Recording information: 4 Corners Studios; B & B Studio; Playhouse Studio; Rymshot Studio; Tuff Gong; Wash House Studios.
Photographer: William Richards.
The Morgan Heritage family band have always been a rangy act -- born and raised in the eras of dancehall and R&B and embracing both genres -- but even so, Strictly Roots is still an aptly titled album, one anchored by Rastafarian culture. There's also a revived indie spirit, as the album appears on the band's own label CTBC ("Cool to Be Conscious"), while the group continues to reach out to like-minded acts from across the globe, this time inviting Rebelution's Eric Rachmany aboard ("Wanna Be Loved") along with SOJA's Bobby Lee ("We Are Warriors"). Reggae royalty is present with Jo Mersa Marley appearing on the dubstep monster called "Light It Up," while 2010s roots hero Chronixx lends a hand for the roots anthem highlight "Child of JAH." A tight track list and no filler seal the deal. ~ David Jeffries