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LUCKY DUBE photo by Peggy Gardner

LUCKY DUBE photo by Peggy Gardner

 

A song for lucky . . .

South African reggae singer Lucky Dube possessed one of the world’s great voices. Today, nearly 10 years after his senseless murder at the hands of carjacking hoodlums, Lucky’s voice seems as powerful and relevant as ever. Songs like “Slave” and “Prisoner” prophetically addressed the ongoing scourges of addiction, crime, corruption, and systemic racism. “They won’t build no schools anymore / All they build will be prison, prison.” All that sounds very serious, and it IS ("Serious Reggae Business"), but Lucky had a mischievous side, too, and his playfulness and joy, along with that incredible voice, helped make his concerts unforgettable.

   The working title for this album was "Songs For Lucky." I thought I could easily write 8 or 10 songs in tribute to the great reggae legend. Ha! At least I was able to record an instrumental version of "Prisoner," thanks to the help of drummer Mike Rhodes and trombonist Jonathan Lloyd. And I dug up some great photos from Lucky's 1990 U.S. tour that my sister Peggy took when she accompanied me on a music journalist's quest to write a feature about Lucky and his band--watch the "Talking Missouri" video to see some of those amazing photos.
   R.I.P. Lucky. Long live Lucky reggae!