We Roots
Catch Me Time Records
January 15, 2013

Track list
  1. Zema - Rock Steady
  2. Rock Steady Riddim
  3. Jessica Burks - Hollywood Sign
  4. Hollywood Sign Dub
  5. Shayna Dread - Don't Fight The Youth
  6. Don't Fight The Dub
  7. Queen P - Love Sees All
  8. Love Sees All Version
  9. Universal Speakers - We Roots
  10. We Roots in Dub
  11. Shayna Dread - Fire Is Burning
  12. Fire Is Dubbing
  13. Jessica Burks - Ride All Night
  14. Ride All Night Version
  15. Jordan Mercedes - The Sun Is Gonna Shine
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4
It's not that often that we get a cd for review that only features tunes from female artists. And although there certainly might have been a few others, we can only remember "Reggae Songbirds: 17 Great Tracks From The High Note Label", "Roots Daughters" and "Women In Reggae". The latest compilation that features solely reggae songstresses is produced by Chuck Foster and is called "We Roots".

The collection includes eight vocal efforts from South Californian female reggae singers, of whom Zema (pronounced zay-mah) is the best known name and also the only one who ever recorded in Jamaica. Back in the early '80s this gifted vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist, recorded her first album called "Zema" at Channel One Studio. She now resides in Kingston JA, and tours regularly with The Gladiators.

"We Roots" is actually a 'Showcase' album, meaning that each vocal cut (except Jordan Mercedes' "The Sun Is Gonna Shine") is followed by its dub version. Backed by the Catch Me Time All-Stars, formed by a.o. Mystery Man, Horseman, Style Scott, Mike Irwin, Zacky Bernard, Alberto Fernandez, Stevie "Maad Ras" Verhault, Todd Johnson, and Fernando Jativa, each vocalist delivers a decent effort. In particular worth hearing are Zema's "Rock Steady", a tune that instantly grabs you, Queen P's sweet sung "Love Sees All", Universal Speakers' "We Roots", and the awesome "Fire Is Burning" by Shayna Dread. The inclusion of dub versions gives this set an even greater appeal.

"We Roots" is a very nice, well varied compilation set with music that is inspired by the Jamaican vibe.