Groundation has carried the reputation of a mesmerizing, high quality band for twenty years. They are known for blending unique sounds with carefully crafted messages. The result of their unusual creativity expands beyond the normal reggae and dub audience. Their latest release, Next Generation, has taken this trademark to a new high with even greater social impact. After a four year break, lead singer, Harrison Stafford, re-launched Groundation with a new slate of top notch musicians hailing from California and Jamaica. The California-Jamaica connection, already established by several American reggae bands continues, but this time with a new, more sophisticated twist. Groundation musicians understand the professional significance of blending jazz and blues into a reggae format. Next Generation has given these super talented musicians an enhanced opportunity to showcase their talents.
For the past four years, Harrison instinctively captured in words the state of a crazy world tumbling in crisis while infusing a fresh, hopeful perspective. His profound insight ensures the next generation is capable of solving these issues when given the appropriate tools and guidance. Songs such as ‘New Life’, ‘Father and Child,‘ ‘Lion in Man’ and ‘My Shield’ warn how deeds of the past may come back to bite us. He opens our hearts to the people in war torn countries desperate to find a new life. Harrison touches on fragile issues such as environmental degradation and the unethical profit-making machines of greed. The tone is balanced with songs like ‘Hero,’ a glowing reminder that Jah Light burns bright in everyone.
This is not an album to skip through or to listen to as background music. Next Generation is worth a deep dive into the consciousness of your soul. If we believe, truly believe, in the power of music, this cd is to be treasured, shared and discussed. After all, the Next Generation starts with us.
I recently had the pleasure of recording an interview with Harrison Stafford as the band was about to embark on their European tour. Harrison Stafford has broken new ground.