Full Watts Book #2
In the summer of 2014, California based Steve Milne (in collaboration with Ray Hurford of Small Axe fame) published the first volume of the “Full Watts” book, which gathered content from various issues of his excellent, extensive roots oriented reggae-zine that Steve Milne put out from the mid 1990s to early 2000’s. Full Watts #1 featured interviews with artists such as Mikey Chung, Albert Griffiths (of Gladiators fame), Ronnie Davis (The Itals), Earl Zero, Joseph Hill (the sorely missed lead singer of Culture), Linval Thompson, The Congos, Prince Malachi, Alpheus, Yami Bolo, The Abyssinians, Jah Warrior, Ras Michael, Barrington Levy and Monty Alexander. Besides that it also included a few very nice articles such as Kung Fu Reggae, Album Reviews and Version Galore, which puts the spotlight on 12 versions of the “Freedom Blues” riddim.
And now, there’s the follow-up to the first volume, simply titled “Full Watts #2”. And just like the previous book it features mostly fascinating indepth interviews and again it’s presentation is faultless and beautiful. After the foreword and the table of content, the books starts with 16 reviews of ‘landlord’ songs stretching from the earliest days like Basil Gabbidon’s Ska tune “Mr landlord from around” 1963 through modern times (Vybz Kartel’s “Dutty Landlord” from 2005). And then it’s time for the interviews done with people like Prezident Brown, Johnny Clarke, Marcia Griffiths, Big Youth, Everton Blender, Tony Chin, Rayvon, Garth Dennis, Clive Chin, Mad Professor and Ticklah. Of particular interest are interviews with legends who passed away in the past decade: Alton Ellis, Sugar Minott and Mikey Dread. Especially the extensive interview with the Jumping Master, Mikey Dread, from 1999 is a great and interesting read.
The front cover, which sums up the names of the artists whose interviews are included, also features the name of Ansel Cridland from The Meditations, but you won’t find an interview with him in this book. The reason for this is quite simple. In the end it turned out that there wasn’t enough space left as the total book shouldn’t exceed 150 pages. Hopefully Steve Milne has still enough material left to put out a third “Full Watts” book, which then certainly will include the Ansel Cridland interview.
“Full Watts #2”, and also “Full Watts #1”, provides the Reggae fan worthwhile information by means of interviews with people who have played a major role in the history of Reggae music. Thus this book simply has to be part of any Reggae collection, no doubt about it!!