IT HAS been quite a while since Junior ‘One Blood’ Reid has performed on a major show in Jamaica. However, Reid says this is not intentional, as show promoters have been giving him a ‘fight’, as in treating him unfairly.
“A long time Junior Reid nuh work nuh real show inna Kingston, couple years well now, and most a di shows weh gwaan its sponsors are record labels an tru me have my independent ting, is like dem a try fi gi mi a fight an hold mi down. Dem a try fi keep mi off a di show dem fi keep down mi label, but a good ova evil. Di harder di battle, di sweeter di victory.” Reid said.
However, it appears that Reid’s drought is about to change, albeit not in Kingston but out in the East, as he has been billed to make his debut on Red Label Wine East Fest on December 30 in Morant Bay, St. Thomas.
“A di first I’m working East Fest. Mi nuh know a wah did a gwaan, but, a di first dis,” Reid said.
Reid has not been idle. He has been touring the United States and parts of the Pacific, and working towards not only the release of his new album but also his son’s debut album.
“I was away for six weeks and four weeks another time. I was touring in places like Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, the whole East Coast and West Coast, L.A, San Francisco, Miami and dem place deh,” Reid said.
The reception, Reid says, has always been nothing less than exceptional and despite a few persons not knowing the name Junior Reid in some parts of the U.S., he says once you mention the name of any of his songs, they are quite familiar with them.
“Junior Reid sing di anthem fi reggae, One Blood, (released in 1989) an most a di club dem all ova di world dem still a play it. More time mi buck up people an dem nuh know mi by name, but jus seh One Blood and dem know di song,” he said.
Now that Reid is back in Jamaica for a short spell, he says his main focus will be on releasing some new albums in the coming year.
“I plan to release my new album, Clean Heart. Mi a release it inna April in time fi di Easter and I’m expecting good vibes because mi release couple track from it already,” Reid said.
Some of the songs already released include Dirty Shirt, Stop Deport Di Yout Dem, Please Officer (on the ‘Drop Leaf’ rhythm), Wanted, which features Buju Banton and King Street, done in combination with Reid’s two sons, Wadada Blood and Andrew Blood.
Reid also collaborated with a female Spanish artiste Medina, to do One Blood in Spanish, the translated title being Una Sangra.
In addition, Reid says he hopes to see through the release of one of his son’s debut album in 2006.
“Now wi working on Andrew Blood new album coming out next year summer. They produced some tracks, I produced some tracks and they worked with other producers like Ward 21 and Delano. Maybe it name Blood Brothers; wi nuh sure yet,” Reid said, “Wada Blood and Andrew Blood will be working all shows with me. We work as a family, the ‘One Blood Family’.”
Reid’s independent record label, JR Productions, has reaped much success in the past.
“All a my hit tune dem, a me produce dem – Banana Boat Man, Foreign Mind (produced by Junior Reid and Sugar Minot), All Fruits Ripe, Listen To The Voices and Mashing Up Di Earth. Wi all put out album like Dennis Brown’s Nothing Like This and Gregory Isaacs’ album Not A One Man Ting, Mighty Diamond’s Bus Out and Spanner Banner’s Now And Forever,” he said.
For Reid, his track record speaks for itself and despite not having a major hit in recent years, he is still in high demand overseas.
He is billed to appear at a show in Jacksonville, Florida, on December 23 and is slated for shows in England on January 6 and 7, 2006.
Locally, in addition to East Fest, Reid will be performing at Stars In Action.
Teino Evans, Staff Reporter –JAMAICA GLEANER