Culture has long been reggae’s
preeminent harmony group. Born in the 70's golden age of reggae,
the ever viable Culture has garnered continual US and international
acclaim for its long series of classic “roots” albums. Culture’s
legendary “Two Sevens Clash” (Shanachie) was Reggae Album of the Year in
1977 and is acknowledged by Rolling Stone Magazine (April 11, 2002) as
#25 of the 50 all time coolest records (the only reggae album to make
music, featuring the shining lead vocals of Joseph Hill, is solidly
roots, perfectly executed and delivered with genuine emotional fervor.
Joseph Hill’s devotion to the traditional Rastafarian values of purity,
simplicity and justice is exemplified by Culture’s lyrical
themes. Milo Miles, writing for The New York Times, named
Culture as “the leading exponent of ‘conscious reggae’”.
Hill’s message is clear and uplifting. His songwriting abilities
are outstanding and music reviewers have lauded his achievements for two
Joseph and his cousin Albert Walker had formed a trio whose name evolved
into Culture with the release of the mythic “Two Sevens Clash.”
Joseph Hill performed solo under the name Culture and recorded several
projects during the early eighties; he and Albert subsequently reunited
and produced a long series of critically acclaimed recordings. In fact,
Culture’s entire body of work (over 28 albums) can be recommended almost
without exception. Noted albums such as “Nuff Crisis”, “Cumbolo,”
and “Wings of a Dove” virtually define the “roots” genre.
19, 2006 while on tour in Europe, Joseph Hill passed suddenly and
decisions for the future of the tour and the group had to be made
quickly. The European promoters of the upcoming dates requested the
group to continue the tour as a Tribute to Joseph Hill. It was then
that his son Kenyatta stepped away from the soundboard and picked up his
father’s microphone. Kenyatta was familiar with all of the music and was
perfect for the role of new lead singer for Culture. The tour went on
pause and show after show, audiences, promoters and critics alike were
amazed at the way in which Kenyatta was so much like his father onstage
while introducing an element of his own. One critic’s comment
stands out. He summed it up by saying “It was more magic than tragic”.
It happened again in Bahia Brazil at a festival on Sept 2. The
final proof that Kenyatta was the logical choice took place in Jamaica
at the memorial concert for Joseph Hill on the weekend of the funeral.
There was no doubt that when Kenyatta stepped up and performed, that he
was the highlight of the star studded night.
Culture with Kenyatta now firmly established as legitimate leader and
vocalist of this seminal band have continued to grace stages worldwide.
The latest brilliant tribute to Joseph Hill by Kenyatta titled “Live On”
has Kenyatta performing 14 Classic Culture hits in a unique blend of
classic Culture updated by a very talented son of a legend.