Milton Blake’s long journey from Jamaica to Cincinnati and belief in the Almighty informs his debut album, People Need Jah
1 Comment · Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Most native Jamaicans I’ve met are
possessed of a similar quality, namely a Zen-like balance between an
intense drive to do the best possible job regardless of the task at hand
and an almost blissful serenity borne of faith. That quality radiates from now-Cincinnati-based Reggae
singer/songwriter Milton Blake in palpable waves.
Fest and release party make Greater Cincy a Reggae hotspot tonight
• The annual food/music fest Taste of
Cincinnati — Cincy’s unofficial “start of the summer” — doesn’t begin
until tomorrow, but tonight you can get an outdoor music fix that
couldn’t be more “summery.” Reggae Culture Splash 2013 goes down 7-10:30
p.m. tonight at Washington Park (1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine).
The event features a stellar lineup of
contemporary Jamaican Reggae stars, headed up by singer/songwriter
Luciano, who is credited for helping keep socially/religiously inspired
Roots Reggae music thriving in the face of an increasingly
electro-dependent Dancehall craze.
Speaking of Dancehall, fellow Culture Splash performer
Sister Nancy is credited as being the first female DJ in the genre and
is also a fantastic vocalist. Also scheduled to appear are
producer/artist Milton Blake, local collective Black Youth Faith and
more, including DJing from I Vibez, Queen City Imperial Sound System and
Unlike most Washington Park concerts,
Culture Splash is not a free event. Tickets for Reggae Culture Splash
are $25 at the gates. The tickets will be available starting at 5 p.m.
An after-party will be held at Grammer’s
(1440 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine) at 10 p.m.; admission is $10 before
midnight and $20 after.
• For some more local Reggae flavor tonight, you can check
out Cincinnati Reggae greats The Cliftones celebrate the release of
their latest single, the fourth to be issued this year, with a show at Southgate House Revival in Newport. The 9 p.m. event also features performances by Magic Jackson and The Almighty Get Down.
In January, just before winning the 2013 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for “Reggae/World Music,” the group released “Hard Ground,”
which was mixed by noted producer Jim Fox (who has worked with Black
Uhuru, Barrington Levy, Culture and other Reggae superstars and
In March, The Cliftones’ “Hold Steady”
was released. That one was mixed by DJ Prophesy (Bassnectar, Glitch
Mob) and mastered by one of the greatest Dub producers ever, Scientist.
The ’Tones latest, “Gone (Warn Mi),” is another
Prophesy/Scientist collaboration, as is the "limited release" track the
group dropped on Soundcloud recently, "Run Come Down." Check both out
Be sure to show up early to tonight's release show; free
download cards for the new single will be given to the first 100 people
through the door. The group will unveil another single in late June and
are planning on issuing a 12-inch vinyl EP in August. The Cliftones are
gradually moving toward a full-length release; it’s tentatively
scheduled to drop in October. For more on the group, visit thecliftones.com.