Carlos Jones & the P.L.U.S. Band 

Roots With Culture (Little Fish Records)

For 15 years, as head of First Light, Carlos Jones was a regional legend. For more than a decade now, he's been leading the P.L.U.S. Band, whose remarkable lack of popularity can only be attributed to the fact that it's never released a proper album. Hopefully, this long-anticipated debut will remedy that.

A smart mix of old-time riddim from respected area reggae musicians lays the rootsy foundation for Jones's own conscious lyrics and soulful singing. This is reggae as you remember it from back in the day. "Torchbearer" is a worthy tribute to Bob Marley, Jones's most obvious influence. The joyous "Fulla Vibes" and the reflective "How High the Sky" exude infectious optimism, while the soaring harmonies on "Care (Why Don't We?)" bring an air of freshness that's too often missing from contemporary reggae.

Speaking of Regional Beat

More by Tommy Fox


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