With the November 2014 signing of Brooklyn reggae outfit New Kingston, New York City indie reggae label Easy Star Records proved itself, yet again, to be much more than just “those guys who dubbed out Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.” New Kingston’s new album Kingston City, their debut album for Easy Star, which was released on January 27, 2015, has impressively debuted at #1 on the Billboard Reggae chart. The album is the band’s third studio album and their first release to claim the #1 spot on the Billboard Reggae chart.
New Kingston, a family group featuring three brothers (Stephen, Courtney Jr., and Tahir) and their father play a refreshing brand of reggae that is as authentically Jamaican as it is refreshingly unique among other U.S. reggae outfits. A Jamaican roots reggae vocal trio at their core, New Kingston displays a remarkably expansive vocal range, impressive diction (check “Conquer Dem” featuring Sister Carol), an inspiriting lack of pretense, surprisingly adept musicianship, and musical sensibilities that span many sub-genres within reggae. For three youths who grew up in Brooklyn, they sport the gully bank-patois of a Kingston original.
Can you elaborate on the Tommy Cowan mention?
Cowan produced their first single “The Same Song” and their first LP (The Same Song) plus the dub companion (Israel Tafari), both initially released on Cowan’s Top Ranking label. The album was a huge seller and Cowan inked a deal with EMI label imprint Harvest to reissue the album in the U.K. Evidently the band saw very little money from both smash releases. They wrote the song “Why Yu So Craven” about Cowan also.