July 1st, 2011
Label: Black Rock Coalition Records
Formats: CD, MP3
Release date: 2010
In November 2009, Indiana University’s Archives of African American Music and Culture (home of Black Grooves) hosted a two-day conference celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Black Rock Coalition. The conference, entitled Reclaiming the Right to Rock: Black Experiences in Rock Music, was highly successful, bringing together musicians from all over the nation to discuss and study the socio-politics of Black rock from a historical, modern, and musical point of view.
To further commemorate their anniversary, the Black Rock Coalition recently released a CD compilation featuring many of the best and most renowned African American rockers of the day. A perfect audio-companion to the conference, the release features many musicians who were present at Reclaiming the Right to Rock and pays tribute to Black Rock Coalition founder and critically acclaimed writer Greg Tate, who was a featured panelist. Also featured on the compilation is the music of Earl Greyhound, whose Kamara Thomas (bass, keyboards, vocals) performed for the conference. Their included song, “Ghost and the Witness,” is a repetitive jam number capitalizing on powerful drumming and excellent harmonies. Additionally, powerhouse rocker and conference performer and panelist Tamar-Kali is included on the compilation with the song “Caught,” a soulful rocker that evokes pangs of disenchantment in a smooth and beautiful way.
From the gut-wrenching screeches of “The Ooohh Baby Gimme Mores” to the silky vibrato and powerful political lyrics of Sophia Ramos, the compilation captures perfectly the noise, the talent, the angst, and the sheer energy of these incredible Black performers and their interpretation of modern rock ‘n’ roll music.
(An article about the Black Rock Coalition’s 20th Anniversary and their previous compilation was posted in the Nov. 2006 issue of Black Grooves.)
Reviewed by Rachel Weidner
Review Genre(s): Popular, Rock, and Misc.