Black Uhuru

FYC, Best Reggae Album
Black Uhuru, New Day

Listen to New Day

Celebrating their 50th anniversary, the legendary godfathers of reggae Black Uhuru, along with Chico Roots-Rock crew Dylans Dharma, announce the release of their latest album New Day (released May 13, 2022). 

One of the most prolific Jamaican reggae bands in history, Black Uhuru has earned an impressive collection of music industry accolades over the years including winning the first-ever Grammy Award for reggae music with eight other Grammy Nominations to boot. Their enduring success, along with having the highest reggae record sales after Bob Marley and the most songs in the genre sampled by other artists, has mad the name Black Uhuru synonymous with the reggae genre as a whole. The upcoming New Day LP carries on Black Uhuru’s powerful legacy of conscious roots reggae that started in Kingston, Jamaica, and has now continued around the planet to influence new generations of emerging reggae artists for five decades!

“The band is legendary,” says Black Uhuru founder & bandleader Derrick “Duckie” Simpson. “We’ve been around for over 50 years.  We started when we were youth and the band has come right through all these years in abundance.. There have been a couple of changes over the years with some guys left to do other things, and a couple of lead singers passed through the band: Don Carlos, Michael Rose, Junior Reid, and then Don Carlos again, and Andrew Bees now for like 25 years.  This album is my second up front doing lead vocals.”

“Celebrating 50 Years of Black Uhuru” kicked off with the March release of new single “Brand New Day”. Featuring the band’s iconic founder Duckie Simpson — back out front with his earthy, soulful baritone, trading verses with Dylan Seid of Chico-based Roots-Rock crew Dylans Dharma — the track is a rewrite of a Dylans Dharma song by the same name, with new verses by Duckie that were inspired by events he encountered during his time living in California in 2019. 

After an extensive cross-country US tour, Duckie had retreated to Helltown, a rugged mountain community in the hills of Butte County in Northern California. What he found there was sheer devastation after the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history (known as The Camp Fire) had just ravaged the entire area. Duckie was deeply inspired as he witnessed the small community come together with love and positive energy to regenerate and rebuild what was lost. With this deep respect and appreciation, Duckie collaborated with Dylan Seid to musically paint the ties that bind in that unique mountainside community.

The “Brand New Day” single is the second Black Uhuru collaboration with Dylans Dharma following last November’s single “From Jamaica to Here”, an unexpectedly groove-inducing cover of a 1976 folk song by English singer-songwriter Ralph McTell entitled “Clare To Here”.

The new album also features collaborations with long-time Black Uhuru frontman and solo artist in his own right Andrew Bees as well as a cover by CA-based singer-songwriter Baharat Karmakar, whose song “I Can See the Light” about The Campfire, inspired the New Day project.

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