Review Summary: Jazz-Reggae at its best! Ya better rally when the time comes!
In 2008, the three founding members of Groundation (Harrison Stafford, Marcus Urani and Ryan Newman) formed a side project called Rockamovya. They teamed up with legendary drummer Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace ( The Gladiators, Inner Circle, Gregory Isaacs, Burning Spear, to name a few) and jazz guitarist Will Bernard. The name Rockamovya comes from Jamaican patois meaning what the music does to you (rocks and moves you). Needless to say that this album is highly influenced by Groundation's reggae. This whole album is a recording of the Jams and songs they played on their tour.
Right from the beginning, we are gifted with a reggae/jazz jam where Will Bernard plays some very fine solos backed by a perfectly synced rhythm section. This song is the perfect example of the influence of Groundation, as it is a five minute jam where each members gets to play his instruments and get a shot in the spotlight for a little moment (although you'll mostly hear the piano and lead guitar). Rockamovya's potential is showed in the next song “Ya Better Rally” with one of the best song introduction since Bob Marley's The Wailers band. Harrison Stafford's voice is as powerful as it ever got and his style resembles a little Marley's singing style (Stafford had just finished his Bob Marley Tribute Tour where he met his band mates and got the idea of making this album). Another one of Rockamovya's best song on this LP is Warrior Song, with another perfect song introduction that ends on a faster than average rhythm.
The only down part of this LP is the length of some songs. On songs like Battling Within (five minutes), Red Rose (seven minutes), Coolin'I (eight minutes), Rock In Place (five minutes) and Horse Dance (six minutes) you can easily get bored after the first three or four minutes. That's because Stafford and Co are used to write songs by jamming which is sometimes a little repetitive. This problem might turn you off this album after five or six tracks but they corrected this problem by adding another instrumental jazz/reggae impressive jam, Brown Stew Fish, where Will Bernard and Marcus Urani play some awesome keyboard and jazz guitar solos. Another downside is the last track, Horse Dance, which consists of Horsemouth singing in a Dub Reggae song with a lot of effects which is a huge turn off if you're not fan of Dub Reggae.
Groundation is already one of the best reggae band there ever was since Bob Marley and The Wailers so this side project wasn't really needed in terms of perfecting their sound. The addition of Horsemouth gave them the classic Roots Reggae sound, and the addition of Will Bernard gave them a jazzier feel on the lead guitar (although his solos are most of the time very discrete). This is nonetheless a must check out for any reggae lovers or even jazz lovers. Whatever Stafford made until now, it became one of the best Reggae music. This is not Stafford's only side project as a matter of fact, he created Professor with Horsemout and other legends (Earl "Flabba Holt" Carter at the Bass Guitar, Lloyd "Obeah" Denton at the piano/keyboard and Dalton Browne at the Lead Guitar).