Little Roy – Woke Up

by Jun 29, 2023Mini-Review, Reviews

Little Roy - Woke Up

Release Info

Zion High Productions / Before Zero Records
Street date
June 16, 2023
Website Record Label
Facebook Zion I Kings


Side A

1 My Friend
2 My Friend Dub
3 Separate
4 Separate Dub

Side B

1 Don’t Ring My Bell
2 Don’t Ring My Bell Dub
3 Woke Up
4 Woke Up Dub

Over the past two decades, Zion High Productions has consistently delivered “crucial Rastafari music,” occasionally surprising reggae aficionados with unexpected collaborations with artists through their US-based label, part of the Zion I Kings collective. Among these collaborators is Earl Lowe, better known as the Jamaican singer Little Roy.

Little Roy has always had cult status due to his insightful work with Jamaican record producer Lloyd “Matador” Daley. Tunes such as Bongo Nyah and Righteous Man, but also his timeless classics Tribal War and Prophecy, made an immediate impression. His compositions were lifted far above the generic by his calm and materially detached vocal style. In a genre in which artists tend to make the mistake of over-recording, spreading themselves too thin so that their talents can, sadly, harden into clichés, Little Roy has done the exact opposite and, notoriously, been an under-recorded artist. His cult status, though, has never faded, and he has consistently commanded respect over the years.

Two 8-track showcase LPs, Jah Children by Glen Washington and Woke Up by Little Roy, were recently released simultaneously by Zion High Productions. With a career now spanning six decades, Little Roy, in collaboration with esteemed musician/producer David “Jah” Goldfine, has once again raised the Rastafari musical banner with his brand new LP. The Zion I Kings are complemented by the considerable yet subtle talents of Roberto Sanchéz and Aston Barrett Jr. on drums, and lead guitarist Lamont “Monty” Savory. Okiel Mcintyre plays the horns and Zoe Brown shines on the flute. Background vocals are provided by Barbara Naps and Madeline Singer.

The vocal tracks fully showcase Little Roy’s highly respected, distinctive vocal style, while the dub versions highlight David “Jah” Goldfine’s mixing abilities. This LP features some excellent efforts with My Friend getting things started in a huge way in giving praise to The Almighty. Underpinned by a very strong riddim, the opening tune fires on all cylinders and so does its dub version. Next comes the matching Seperate, a distinctive message song that grows on you after repeated listenings. First track on the B side is the musically and lyrically interesting Don’t Ring My Bell in which Little Roy states that “when the devil is knocking at your door, ringing on your bell, he’s trying to buy your soul, take you to hell.” Then the LP comes to an end with the beautiful Woke Up and its entertainiing dubbed up version.

Overall, fans of Misty In Roots, Marley, later period Pablo Moses, and Israel Vibration will doubtless find Woke Up a fulfilling and enriching experience.

Playlist Album


Where to get it

Buy @ Apple Music

More Zion I Kings Music

Buy @ Apple Music