Tuesday, 11 September 2007

REVIEW: Cornerstone Roots

Words by Lucy Wyatt

The vibe was right and the crowd were perfectly warmed up by The Midnights’ reggae fusion - enjoying the tight ska and jazzy shake up. Clearly another great night was in store for the San Francisco Bathhouse. Cornerstone Roots took to the stage with great presence, ready to educate the crowd with the delights from their new album Free Yourself. With the addition of 2 soulful backing singers, the masters of reggae roots were emulating a friendly and positive buzz. The dance floor wasn’t packed out, allowing those there to express themselves without restriction. Like the new album the audience could really free themselves - always nice with such mellow and skanking music.

Each song projecting messages on a political, environmental and spiritual tip - the fresh songs were met with approval and respect. Tracks such as Forward Movement, have an uplifting vibe with funky keys, keeping the crowd happy. Home offers an upbeat ska vibe, enticing the crowd to bounce along. Steppers atmospheric, dubby instrumental jamming, got plenty of heads nodding along to the immersed bass and echoing effect. The old favourites from the widely embraced album Soul Revolution, went down a treat. Soundsplash was met with sunny smiles, encouraging it’s dub undercurrent. The catchy lyrics in Lovers got everyone moving – mashing up the dance floor, horns blazing.

Such honest music produces a really honest crowd. No frills, no pretence - just there to groove with a smile fixed on your face. With a bluesy air, this is really a sophisticated fusion of reggae roots, bound together by their charismatic front man Brian McMillan. The depth and warmth of Cornerstone Roots’ second album demonstrates that they are seriously here to stay - a solid, grounding band. Spreading their sound globally, already being recognised in Australia, Japan, USA and Brazil, with this amount of spirit it’s going to be a positive journey ahead. Here’s to Cornerstone Roots’ getting the worldwide respect they deserve.

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