Coming a year and a half later, after doing a two- month North America and Canada tour, Everton Blender and The Reggae Angels are touring to support their latest releases- My Time and Make Blessings on the Explorer label. They are touring with two females on background vocals including Blender’s daughter, Iesha Blender, who opens her father’s set with some good original songs of her own. Several of Blender’s hits, such as “Lift Up your Head,” “Ghetto People Song” and “Family Man” have risen to worldwide anthem status, helping to give people hope in all walks of life – especially the poor and needy. Giving to the poor in spirit is a key to paradise. This is the intention of this package- to inspire and give hope and courage. These artists are no- compromise lyricists who live the lives they sing about. When they perform, one quickly recognizes that these works are from the heart. The message is one of commitment to Godly principles and good living amongst people.
Within the last couple years, the Reggae Angels completed a 50-city tour with Andrew Tosh (son of Reggae icon Peter Tosh), a 21- city tour with Junior Reid, a 9-city tour with the Abyssinians, a 9-week tour covering North America and Canada with Everton Blender, and two more month-long tours with Junior Reid. They did their fourth trip to Hawaii within a year, where they co-billed with and backed Frankie Paul. This summer they have played festivals including Reggae on the River, The Victoria Ska Festival, The Santa Barbara Slow Music Fest and The Northwest World Reggae Festival. It’s been a hard, busy schedule. They have toured consistently since the mid-90’s, bringing their spiritually uplifting message to the people.
The tour is almost finished, so if interested contact Peter Wardle with Kings Music International at (510) 326-8445 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.
Biography: Everton Blender
One of the few Jamaican singers to truly bridge the gap between the roots and dancehall reggae styles is Everton “Blender.” When reggae fans hear the opening notes of “Lift Up Your Head,” “Ghetto People Song” or “Blend Dem,” they instantly recognize these songs as major cultural anthems of our time. The large number of hits Everton has accrued is most impressive.
Everton Dennis Williams was born in the parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, but grew up in Kingston 13 on Maxfield Avenue. He worked as a painter, construction worker and decorator, but he realized that the strong chemicals he was working with were not good for his voice or his health in general. With divine help and direction, he decided to leave his job to pursue a singing career.
Although Everton had recorded a handful of singles for various producers, he had yet to score with a hit on the Island. But that was about to change. In 1991 he voiced the autobiographical “Create a Sound.” The song described Everton’s experiences in the music business and with the Rasta faith. It was released the following year on the Star Trail label, and it was Everton Blender’s first hit. He continued to record for Star Trail, who had a distribution deal with Heartbeat Records. 1994’s Lift Up Your Head (HB 169) was Everton’s full length debut, and featured “Create a Sound,” along with the hits, “Family Man,” “Bring di Kutchie,” “My Father’s Home,” “Gwaan Natty,” and the title track, which would go on to become one of the biggest anthems of the 1990’s.
Everton continued to record for Star Trail and other labels, scoring hits including “Blend Dem,” “World Corruption,” “Bob Marley,” “Piece of the Blender,” “The Man,” and “Coming Harder,” all collected on the 1996 album, Piece of the Blender: The Singles (HB 209). At this time, Everton decided to take charge of his career and start his own label, which he named Blend Dem Productions. He began to finance most of his own recordings, a move that heightened tension between him and many who wished to control the music production and promotion on the Island.
But he persevered, knowing that being in control of his career was the right decision, and his relationship with Heartbeat became even stronger. In 1999, Heartbeat released Everton Blender’s first album by Blend Dem productions, Rootsman Credential (HB 227). Alongside boom shots like “Ghetto People Song,” “Why Do We Have to War,” and “False Words” were Everton’s own productions including “Slick Me Slick,” “These Hands,” and many more strong statements of Everton’s faith and will to succeed. Since the release of Rootsman Credential, Everton has toured the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean, establishing himself as one of the top touring forces from Jamaica. Live at the White River Reggae Bash (HB 242) captures Everton performing his most popular material with the Blend Dem band.
As the millennium came to a close, Heartbeat released an album of new Blend Dem productions that included top acts riding Everton Blender produced rhythms. Dance Hall Liberation (HB 246) features Anthony B, Tony Rebel, Louie Culture, Richie Spice, Everton Blender, daughter Isha, and others. Everton was also executive producer on Richie Spice’s debut album, Universal (HB 103), and plays a role in Spanner Banner’s new release, Real Love (HB 249).
In 2001, Blender released Visionary (HB 254), consisting of his trademark conscious commitment over sizzling roots and dancehall self-productions. With guest appearances by Bennie Man, Anthony B, Tony Rebel, and Marcia Griffiths, along with Everton’s own strong performance, the album garnered favorable reviews throughout the music press. 2001 and 2002 also marked excellent touring years for Blender, in which he headlined several major reggae events.
King Man (HB 258), released in 2002, represents another installment in Blender’s legacy of excellent reggae music. In 2005 Blender did a two-month North American tour with America’s Reggae Angels and July 2005 marks the release of My Time, his latest album on Explorer Records. It’s a strong album from beginning to end. Don’t miss him when he passes through your area.
Biography: Reggae Angels
Currently based in the San Francisco, Calif. East Bay, the Reggae Angels have been touring the last decade in the U.S., Hawaii, Canada and South America. They are well loved and respected. They’ve taken the message to many different places. Top international artists have had the Reggae Angels back them, including Don Carlos, Horace Andy, Michael Rose, Big Youth, The Abyssinians, Edi Fitzroy, Bernard Collins, Carlton & The Shoes, Junior Murvin, Clinton Fearon, Everton Blender, Sugar Minott, Andrew Tosh, Junior Reid and Frankie Paul. The band has consistently met the needs of world-class performers, touring with them to the far reaches.
The Reggae Angels vocalists are Fenton Wardle and Cynthia Roots. Lead vocalist and bandleader Fenton Wardle started playing for the public at the age of twelve, playing his accordion in the streets in San Francisco. In 1982 Fenton fronted his first band Ily in New Hampshire, where he attended Dartmouth and graduated in 1984. In 1986 he formed a band on the West Coast called The Chosen Few. In 1989 the band re-grouped as The Elevations. Fenton sang lead and harmony vocals and played keyboards. With the Elevations, he produced two albums- Jah Guide and Good Judgment. In 1992 Fenton left the Elevations and started the Reggae Angels.
For his Reggae Angels unit, Fenton has produced Guard the Honor, Jealousy, Truth and Conviction, Spirit, Signs and Wonders, Which Road Will You Choose, Live Positive, Come To Jah, Save Our Souls, A Heart With Love, Balance and Make Blessings. Augustus Pablo is featured playing melodica and synthesizer on the earlier works, adding his melodious far eastern sound. The early mixing was done in Jamaica with some of the top engineers including Sylvan Morris, David Rowe, Soljie, Dr. Marshall and Hugh Palmer. Scientist mixed the next four CDs in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Balance and Make Blessings were mixed at Lion and Fox recording studios, in Alexandria, Virginia by Jim Fox. The Reggae Angels have one of the most prolific catalogues of any American based reggae band, including 13 CDs and numerous dubs.
Fans of reggae know The Reggae Angels deliver high-energy performances with a happy, uplifting sound and sincere message. Their music speaks of God consciousness. Their lyrics contain spiritual insights and teachings — the message. All different ages and kinds of people love and appreciate the Reggae Angels, especially the spiritually inclined. Their focus is on clarifying the message of the prophets — advice and prayers to bring us nearer to God. The Reggae Angels have their own recording studio in Oakland, California called The Workshop, where they help produce other artists as well as their own works. See the website www.ReggaeAngels.com for music samples and upcoming show schedule.