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Check this page for updates and announcements from Easy Star.

August 10, 2010
"Easy Star is proud to be involved with an upcoming tribute in honor of Lincoln "Sugar" Minott. The concert, presented by Ghetto Roots NYC, will be held at S.O.B.s in New York City on August 17.

The tribute includes an evening of early dancehall, reminiscing, and a live stageshow featuring performances by a host of Sugar's friends family, including Sammy Dread, Yami Bolo, Judah Eskinder Tafari, K-Vibes, Mikey Jarret, and more. The backing band will be the Easy Star Band, led by Easy Star's Michael Goldwasser. Music will be provided by NYC sound systems Majestic Twinsound, Downbeat the Ruler, and Culture Jam with Bobby Channel1 and Jeff Sarge.

Proceeds from the show will be given to Sugar Minott's family, so please come out to support, enjoy the music, and remember the amazing talent of Sugar Minott. " More info »

July 27, 2010
"The first single from the upcoming Easy Star debut album by singer/songwriter Cas Haley comes out today on iTunes and Amazon. The single features three tracks: the single itself, "Better," along with a reggae remix by our own Michael G and a non-album bonus track, a live version of Peter Tosh’s "Legalize It." Please support the release by picking this up! Order it at iTunes or Amazon. If you like it, add a review.

Meanwhile, if that whets your appetite, or if you have already been waiting to get your hands on the whole release, you can now pre-order the album (release date is Sept 14). If you are a futurist and like your music digital only, go to iTunes to order. That version comes with two bonus tracks. If you are still buying physical CDs, you can get it through the Easy Star store, along with a brand new tee shirt (navy for men, pink sporty v-neck for women). The first 100 CDs ordered will be signed by Cas himself! You can also pre-order the physical CD through Amazon More info »

July 11, 2010
SUGAR MINOTT, R.I.P. 1956 - 2010
"The Easy Star family was shocked to learn today of the passing of one of the greatest reggae singers of all time. Sugar Minott, born Lincoln Minott in 1956 in Kingston, died yesterday of a heart attack, though information is sketchy at this point. We are in shock over here, as Sugar has played an enormous role both in the history of reggae and also in the development of Easy Star Records.

Sugar began his career in his early teens as a member of the African Brothers in the early 1970s. In the mid to late '70s, he was one of the first artists to began recording new songs over classic Studio One riddims, helping to create the concept of modern dancehall in the process. His early hits, like "Mr. DC" and "Vanity" and "River Jordan" are cornerstones of modern reggae, still heard in dancehalls throughout the world on a regular basis. He was also one of the first artists of that era to strike out on his own as a producer and sound system operator, forming the Black Roots record label and the Youth Promotion Sound System. He released the seminal album GHETTO-OLOGY in 1979, which spawned a number of hits and helped usher in the next phase of his career. As a singer, producer, teacher, and mentor, Sugar had a profound influence on reggae music over the past 35 years.

At the same time, he was a huge part of Easy Star Records. He was one of the first established reggae stars to record with the label, cutting "Born In The Ghetto (Have Mercy)" for EASY STAR VOLUME ONE. After that, Easy Star re-issued GHETTO-OLOGY + DUB, as well as two volumes of HIDDEN TREASURES, which were hand picked tracks from the Black Roots label, with many songs never having been released on CD before. We then released RARE GEMS, which featured some great hard to find Sugar tracks. Lastly, we put out a compilation of African Brothers recordings called WANT SOME FREEDOM (now out of print).

In addition to these releases, Sugar played a large role on the tribute albums by the Easy Star All-Stars. He sings a stunning version of "Exit Music (For A Film)" on RADIODREAD. He killed "When I'm 64" on LONELY HEARTS, which had an arrangement inspired heavily by Sugar's own hit "Herbman Hustling." And he surely would have been involved with the next album, as he had one of the greatest voices in reggae and we loved to hear him sing anything we put to him. The simplest way to put it is that Sugar knew how to sing; he brought soul to everything. He had never heard Radiohead when he came to cut "Exit Music," but he quickly caught on to the emotion of the lyric and made his version so powerful. It's one of those songs where it sounds like it was written with him in mind to sing!

Our love goes out to Sugar's family and all of his fans. We are stunned to have lost someone so talented and important to the genre at such a young age. As more info about Sugar and his death come through, we will update everyone. " More info »

June 16, 2010
"We are only a few short weeks away from the return of the Black Seeds to North America, and if you are getting as excited as we are, you probably are hoping for something to keep you occupied until then. One way to fix this jones is to check out the band's recent appearance on NPR's World Cafe Live. Click here to find the episode (scroll down the page and don't be fooled by the Black KEYS appearing there as well). Another way to get more of the Black Seeds into your life is to go to their website and download their new, free 5-song sampler, which includes tracks off of Solid Ground, along with some previously unreleased alternate mixes, acoustic tracks and remixes. Fun, fun, fun! " More info »

June 14, 2010
"Easy Star Records is proud to help spread the word about the French reggae act DUB INC, who are set to make their US debut this week in New York. The exciting band, which has played over 800 shows since forming in St. Etienne, France, in 1997, has been waiting for the chance to bring their unique reggae sound to the US for years. The time has come. The group's sound incorporates North African influences to make them unlike most of other reggae acts you might see. The band features two vocalists, with one doing a more typical deep throated ragga style and the other bringing North African eastern singjay vocalizations to the mix. Check out the NYC Reggae Events Page to see all of the dates lined up for their week in NY. For a taste of their live show, check out this clip from 2008.

The dates:
June 18: 92YTribeca with Meta and The Cornerstones and DJ Sirak (8 PM)
June 19: Coffee Cave in Newark, NJ (4 PM)
June 21: Make Music NY at City Winery (1PM Lunch Series)
June 21: Make Music NY at SOB’s (8 PM)
June 22: Littlefield, Brooklyn with JahDan and Noble Society and DJ Misbehaviour
June 23: “Vinyl Matters” at Santo’s Party House: Farewell party with Downbeat The Ruler, Ticklah and Misbehaviour (7 PM)

Photobucket " More info »

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