Chris Murray Combo – Why So Rude

(c) 2008 Unstrictly Roots
Rating: ★★★★★

If you’ve been reading the reviews on !upstarter for any length of time, you would realize by now that I’m a big fan of Chris Murray. Ever since I saw him open for Skavoovie and the Epitones and Less Than Jake in Lawrence, KS ages ago (1996 maybe?), I’ve been hooked. Time has seen several new releases since the 4-Track Adventures of Venice Shoreline Chris, each of which has been rock solid in its own way. Why So Rude is no exception.

If anything Chris Murray, now as a three piece combo, is more solid than ever. The new release is a culmination of time spent playing as CMC over the last few years and newly recorded versions from the Chris Murray and King Apparatus back catalog. The band consists of Ben Farrar on percussion/backing vocals, Eddie “Chiquis” Lozoya on bass/backing vocals and Chris Murray on vocals/guitar. Frankly all three of these guys bust out the stops at their respective musical posts. The bass is smooth and rolling. The symbol hits are second to none, and the vocals compliment the songs like a glove to a hand. Though this is a slightly different lineup than when I last saw the CMC. Bass duties were once upon a time performed by Jeff Roffredo, but that was a few years back.

None the less Why So Rude lays down 13 tracks: some new, some old, all good. Personal Favorites include the opener: I need Water and the title track: Why So Rude. The cover of Maga Dog and the re-recording of Michael and Anne are top notch as well. If you like your Ska, Roots and Reggae full of genuine soul, compelling song writing, sincere vocals and subtle harmonies, do check out the Chris Murray Combo. You shan’t be disappointed.

–Jerry Actually

Satori – Savor Every Moment

(c) 2005 Asian Man Records
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Comprised of the Rx Bandits with guest spots by Chris Murray and members of The Exit, is the outfit known as Satori. “Savor Every Moment” is their debut album out now on Asian Man Records. I insist that you do, in fact, savor every moment of this CD. All the elements of Dub, Rock Steady Reggae and Ska are artfully combined to create a soulful and soothing record. I’ve listened to “Savor Every Moment” about 4x in a row now and I’m still interested and still discovering new hooks and melodies. There are striking similarities to Sublime and Long Beach Dub All-stars. However, where as the aforementioned bands seem a little locked into 1 style, Satori runs the gambit of Jamaican musical styles as well as displaying R&B influences. The songs often recall the likes of Skatalites and early Wailers, yet infused with modern tones and beats, an dI’m not kidding when I say that these guys have some serious Stevie influence. “Savor Every Moment” is a beautifully restored classic car, refined with modern luxury appointments. Truly a must have disc for all fans of Jamaican music. As a bonus, check out the bands website for an audio stream of the first 3 tracks off of the CD.

–Jerry Actually