Everton Blender
Live At The White River Reggae Bash
Heartbeat (www.rounder.com/heartbeat )

cd cover Everton Blender debuted in 1993 after a revelatory personal visitation with Jah called him to represent righteousness in music. His forum is conscious dancehall with a solid core of roots riddims.

On Live At The White River Reggae Bash, Everton "blends dem" at two shows. The first set is taken from his performance at White River, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. He plays to a very enthusiastic crowd, and a standout song is the a cappella "Where Do The Children Play." The second half of the CD is from the Rootsman Credential Tour of North America, October, 1999. The song "I Love Jah Jah" has an almost doo-wop feel to it, while overall this set is full of dread-preaching strength in the face of adversity.

His musicians are adept at intentionally grinding the beat to a halt while Everton exhorts, and then picking up the groove again. There are plaintive sax lines and sweet harmonies from the female backup singers. This album is solid overall, with positive Rasta messages and swinging music, but there is a caveat. At times Everton sounds as though he is gasping for air while he sings, and this detracts from what is the focal point of the whole CD. - Rob Seiden

Buy it at cdroots.com

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