In 1986 – Muzik Tree was set up it was to be reggae music’s first book publishing house. The idea came from Tero Kaski in Finland. He said that “The major book publishers will never be interested in reggae music, the only way that the story of reggae music is to be told – is by people like us – reggae fans.”

Tero had already published ‘Reggae Inna Dance Hall’ in 1984 – which covered the emergence of Volcano Hi-Power owned by Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes. This highly acclaimed book is now available as ‘Volcano Re-Visited’. In 1987 the first book on Muzik Tree was published – ‘More Axe’.

This page hosts all info on all the books available from Muzik Tree. Pick your choice!

(Note: If you experience any problem or have any question, please contact Ray Hurford at [email protected])

“The major book publishers will never be interested in reggae music, the only way that the story of reggae music is to be told – is by people like us – reggae fans.”

The Small Axe Guide To Rocksteady

The Small Axe Guide To Rock Steady

AUTHOR | Chuck Foster
PUBLISHED | 2009
BOOK | Paperback / 158 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree / I Am The Gorgon
ISBN | 978-91-978782-2-7
PRICE | £10.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
Updated version of Chuck Foster’s book. Contains artist profiles of all those involved in the Rock Steady era, plus a lot more. The Rock Steady era lasted around a year, between the demise of Ska and the rise of the all-conquering Reggae beat, though arguments rage amongst aficionados as to the strict categorisation of rocksteady and reggae itself. Rocksteady birthed many of the classic “riddims” associated with the music up to now and was really the blueprint for much of the Jamaican music that followed.


The Small Axe Album Guide To Deejays

The Small Axe Album Guide To Deejays

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford & Joakim Kalcidis
PUBLISHED | November 2019
BOOK | Paperback / 458 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree / I Am The Gorgon
ISBN | 978-1705804872
PRICE | £20.00 excl P&P Worldwide

INFO
This “The Small Axe Album Guide To Deejays” is a massive update on the edition released in 2009. Featured inside this huge book are 433 reggae album reviews of deejays – with over 200 deejays mentioned. Not only does it contain reviews from those who have played a pivotal role in the development and history of Jamaican music like U Roy, Dennis Alcapone, Big Youth, Prince Far I, Mikey Dread, and Yellowman, but it also features artists whose role was less significant. A truly essential work for the lovers of the reggae deejay style.

The Small Axe Album GuideTo Reggae 1968-1970

The Small Axe Guide To Reggae 1968-1970

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | 2011
BOOK | Paperback / 200 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree / I Am The Gorgon
ISBN | 978-91-978782-2-7
PRICE | £20.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
The book focuses on the early reggae phase and features are profiles of singers such as Alton Ellis, Bob Andy, Bruce Ruffin, Dobby Dobson, Ken Boothe, and Desmond Dekker, groups like The Bleechers, The Cables, The Ethiopians, The Pioneers, and The Maytals, producers such as Bunny “Striker” Lee, Coxsone Dodd, Mrs. Sonia Pottinger, Lloyd “The Matador” Daley, Harry Mudie, and Clancy Eccles, as well as bands like Beverley’s All Stars, The Dynamites, and The Hippy Boys.


The Small Axe Album Guide To Mash Up 2 - 1996-2000

The Small Axe Album Guide to Mash Up – 2

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | October 2019
BOOK | Paperback / 250 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree
ISBN | 978-1701481916
PRICE | £11.00 excl P&P Worldwide

INFO
By the mid-nineties, Reggae music had regained its confidence although it was still mourning the loss of Garnett Silk. All the artists who had come up during the early nineties just got better and were joined by the likes of singers like Mikey General and Chezidek. The late nineties became one of the greatest era’s of Reggae music. In the book you will find all the artists who made it so great plus reviews of so many great re-issues coming from record labels like Blood & Fire, Jamaican Gold, and Heartbeat.

More Axe 10

An Hard Man Fe Dead

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | 2015
BOOK | Paperback / 150 full colour pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree & Black Star
ISBN | –
PRICE | £20.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
About 45 years ago the Wailers sang about ‘Mr Brown’. The song related the story of the Coffin that traveled around various parts of Jamaica accompanied by 3 crows. Bob Marley wanted to know who he was? ‘An Hard Man Fe Dead’ the graphic novel connects us to question and raises a lot more! It’s a fantastic book, which can be recommended without hesitation.


More Axe 5

The Small Axe Album Guide to Mash Up – 1

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | September 2019
BOOK | Paperback / 257 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree
ISBN | 978-1694006431
PRICE | £11.00 excl P&P Worldwide

INFO
This Small Axe Album Guide looks into one of the last great era’s of reggae music, when artists like Garnett Silk, Luciano, Jack Radics, Jah Mali, Everton Blender, Sizzla, Prezident Brown and so many more who made a big impact. With new producers like Fatis, Richard Bell, Bobby Digital and Jah Mikey creating an exciting new sound.

More Axe 5

More Axe 5

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | July 2019
BOOK | Paperback / 156 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree
ISBN | 978-1082153792
PRICE | £9.00 excl P&P Worldwide

INFO
The More Axe 5 book contains vintage interviews with Gussie P/Chris Lane – Fashion, Trevor Hartley, Misty In Roots, Winston Reedy, Trevor Bow, Lion Youth, The Blackstones, Sweetie Irie, and Keith Douglas.

More Axe 10

More Axe 10

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | August 2019
BOOK | Paperback / 153 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree
ISBN | 978-1687468826
PRICE | £9.00 excl P&P Worldwide

INFO
Featured in More Axe 10 are some of the greatest artists from the late ’60s such as Andy Capp, U Roy, and The Wailers. To make sense of the era there is an overview titled ‘Reggae – 68-71’.

The Small Axe Album Guide To Ragga 1

The Small Axe Album Guide To Ragga 1

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | May 2019
BOOK | Paperback / 158 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree
ISBN | 978-1099434839
PRICE | £9.43 excl P&P Worldwide

INFO
Part one of the Small Axe album guide to the Ragga (era) covers artists from A-J. The Raggae era in reggae music 1985-1989 is often overlooked or underrated! Jamaica’s new found love for all things digital did not appeal to many reggae fans who enjoyed listening to real musicians. When reggae music went digital everything changed!!! Well over a hundred artists and over 400 albums reviewed!

The Small Axe Guide To Ragga - 2   1985-1990

The Small Axe Guide To Ragga 2

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | June 2019
BOOK | Paperback / 158 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree
ISBN | 978-1099434839
PRICE | £9.00 excl P&P Worldwide

INFO
Part two of the Small Axe album guide to the Ragga (era) covers artists from K-Z. Just like the A-J book the diversity of artists is tremendous. In here you will find albums from King Kong, Nitty Gritty, Leroy Gibbons, Little Kirk and so many more. They for most people represent this era well. They made their names in this era – and was more than at home singing over rough digital or ragga rhythms.

Rhythm Wise 1 and 2

Rhythm Wise One & Two

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford & Jean Scrivener
PUBLISHED | March 2015
BOOK | Paperback / 204 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree/I Am The Gorgon
ISBN | –
PRICE | £10.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
An important point to make is that this book is not definitive. Reggae music is a living music, and much of its history is mystery. It would be impossible for anyone to say that there is only X amount of versions to a rhythm, unless that rhythm was brand new.

The only claim being made is that having checked over a 1000 LP’s and about the same amount of 7″ and 12″, this is the information that as been gathered. The music available for checking starts in the Ska era and goes up to the Ragga era 1988, the closing date on information was 31/12/88, with additional research being entered in June ’89. Dubs are not included in the book – with one or two notable exceptions. Rhythms that are reviewed in the book include a.o. “A Get A Lick”, “Death In The Arena”, “Cuss Cuss”, “Darker Shade of Black”, “Hot Milk”, “Joe Frazier”, “My Conversation”, “One Step Beyond”, “Mad Mad”, “Mean Girl”, “Pick Up The Pieces”, “Swing Easy”, and “The Drifter”.


Rhythm Wise 1 and 2

The Small Axe Guide To Rockers Part 1

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford & Jean Scrivener
PUBLISHED | October 2013
BOOK | Paperback / 150 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree/I Am The Gorgon
ISBN | 978-91-978782-6-5
PRICE | £10.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
The Rockers era was unlike the Reggae era, which gave us the ‘Deejays’, or the ‘Roots’ era which gave us ‘Dub’. What it did very successfully was for the first time mix all the various parts of reggae music together – instrumental albums, vocalists, groups, bands, deejays and dub. And if you are thinking that the Rockers was all about studios and big producers – think again! Artists/producers like Augustus Pablo, Derrick Harriott, Bob Andy, and Niney were all very active during this era. Augustus Pablo in particular was very popular. One of his labels was called ‘Rockers’ and apart from his own albums he also released a magnificent set with Hugh Mundell and the vocal group Tetrack. Around about 1976/77, Joe Gibbs finally started to assert himself. First came the Prince Far I set ‘Under Heavy Manner’, then the Dennis Brown set ‘Visions’, then the Trinity set ‘Three Piece Suit’, followed by the album that almost defines the Rockers sound, Culture’s ‘Two Sevens Clash’. The songs, the sound, even the sleeve was from that time.


More Axe 3

More Axe 3

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | March 2012
BOOK | Paperback / 150 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree/I Am The Gorgon
ISBN | 978-91-978782-3-4
PRICE | £10.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
“More Axe 3” features an extensive article about Junior Byles, with lists and reviews of songs from one of roots reggae’s leading talents. Another key figure in the history of Jamaica’s popular music is the late Justin Hinds, whose interview dates from the early ’90s. In this interview he gives some great insights in the early days of his career. Joseph Hill’s interview was done just after he had secured a deal for his “Lion Rock” set in the early ’80s.

While Joseph Hill & Culture was dropped by Virgin, Island Records decided that they wouldn’t release Ijahman Levi’s third album “Tell It To The Children”. About this, and much more other things, he talks in the interview. The shortest interview featured in “More Axe 3” is with Prince Hammer. There’s also an interview with Trevor Hartley. The book is rounded off with an article about Augustus Pablo, which actually was put aside in favour of an interview (published in “More Axe”) when Augustus Pablo turned up in person.


The Small Axe Guide To Roots 71-75

The Small Axe Guide To Roots 71-75

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | August 2012
BOOK | Paperback / 200 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree/I Am The Gorgon
ISBN | 978-91-978782-4-1
PRICE | £10.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
The international breakthrough that came for reggae music in the late sixties provided real inspiration for many more artists and producers as the music moved into the seventies. Sadly man like Leslie Kong who had so much international success with so many artists never made it into the next era. Although the great sound of the Beverleys label was certainly experimenting with the new ‘Roots’ sound. It must be remembered though that the term ‘Roots’ was not used then, it was first heard around 74/75 and was called ‘Heavy Reggae’ or ‘Ethnic Reggae’. At the forefront of this new sound were artists like The Wailers who had a massive hit with ‘Duppy Conquerer’ which was actually released in 1970, Yet by 1971 the roots era really got going. Bunny Lee’s massive hit with Eric Donaldson ‘Cherry Oh Baby’ and the many versions of the tune for many other artists provided the real proof that the music had changed again. Mention must also be made of Niney’s ‘Blood And Fire’ tune. Heavy basslines, wild scrubbing rhythm guitar – it had everything!


More Axe

More Axe

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | 1987
BOOK | Paperback / 150 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree/Black Star
ISBN | 951-99841-4-3
PRICE | £20.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
From its ska beginnings, reggae music has progressively changed and developed. The only thing that hasn’t changed is its continual struggle for international acceptance. Unlike other books on reggae music, this compilation of interviews allows an insight into the world of reggae through the perspective of its creators, innovators and performers: from the anecdotal thoughts of Dennis Alcapone to the pioneering dub techniques of King Tubbys; from the mystical works of Augustus Pablo to the growling consciousness of Prince Far I; from the production chair of Clive Chin to the collective talents of Morwells Esquire; from the chanting of Jah Woosh to the silken voice that is Gregory Isaacs; form the harmonic skills of the Twinkle Brothers to the percussive mastery of Sly Dunbar. This unique collection of interviews can nly help widen the reggae experience, and increase the understanding of a musical form that is universally misunderstood. A collector’s item!


The Small Axe Reggae Album Guide - Singers

The Small Axe Reggae Album Guide – Singers

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | 1996
BOOK | Paperback / 157 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree/Black Star
ISBN | 951-95321-5-3
PRICE | £20.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
The Small Axe Reggae Album Guides – Singers was the first in the ‘Small Axe Guide’ series of books reviewing reggae albums. It was released in 1996 by Muzik Tree in co-production with Black Star. All reviews were written by Ray Hurford and were either published previously in Small Axe or exclusively in the book. The layout and design was done by Tero Kaski of Black Star. The time limit for the album reviews was the end of 1992. Yet there are some albums included that have been released after that date, but only because it was easy to include them, and it was essential to do so. In order to increase the information available on each artist, an album discography of all reggae singers is included. A year by year guide to reggae music (Singers) available on LP and CD can be found at the back of the book. Of course, there are gaps, meaning that certain singers are nor represented in the book. But, for obvious reasons, that was inevitable.


More Axe 8

More Axe 8

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford, Tero Kaski and others
PUBLISHED | February 2016
BOOK | Paperback / 158 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree/Black Star
ISBN | 951-95321-6-1
PRICE | £20.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
“More Axe 8 – Mud Cannot Settle Without Water” is the result of a lot of co-operation, and thus it features contributions from people like Jim Dooley, Chuck Foster, Carter van Pelt, Tero Kaski, Beth & Dave Kingston, Dave Katz and Ray Hurford. The book comes with typically in depth interviews, conducted and transcribed by the aforementioned persons. Included is one of the most comprehensive and also one of the best “hard-core in-depth” style of interviews ever done with Earl Sixteen. Furthermore there’s an intriguing interview with one of the master drummers of Jamaica, the late Winston Grennan, whose drumming style was extremely innovative and constantly evolving, and an interview with Lynn Taitt, who had a lasting impact on the sounds of Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae. Also included are interviews with Dwight Pinkney, former lead guitarist of the Roots Radics, Max Romeo, deejay originator U.Roy, the underrated Admiral Tibbet and Clevie Browne, half of the well respected production team Steely & Clevie.


More Axe 4

More Axe 4

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | March 2012
BOOK | Paperback / 150 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree/I Am The Gorgon
ISBN | 978-91-978782-7-2
PRICE | £20.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
Who was the first Dance Hall singer? Sugar Minott or Barrington Levy? The first chapter in “More Axe 4” is dedicated to the late great Sugar Minott, but there’s also a real nice and interesting Barrington Levy article/interview featured in this book. When talking about the early days of Barrington Levy, it’s obvious you need to mention producers such as Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes, Jah Life and Jah Screw. Interviews with the latter two are also included in the book. Other singers who played a notable role in Dance Hall music were Michael Prophet and Edi Fitzroy. Both artists, also included here, proved that the link between Roots & Culture and Dance Hall was real. And, of course, you can’t leave out the deejays, so interviews with I Roy and Ranking Joe are included as well. Last but not least there’s an interview with Mikey Dread, the man who changed Reggae radio forever and turned his great talent to producing and being an artist himself. “More Axe 4” is a must-have for anyone interested in what was going on in the early Dance Hall days.


More Axe 2

More Axe 2

AUTHOR | Colin Moore & Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | February 2010
BOOK | Paperback / 150 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree/Black Star
ISBN | 978-91-978782-0-3
PRICE | £20.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
Ray Hurford’s very good friend Colin Moore aka “The Fencebeater” aka “Inspector Dibble”, who had worked with him on many interviews and articles since the Small Axe reggae fanzine was first published in 1978, died from a heart attack. After Colin Moore’s untimely death it was soon clear to Ray Hurford that a fitting tribute to his friend of over 30 years would be a “More Axe” book, with solely interviews and articles in which The Fencebeater was involved. And here it is… The book contains 150 pages and includes lengthy interviews from the Small Axe vaults with Bob Andy, Willi Williams, Jah Shaka, Peter King, Lloyd “Bullwackies” Barnes and Judah Eskender Taffari. To round off the book there’s an article about old skool Dancehall, which out of all the reggae styles, Colin Moore loved the most. This is a must-have book, because any self-respecting reggae fan should know know that good and lengthy interviews with people like Bob Andy, Peter King and Jah Shaka to name three are very rare.


The Small Axe Guide To Instrumentalists

The Small Axe Guide To Instrumentalists

AUTHOR | Ray Hurford
PUBLISHED | April 2016
BOOK | Paperback / 140 pages
PUBLISHER | Muzik Tree/I Am The Gorgon
ISBN | –
PRICE | £20.00 inc P&P Worldwide

INFO
This book features reviews of music from 22 bands, 8 bass players, 2 drummers, 1 flutist, 8 guitarists, 2 harmonica players, 12 keyboard players, 8 melodica players, 1 pan player, 1 percussionist, 15 producers, 10 saxophonists, 6 trombonists, 7 trumpeters and 1 violin player, which are accompanied by photos and graphics.

Featured in this book are reviews of (selected) albums from widely known and well known instrumentalists such as Augustus Pablo, Dean Fraser, Tommy McCook, Ernest Ranglin, The Hippy Boys, Steely & Clevie, The Revolutionaries, Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith, Sly & Robbie, Sound Dimension, The Skatalites, Roots Radics, Jackie Mittoo, Now Generation, Don Drummond, Lynn Taitt & The Jets and many more. But Ray Hurford also pays attention to those who are lesser known to a wide public. And thus there are writings about people such as Charlie Hunter, King Duke, Goldmaster All Stars, Mystic Red Corporation, Sons Of Mystro, Free Joseph and Mighty Jamma.