…but whatever, we’re doing it and taking a little digg into the reggae section of The Public Records down here in the Síbín and we’re gonna do right by you.
We picked probably my favorite album by one of my favorites – Bush Doctor by Peter Tosh (1978, Rolling Stones Records).
I was introduced to Tosh’s solo work by a good buddy many years ago while doing a CD exchange; it was Legalize It (1976, Columbia) and was immediately taken in by his vibe and his voice. His very monotone tenor was so confident and relaxed, yet he was writing about some very aggrevating situations. His instrumentation was similar; driving backbeats with bass and percussion with his rock and roll guitar solos while keeping it funky with the horns, keys, and rhythm guitar. All that found a home in my head and I felt comfortable with the contrast – leisurely energetic. So over the next few years, I was able to snag his catalogue and discovered that Bush Doctor beat out Legalize It on my list.
The album holds my all time favorite Tosh number – ‘(You Got To Walk And) Don’t Look Back’ featuring a sultry as usual Mick Jagger, and another jam – ‘Pick Myself Up’. And they happen to be tracks A1 and 2, so you know, there’s that. It doesn’t hurt that Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, Mikey “Mao” Chung, and Keith Richards are also on board.
I always felt that Peter was the George Harrison of the ‘The Wailers’, quiet and under utilized. However, his solo career demonstrates his lyrical chops and his ability to reggaeify many different genres – to cross-pollinate if you will – as B3 ‘Dem Ha Fe Get A Beaten’ with it’s doo-woppy, Dylan-y hook the following requiem-esque B4 ‘Creation’. A1, A2, B3, B4…Bush Doctor bookends and Peter delivers it.
Come down to the Síbín and The Public Records have a Fernet and Coke (trust me, they’re good) and let the messages and the music of Bush Doctor take a load off before you head up to the Green Roof.