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about

In searching for a signature song that most represent the core values and musical direction of the Rhythm Express band they were fortunate to come upon ‘Black Woman,’ a hauntingly beautiful piece written as a tribute to the mothers of past times by Ms Judy Mowatt of the I-Threes in Bob Marley’s Wailers. It became a source of strength and pride to black women around the planet.

Aretha Franklin touched the world with her 70s recording ‘Young, Gifted and Black.” The same applies to the woman at the centre of the Rhythm Express whose earthy, soulful vocals and complimentary guitar playing revitalizes and renews the call to address the misgivings and hardships placed on black women in every region of the globe.

The Rhythm Express is a diverse reggae/Ska, soul band made up of artists all ages and ethnic backgrounds.

Bill and Jesse (Dubmatix) King produced the recording at Inception Sound with the incomparable engineer Michael Haas. Both Kings are award winning producers and artists and have a long history in roots music. Bill King is pianist and organist in the Express.

Bill King and drummer Everton ‘Pablo’ Paul were part of the early seventies introduction of reggae to crossover audiences in Toronto as the house band at the El Mocambo night club. Everton Paul would be a centerpiece in the mid 2000’s revival of the music with his band Jamaica to Toronto. Paul is considered one of the finest roots drummers on the planet.

Jesse ‘Dubmatix’ King is a 2010 Juno Award winner and four time nominee who has produced numerous recordings, movie soundtracks, loops; and a most sought after musician. King is bassist in the Express.
Vocalist Selena Evangeline is a seasoned performer who has been honing her skills with her own band and sought after for her soaring vocals and superb guitar work

Vocalist Gavin Hope is riding high on his solo debut ‘For All We Know, and long list of performances with the Nylons and symphonies.

Percussionist Jorge Luis ‘Papiosco’Torres is considered one of the finest musicians to land in Canada from his native Cuba. He’s heard with his own group ‘Iroko Project’ Jane Bunnett band and Hilario Duran Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Trombonist Christopher Butcher is a founding/current member of The Heavyweights Brass Band - Jamaica to Toronto. Alto saxophonist Bobby Hsu is a recording artist on his own and a member of Jamaica to Toronto.
The Rhythm Express came together to celebrate the power, connection and influence reggae/ska have had on Toronto’s music community the past forty years at the 25th edition of the Beaches International Jazz Festival July, summer 2013t. The occasion was so uplifting and rewarding to the band the studio session that produced ‘Black Women’ was inevitable. 7 Arts – billkingpiano@gmail.com

lyrics

BLACK WOMAN

Black Woman Ooh, Black Woman Like me, you’ve travelled long. You have trod one of life's roughest roads You got the heaviest load
To be someone To belong Too near mile and a half furlong Don't give up now Just pray for strength now For you I dedicate my song
La-la-la-la-la Ooh-ooh-ooh

We had forsaked once In the plantation Lashes to our skin On auction blocks we were chained and sold Handled merchandise Highly abused and war, we were refused And thrown in garbage bins But no need for that now Free us, stand back now And help me to sing my song
La-la-la-la-la Ooh-ooh-ooh

When you're fighting stand up for the right thing And not that which is wrong I heard Rachel mourning for her children When Herod and Pharaoh took their little heads But just like Mary and like Joseph Mother of Moses too Overcame its evil devices I dedicate my song for you

credits

released February 1, 2016

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