(2021 DAB David Asher Band, Temple Gong Recordings)
The group consists of David Ivory on guitar, William Petzold on bass, organ and backing vocals, Derick Davis on drums & percussion, and David Asher handling vocals, guitar, piano and various other roles, as well as various guests and contributors, including U.K.'s legendary dub-master and producer extraordinaire, Adrian Sherwood.
A version of Curtis Mayfield's "Keep On Moving" gets things started, followed by a Gregory Isaacs cover, "Give A Hand" featuring guest, Mike Cooper, on lap steel guitar. An awesome remake with a brief taste of David's raggamuffin lyrical flow.
"47 Shots (The Ballad Of Milton Hall)" tells an all-too-common story of unjust death at the hands of law enforcement. This particular story is about Milton Hall, a mentally ill man who was killed on July 1, 2012 in Saginaw, MI for stealing a cup of coffee, no federal charges were filed against the nine officers who fatally shot him 11 times, as is too frequently the case when it comes to police brutality. One thing that I love about reggae music is the social consciousness, and the artist's ability to tell dire tales of reality, strife and desperation, bringing attention to injustice while simultaneously emanating positive vibes and soothing the soul... the horn arrangement by Nicholas Peña greatly contribute to that juxtaposition on this tune.
Another cover, and a childhood favorite of mine, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," written by the great Bob Dylan, is the next track, in a rub-a-dub style.
"Keep A Little Faith" is a David Asher original and the first tune released on the D.A.B. ReverbNation page, an uplifting message to hold tight, especially during these trying times.
Click here to hear "Keep A Little Faith"
"Deputy Dawg and the Marshall" is an original, co-written by William Petzold, and another real-life tale of violence committed in the name of the law.
The most unique cut on the album, to me, is "There's A Fire," written by Asher. The down beat drives the tight, electronic feel of the rhythm and the percussion and horns are, well... fire! Heart-felt lyrics top it off quite nicely, too.
"Donkey Jawbone (On-U Sound Mix)" was originally recorded by The Process in 1992, re-recorded and brought to Ramsgate for the mix by Mr. Sherwood. The CD includes an instrumental version, too.
The final tune is a lovers rock duet with Mikki Sound, "Love Ballad (On-U Sound Mix)" covers the Skip Scarborough written r & b hit for the reggae lovers. There's also an instrumental version of this featured on the CD.
Overall, the album is a solid debut and David continues to be an inspiration to CULTCHA Clash Outer National (it was his request that I review the 2016 The Process album, Who Is That Mad Band?, which was the impetus of establishing the "digital zine" aspect of C.C.O.N.). It will be available on vinyl, CD and digitally, pre-order at Bandcamp.
David Asher was recently a guest on Duburbia Podcast with Selecta J-Cut discussing the making of the album as well as the history of The Process, check it out below.