Thursday, October 13, 2011

Joe Higgs at Berkeley

If you don't know Joe Higgs, he was Bob Marley and The Wailers vocal coach on their rise to stardom.   When Bunny Wailer retired from touring with Bob and Peter, Joe Higgs took over for him.  Higgs was one of the real pros of the Jamaican music scene and was always available to mentor up and coming singers.

Find the Berkeley show and two others at

Here's the bio from his website (

The Father of Reggae
Joseph Benjamin Higgs
June 3, 1940 - December 18, 1999

Joe Higgs was hugely influential in the birth of ska, rock steady and reggae forms of Jamaican music, and was widely respected as a composer, arranger, and performer, but perhaps most of all as a teacher. Among those he tutored were Bob marley, Derrick Harriott, Peter Tosh, Bob Andy, The Wailing Souls and Bunny Wailer. One of the first recording artists in Jamaica, his debut single, made with partner Roy Wilson, was "Oh Manny Oh," which sold over 50,000 copies in Jamaica in 1960. It led to his signing by Edward Seaga, who later became Jamaica's Prime Minister during the 1980s. Seaga arranged for Higgs to be booked on local shows, alongside Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and other foreign stars. In 1964 he recorded "There's A Reward" for producer Coxone Dodd's Studio One, a song that became an instant classic of suffering and hope. 

Although Higgs claimed to have received no royalties from its sales, he was sanguine about the fact, claiming "I realize that the only person that can give me my reward and what I'm entitled to is the Almighty." It was in Higgs' Trench Town backyard that the young Bob Marley received years of private tutoring in vocal technique and stage craft from Higgs, years before he began recording with his group, The Wailers. Marley later admitted that "Joe Higgs was a genius," crediting him for his international musical success. In 1972, Higgs won the Jamaica Tourism Song Competition (presented by the Jamaica Tourist Board) with "Invitation To Jamaica," whose prizes included a trip to New York, where he performed for the first time. The bouncy tune was uncharacteristic of Higgs' more normal roots sound, which mixed rhythmic jazzy scat singing with heartfelt lyrics that expressed deep political awareness and a keen sense of history and classical lliterature.

Songs like "So It Go" and "Freedom" kept him on the local charts. In 1973 when Bunny Wailer quit The Wailers, Higgs was asked to accompany his former students, Marley and Tosh on their debut American tour as opening act for Sly and the Family Stone. They played critically acclaimed shows from New York to Boston to San Francisco and were chief among the first wave of musicians who brought the music to U.S. awareness. In 1974, another set of former students, The wailing Souls, joined with Higgs briefly to form the group Atarra. But it was his allignment with emerging superstar Jimmy Cliff, hot off his success in the landmark film "The Harder They Come," that brought Higgs mainstream attention as Cliff's bandleader and co-vocalist, often before huge crowds in venues like New York's Central Park and Madison Square Garden. Higgs' first solo album came out in the mid '70s called "Life Of Contradiction," and featured jazz guitarist Eric Gayle, solidifying Higgs' reputation as he often reminded audiences as the jazz connection for Jamaican music.

In the compelling 1977 reggae documentary film "Roots, Rock, Reggae," Higgs told director Jeremy Marre that "Reggae is a confrontational sound; Freedom - that's what it's asking for; Acceptance - that's what it needs." "Unity Is Power" followed in 1979. His 1983 single "So It Go," which called attention to the plight of the poor who have no mentors in high places, caused Higgs political problems with the ruling party in Jamaica, and so he left for Los Angeles, where he lived in self-imposed exile until his death. His later albums included 1990s "Blackman Know Yourself," backed by The Wailers Band. The collection featured Joe's most famous composition "Stepping Razor," which had become a signature song for the 6-foot 4-inch Peter Tosh. "The give away line," the slightly built Higgs always told people, "is 'Don't you watch my size, I'm dangerous.' There's no way no six-foot-something guy could write that!" At the time of his death, Higgs was working on an autobiography with this writer, and had been working on a cross-cultural project recorded at U2's studio in Dublin, to be titled "Green On Black," uniting Gaelic artists like Sharon Shanon and Donald Luney with Higgs, in lengthy Irish-jazz improvisions. His last L.A. appearance was Father's Day in Long Beach at the Old School Reggae Jam. His actual last show was in Brekley on June 26, 1999 at Ashkenaz. Prior to that he played Palookaville in Santa Cruz...
                                  - by Roger Steffens

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Doors in Stockholm

Classic Concert Performance!  The audio quality is intermittent - between mostly decent to somewhat distorted or too low volume on the Morrison vocals on part one.  Part two good throughout.  Overall this is a great example of The Doors in Concert and a good quality show.  Enjoy!
Here's the link:
Go to the complete archives at  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Curtis Mayfield's Last Concert Performance - NICE ONE!

This is a beautiful show from one of American Music History's BEST Artists.  Sadly his FINAL concert but great performance to exit the stage with.

Curtis Mayfield  -  July 7, 1990 - Summerstage in Central Park

1. Superfly
2. Its Allright
3. I'm So Proud
4. Freddie's Dead
5. Pusherman
6. Billy Jack
7. We've Gotta Have Peace
8. People Get Ready
9. Give Me Your Love
10. band intros> Do Be Down
11. To Be Invisible
12. Don't Worry, If There's A Hell Below (We're All Gonna Go)
13. When Seasons Change
14. audience cheering & fade out

Curtis' last show ever.. On August 14, 1990, he became paralyzed from
the neck down when a lighting rig fell on top of him at a concert in
Brooklyn, NY. He died December 26, 1999 at the age of 57.

Enjoy this and zillions of great vibes at

Sunday, October 09, 2011

New Additions - some cool shows!

First, a band I didn't know and can't believe I missed for all of these years: Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad.  We just added a great sbd from the Aggie Theater in Ft. Collings, CO.  This show is from 2006 - best news for me - they are playing nearby in about a month.

Next we have a real nice Grateful Dead show from 1978, Ryan Adams at the Blue Note, Columbia MO in 2001, the very COOL Solar Circus at the Arrowhead Ranch in Parksville, NY 1990 and The Slackers in 2002 at Lee's Place in Toronto.  PLUS a half dozen other great shows you should check out - among them, Rasta Rafiki, Umphrey's McGee, Jauntee, Tim Reynolds, JJ Grey, and Winton Marsalis with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Get the FULL Listing:


Friday, September 30, 2011

Shady Groove is Pick of the Day

Here's our pick for this Fall 2011 Friday:

SHADY GROOVE with Melvin Seals
Don Quixotes - Felton, CA
May 22, 2010


 CD 1 - Set 1
01.How Sweet It Is (7:02)
02.Stop That Train (7:29)
03.That's What Love Will Make You Do (10:03)
04.Sugaree (15:13)
05.Get Out of My Life Woman (10:26)
06.He Ain't Give You None (10:00)
07.The Harder They Come (7:33)

 CD 2 - Set 2
01.Cats Under the Stars (11:05)
02.It Stoned Me (12:10)
03.Tore Up (6:29)
04.Midnight Moonlight (8:38)
05.Catfish John (11:03)
06.Waiting For a Miracle (9:34)
07 Rhapsody In Red (10:35)
08.Tangled Up In Blue (9:13)

 Whole show w/ Shirley and Cheryl
 Source: SBD > Tascam DA-P1 Transfer: Tascam DA-P1 > Cool Edit Pro > TLH > Flac Soundboard mixed by Dave Jackson Taped by Jeff Flint

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Start of Posts About HOT Vital Vibes YOU Don't Want to Miss!

The first selection we are going to spotlight is a Red Haired Texas Soul Reggae Rocker that I had the pleasure of seeing at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He doesn't look the part but he will capture your attention after the first few bars of a song. This is definitely worth a listen and we recommend his either of his albums of solid tunes.

Cas Haley - The Loft At Gilley's - Dallas, TX - Dec 12, 2010

Source: Soundboard > Marantz PMD661 (24/44.1)
Lineage: PMD661 > Sound Forge Pro 10 (fades/normalize/bitrate) > CD Wave (tracking) >
Trader's Little Helper 2.6.0 (flac v1.2.1) > foobar2000 (id3 tags)

Runtime: 46min

** 16-bit/44.1khz **

01. Intro
02. Will I Find
03. Better
04. Connection
05. Here I Come
06. Sir Duke
07. Blue And Lonesome
08. Release Me
09. Take A Chance
10. Got My Mojo Working
11. Let It Out
12. Easy
13. Legalize It

Notes: Opened for Toubab Krewe.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Add Some Music to Your Day

Music can be a great way to lift your Spirits and improve your day.  Vital Vibes is an ever expanding collection of great music - most of which you won't find anywhere else.  There are hours of mood elevating vibes for you to enjoy. 

I have always loved music, particularly LIVE music.  I have been blessed with the great good fortune of having hundreds of wonderful live music experiences.  Being a teenager in the late 1960's was definitely a blessing for a big music fan - living near NYC also helped.  Got to see the George Harrison Bangladesh Concert and the John Lennon One to One Show.  Got to see Bob Marley & The Wailers three times - Beacon Theater, Apollo Theater and finally Madison Square Garden.  Got to see lot's of other great REGGAE shows at S.O.B.'s and other small clubs.  Early on, there was an amazing night in Greenwich Village when I saw The John Mayal Blues Band, Steve Miller Band and headliner The Grateful Dead at the Cafe Au Go Go (seated about 120 people)... Then headed to the Village Theater that was to become the Fillmore East to see the late show: Richie Havens, Chambers Brothers and headliner The Doors!  This was all in one night in 1967, I think, for a total ticket cost of about $18. Magic.

Anyway, blessed I am and the Vital Vibes continue to flow into my life.  Thanks is all I can say.  Here (at I'll share some of the great moments in music I have been lucky enough to capture.  I'll be interested to hear about your great music moments and life adventures as well.  Rock On!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

New Home for Reggae PositiVibes

We have a new website that hopefully everyone will enjoy.  It was for a long time but we sold that at a very nice price and launched  That is still there but wasn't doing too well in the search engines so, time for something new:  Visit and see what you think - we think a new design will be soon come.  But the positiVIBES are all there!

Also check and for more...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Be Happy

Tell everyone you know: "My happiness depends on me, so you're off the hook." And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they're doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel -- and then, you'll love them all. Because the only reason you don't love them, is because you're using them as your excuse to not feel good.
--- Abraham 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

You Are a Creator!

The Eternal Laws of the Universe steadily hold the promise of expansion and joy. Understanding the Laws will reawaken within you the knowledge of your purpose and your own personal power as you remember how to access the power of the Universe that creates worlds.

If this time-space reality has within it the ability to inspire a desire within you, it is absolute that this time-space reality has the ability to yield you a full and satisfying manifestation of that same desire. It is Law.
--- Abraham 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting Everything You Want

If you are willing to let your improved emotional state be the evidence of your progress, then the progress will continue; you will continue to feel even better, and the tipping point will come where physical evidence can be seen. But if you look too soon for the evidence, and you do not yet find it, you will lose Vibrational ground.
The need to see the immediate evidence of progress is the most significant hindrance to most people. When you attempt to take score of your progress too soon, you move further from the results you seek.
There is no desire that you hold that is for any other reason than you believe you would feel better in the having of it. Whether it is a material object, a pile of money, a relationship, a physical state of being—every desire is wanted because you want to feel better.
When you discover the power of feeling better first, by the deliberate focusing of your mind away from problems, struggles, irritants, and any other manner of unwanted things—and focus your mind upon the simplicity of your own breathing—you will have found the key to the power of allowing.
--- Abraham
Excerpted from the
This is 26 of 32 practical expanded quotes excerpted from Abraham’s new Getting into the Vortex Guided Meditation CD and User Guide that will be available everywhere on Nov. 15, 2010.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Be in your Prime!

Is Abraham saying that you could reach what you consider to be a prime human physical condition and that you could maintain it for as long as you remain physically focused in this body? The answer is, absolutely yes. And it doesn't mean reach your prime and then jump off a cliff the same day, either. It means, reach your prime and bask in the deliciousness of that. Now, why is other than that the more consistent experience? Because most everybody is looking around and vibrating in response to what they are seeing. So, what is the solution? Look around less. Imagine more. Look around less. Imagine more. Until your imagery is the most familiar vibration that you have.
--- Abraham
Excerpted from the workshop in Boca Raton, FL on Saturday, January 16th, 1999 # 20