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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Corey Harris

By Tad Hendrickson
Published January 14, 2008

Zion Crossroads

Guitarist Corey Harris has dabbled with different styles before—2005’s Daily Bread infused his blues backbeat with a shot of up-on-thedownbeat reggae. But with Zion Crossroads, Harris repositions Bob Marley in place of Robert Johnson as the mythologized musician who went down to the crossroads to make his deal with the Devil. Here Harris is joined by producer Michael G of the Easy Dub All-Stars, who lends real authenticity to the rootsy reggae music. Moreover, Harris’s far-reaching and socially conscious lyrics give this set some real gravitas—Guyanese historian Walter Rodney and American civil rights icon Rosa Parks are just two of the many important figures namechecked here. This is likely to be a real head-scratcher for those expecting at least some link to the blues, but blues fans’ loss is reggae fans’ gain, as Zion Crossroads is likely to be one of the best reggae albums released this year.