Michael Doherty’s Music Log Review: Rocker-T “The Return Of The Tru Ganjaman”

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“Though I do like reggae, I don’t listen to a whole lot of it, partly because it sometimes begins to feel repetitive to me. But Rocker-T (Toby Petter Herskind Sorensen), on his CD The Return Of The Tru Ganjaman, does some interesting and delightful things with the form. And he’s joined by several guest musicians, including Mykal Rose and Ras Indio. This album really grew on me. Yes, it deals with a lot of the same subjects, same themes as most reggae music – peace, marijuana, and so on – but so much of it feels new here, even as those particular subjects are tackled. The main thing is that this music makes me happy, and we can all use some of that these days.

“Yankee & Yardee” is reggae with a heavy dance beat. I have absolutely no idea what he’s singing here, at least for much of the song, but I’m enjoying the groove. And toward the end he calls out a few familiar names: “Sugar, Dennis and Gregory/Peter, Bunny, Bob Marley.” Folks that current musicians acknowledge a debt to. Gappy Ranks (Jacob Lee Williams) then joins Rocker-T on “Need Some,” which has more of a familiar feel and has a positive sound. Mykal Rose and Mr. Williamz join him for “Disgrace.” “Why is it that they can’t unite?/Why is that they can’t stand together?” Good questions, and presented over a catchy groove.

The song that really got me excited about this disc is “Herbalist.” It is so catchy, so joyful, and it features Mama-T on vocals. The first time I listened to this album, this is the song that grabbed me, the song that turned my day around with its positive, bright sounds. It’s a wonderful track, dedicated to the herbalists “who bring all the healing,” and knocking the ridiculous war on drugs. “Let go the herbalist, you let him be/Let go the herbalist, you set him free.” And of course you can dance to it. So there. It’s followed by another stand-out track, “Man Ah Warrior.” It has just a bit of a New Orleans Dixie jazz vibe that makes me love it. It’s an overall fresh sound, and by this point in the disc I was totally in.

Bass player and vocalist Skip Wicked (Spencer Burton) of Indubious joins Rocker-T on “Chillum,” an unusual and excellent song with something of a tribal rhythm and some impressive vocal delivery. I want to lose myself in the beat, close my eyes and dance until the walls disappear. It has that kind of power, you know? And it’s followed by yet another highlight, “Garden Of Goodness.” It’s funny that a song celebrating marijuana should begin with the sound of someone coughing. But there you have it. This song is a lot fun, and has a delightfully fresh and bright feel. “In the garden of goodness/There’s a weed for releasing my stress/Oh yes, it’s the best/In the garden of goodness/Marijuana caught my interest.” Jah Wave and Ras Indio join Rocker-T on this track. Then Prezident Brown joins Rocker-T on “Blazing Everyday,” obviously another song about smoking marijuana.

Just a couple of months before the release of this CD, Rocker-T put out a disc titled Tru Ganjaman: The Remixes, which contains twenty-three versions of “Tru Ganjaman.” If that CD didn’t provide enough of that song for you, this CD gives you “Tru Ganjaman Megamix,” which I suppose is the title track. Oddly, I don’t find this track nearly as compelling or enjoyable as everything that precedes it. This one ends with coughing. And the tracks that follow it are all remixes of earlier songs, including two versions of “Real Singer Smoker” (I prefer the Phibes Remix) and two versions of “One Million Matches.”

CD Track List

  1. Yankee & Yardee
  2. Need Some
  3. Disgrace
  4. Herbalist
  5. Man Ah Warrior
  6. Chillum
  7. Garden Of Goodness
  8. Blazing Everday
  9. Life Over Death
  10. Tru Ganjaman Megamix
  11. Ganja Slengin (Nickynutz Remix)
  12. Real Singer Smoker (Mt. Analogue Remix)
  13. One Million Matches (Yungg Trip Remix)
  14. Militant & Real (Ill Text Trap-A-Lot Mafia Remix)
  15. Real Singer Smoker (Phibes Remix)
  16. One Million Matches (Mylk Remix)

The Return Of The Tru Ganjaman was released on June 17, 2016. By the way, the digital release of this album contains three more tracks.”

michaelsmusiclog.blogspot.com

For more on Rocker-T, check out his website: www.rocker-t.com

Rocker-T “The Return of the Tru Ganjaman” Review at Improvijazzation Nation

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Rocker-T – RETURN OF THE TRU GANJAMAN:  If yer’ wonderin’ where he’s been, it’s definitely off in Reggae-land; lots of original tuneage here, with plenty of Ganja fueling it (I’ve no doubt).  He has a whole host of names unfamiliar to me, but famous in the circle.  Tunes like “Need Some” (featuring Gappy Ranks) will have you swingin’ & swayin’ with th’ best of ’em, mon!  Loved the rhythm on “Herbalist“, which features Mama-T… if you’re not up & dancin’ in seconds, you’re already one o’ th’ zombies – ultra-strong drums & percussion backing Mama up here, too.  You even get a president on “Blazing Everyday” (Prezident Brown), doing some very rhythmic rants about some weed that just won’t quit.  Of the sixteen pieces offered up, though, it was “Chillum” (with Skip Wicked) that came across with the most power for what’s being presented here… primary note for Rocker-T’s music, though… be SURE you’ve got your headphones on at full blast, & leave plenty of room ’round you for dancing!  I give this one a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at the Rocker-T website.        Rotcod Zzaj

 

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http://rotcodzzaj.com/42-2/improvijazzation-nation-163/issue-163-reviews/

Blog Talk Radio interview with Rocker-T… TODAY AT 3!

Rocker-T will be discussing the release of his newest album Return of the Tru Ganjaman with Blog Talk Radio host, Simon Barrett.

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Head over to www.blogtalkradio.com to listen at 3pm!

“Brooklyn-born Reggae pioneer Rocker-T announces the release of his newest album, The Return of the Tru Ganjaman, featuring Reggae Legends Mykal Rose (Black Uhuru), Prezident Brown and UK Reggae Superstar Gappy Ranks. The new album showcases some great original songs, along with some inspired remixes of some older songs from some well-known producers. The 19-track release (16 songs on the CD and 3 bonus tracks on the digital album) is put out through Luvinnit Productions, Rocker-T’s own independent record label, on June 17th, 2016. The album has many other amazing guest features including Mr. Williamz, Skip Wicked (Indubious), Mama-T, Ras Indio, and Jah Wave, and spans many genres while staying rooted in the conscious Dancehall reggae that Rocker-T is known for”

For more on Rocker-T, check out his website: www.rocker-t.com

 

Rocker-T ‘The Return of the Tru Ganjaman’ featured on the iTunes Reggae New Music page

Rocker-T’s new album is receiving rave reviews and has been featured on the iTunes Reggae New Music page!

Buy now at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/return-of-the-tru-ganjaman/id1118106906

 

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Great interview with Rocker-T at MusicGuy247.com

Rocker-T to release a new album “The Return of the True Ganjaman.” An interview with the Brooklyn native. “Nature, life study & various angles of philosophical thought are my main composing influences.”

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Rocker-T is a multi-talented musician out of Brooklyn, New York. His philosophy is to promote peace, love and equality worldwide through his music. As a youth, he was exposed to just about every type of music. His mother taught him the classics on the piano and he listened to everything from Frank Sinatra, to Pink Floyd, to Run DMC. After success with a variety of bands he settled into the reggae genre and has made a music has made a major impact ever since. Starting at the age of 13, he has enjoyed the use of marijuana and continues to be an advocate for its legal use. He has just released a new album called “The Return of a True Gangaman”. Rocker-T explained the making of the album and various phases of his expanding career.

R.V.B. – Congratulations on your upcoming release The Return of the True Ganjaman. What is the story behind making the tracks? Is the title character real or fictional?

Rocker-T – Many thanks! I am a TruGanjaman meaning I advocate the herb as a cultural necessity for humans to use and cultivate as a means to see thru thebabylonianshitstem. I am directly inspired by Peter Tosh, especially his actions and attitudes. There are many TruG-Man & Mama all around the world and the song is a tribute to them as well as my own self-declaration. It is a worldwide call for I-nification.

R.V.B. – How long of a process was it to complete this project? Did you write most of the music and then invite guests to help out? What was the decision process of remixing older tracks? You recently released your successful True Ganjaman with many different remixes. Was this fun for you to take this successful song and rework it in so many different ways?

Rocker-T – Began on this sometime in the fall of 2015… Project started as just a few remixes of da original trak for 20th anniversary in 2016. Somehow it became 23 remixes! And then an album appeared from all the amazing momentum!I truly am touched and honored by all the Producers who remixed this classic track. They came with pure original fire. Most of my guests were asked to write vocals before I did so that all of their styles would be represented as purely and truly as possible. I decided to add remixes of older tunes that haven’t gotten as much attention as TruGanjaman, as well as some recent herb tunes of mine because while Reggae Hip-Hop Dancehall music is clearly my favorite medium let it be known that I have always been a fan of any music with amazing bass including everything from Ambient Dub to Jungle. Been waiting years for EDM to be popular in America to be honest.

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R.V.B. – Are you encouraged by the developments of some States virtually legalizing pot? The rules and penalties here in New York need a long way to go. The Rockefeller laws were ridiculous.

Rocker-T – As long as the people protect their rights and keep their freeness then I am happy. I think that Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia had said that due to the immense stress and pressure of living in NYC 5 Boros that New Yorkers should be allowed to partake in smoking the herb. Be great if the people knew this and acted accordingly. Remember in the 90s we the people paraded for JayDay and blazed a trail all the way down 5th Avenue to Washington Square Park. Gotta get active. We no fear babylon!

R.V.B. –  What kind of band will you carry to perform the new tracks live? Are there any tours scheduled?

Rocket-T – I play shows in 3 formations: Emcee set w/ Jah Warrior Shelter or DJ AZ.Redsmoke; Live Band consisting of Drums, Bass, Guitar, Keys & Percussion; or with my Dubsmashers Live Dub Experience. No tour scheduled because I am always in the process of booking shows at festivals and other event venues.

R.V.B. – You’ve delved in many different genres throughout your career. How did Reggae become your main focus? What are some of your past influences and what are some of your current ones as far as your growth in composing music?

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Rocker-T – I’ve known how to read & write music since I was a small child. I luv so many kinds of music. Some examples of my diverse tastes are Sam Cooke, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, The Kinks, The Who, Pink Floyd, The Clash, John Coltrane, MDC, Parliment Funkadelic, Earth Wind & Fire, Iron Maiden, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, New Order, Yaz, Run-DMC, BDP, Daddy Freddy, T-La Rock, Antony Santos, Lisandro Mesa, just to give you an idea. Due to the violence of the Punk, HipHop and Metal scenes in NY I began to steadily gravitate toward Reggae because I see it as a militant music that is striving to bring peace to the world. All sound system and deep bass music is in someway influenced by Dub Reggae to be clear. My favorite music is Jamaican Rudeboy and Rasta music from 1962-1974. Nature, life study & various angles of philosophical thought are my main composing influences. Nowadays I listen to Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid and Romain Virgo a lot as well as a lot of ambient meditation tracks and all kinds of stuff on Soundcloud.

R.V.B. – How do you like the fact that Brooklyn is beginning to thrive again as more and more music venues are popping up?

Rocker-T – I’m concerned that the culture of Brooklyn is becoming gentrified not just the property. Gotta keep it international and make sure the whole Boro doesn’t get white-washed. That being said I am glad to find so many new venues and great places to have parties and events and I am very much pleased and happy about the resurgence of vinyl and particularly Dancehall parties! Would luv to play the Brooklyn Bowl especially.

R.V.B. – What are some of your live performance highlights?

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Rocker-T – Too many to know where to begin or end. Irving Plaza, NYC… Fillmore, SF… House Of Blues, LA… Melkweg, Amsterdam… Reggae On The River… Sierra Nevada… I will say that performing in Belmont and Portmore, JA and in Japan with Jamalski and Boy-Ken are still some of my fondest memories.

R.V.B. –  How many different instruments do you play? Which ones do you primarily use to write your music?

Rocker-T – Guitar, Piano, Melodica, Nyabinghi Drums, Singing Bowls. I run sequencers and samplers too. Not biased against music making techniques and always stayin open minded. Mostly use the guitar or the drum machine when writing. I can pretty much get a tone or sound out of almost anything and sample it and create music that way as well. Either live or looped as long as its got heart, soul and flavor then I will bust lyrics and spread luv!

R.V.B. – What is your main message that you like to get out in your music?

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Rocker-T – Even though the system is a fraud the truth shall set us free. Racism got to go. Luv got to enter. Raspect for each other’s rights and feelings even inclusive of disagreement is the way forward.

R.V.B. – Do you get a different vibe when you play in foreign countries?

Rocker-T – Every place is different and similar including America. It seems that everywhere I go I tend to meet some very real and crucial people. There are some countries that I haven’t even been to yet where I have huge support. I live to travel and share this music and always have a great time no matter what.

R.V.B. –  Are you a spiritual person?

Rocker-T – Most definitely. Always studying and growing.

R.V.B. – Can you give me a few examples of how some of your guests on the new album helped out?

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Rocker-T – From the Producers to the Engineers to the Artists everyone contributed their time and energy in the deepest way on this project. Even the Album Designer and the Photographer. Real heart and soul from the depths to the Ites. I know everyone on this project personally and they sure came correct!

R.V.B. – Can you write music straight as well as stoned?

Rocker-T – I have been influenced by Ganja since I had 13 laps of the Sun. I am a very strait and real person who comes off the hip from the lip so yes to both! I have many ways of manifesting and writing music and always listen when the voice and the melody speak to me.

R.V.B. – Is there any animosity as far as race from anyone because they may think that you’re not a true Ganjaman?

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Rocker-T – I receive way more encouragement and praise than I do criticism or negativity. I don’t blame anyone for being uncomfortable around a Rasta-Buddha-BBoy-Rocker-Poet who happens to be Caucasian and says the whole World is Afrika. All of my Elders continue to teach and support my works and mission. I tend not to butt heads with particularly hateful people. Fiya of Luv.

R.V.B. – What are some of your accomplishments that your real proud of?

Rocket-T – Someone told me that a song I wrote enabled them to defeat cancer. Someone told me that they can walk because of my music. These realities completely blow my mind. When someone tells me that my music or a song I wrote helped them to overcome their greatest obstacles it actually becomes hard to describe how much that means to me. I don’t do this for myself. I really don’t know how to do or be anything but music. Yes I have to pay bills but the money I get primarily is used for getting music equipment or records and presents for children I am close to.

R.V.B. – Thanks for considering answering these questions

Rocker-T – Most Welcome and Many Blessings! Yes One!

Interview conducted by Robert von Bernewitz

For more information visit Rocker-T’s website www.rocker-t.com

 

http://musicguy247.typepad.com/my-blog/2016/06/an-interview-with-rocker-t-the-return-of-the-true-ganjaman.html

LargeUp Premiere: Rocker-T Meets Mykal Rose + Mr. Williamz on “Disgrace”

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Brooklyn-born, Oakland-based conscious dancehall reggae pioneer Rocker-T will release his new album, The Return of the Tru Ganjaman, June 17th. The 19-track project features collaborations with the legendary Mykal Rose, Prezident Brown and U.K. reggae star Gappy Ranks as well as up and coming artists Mr Williamz, Skip Wicked, Mama T, Ras Indio and Jah Wave. Look for the CD on Luvinnit Productions, Rocker-T’s independent record label as well as digitally on Itunes and the like.

The first offering from the album, premiering worldwide here on LargeUp, is a roots and culture chune that will have lighters flicking in the air from Jamaica to Germany. “Disgrace” opens with Black Uhuru’s Mykal Rose delivering his signature ad-lib vocals on a simple, yet catchy, chorus that will stay on your mind for the rest of the day…”Babylon dem a big disgrace, dem nah want di yutes dem fi progress.” The song stays solid as Rocker-T drops a heavy verse filled with gems on the dutty ways Babylon keeps us down, and U.K. deejay Mr Williamz locks down the final verse giving praise to Jah in the most high. The production on Disgrace is in a dubwise style with huge, lumbering bass lines and masterful horns echoing in the background… this could easily be a big riddim for 2016, were some other artists to voice it. As Rocker-T says, “You fi bless and not stress di yutes dem progress.” Do the knowledge, put this one on repeat and tun it up loud!

 

LargeUp Premiere: Rocker-T Meets Mykal Rose + Mr. Williamz on “Disgrace”

 

New Rocker-T track “Herbalist feat. Mama T” from ‘The Return of the Tru Ganjaman’ getting airplay on the No Pigeonholes radio show, featured on KKUP 91.5 FM in Santa Cruz and throughout continental Europe

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No Pigeonholes
European Edition on Radio Marabu
hosted by Don Campau
June 2016 program 2
artist/title/ album/ label-source
Rocker -T featuring Mama T/ Herbalist/ The Return Of The Tru Ganjaman/ IDC CD
Gabby Lala/ Alarm Clock/ I Know You Know I Know/ Gabby Gab CD
Hildadisco/ Love/ Suns Up/—DL
Katharina Tunicata/ Influence You/ Black Widow/ —CD
The Chris Busche Band/ The Catch 22/ The Walls We build/ Dingdog CD
Kickstart/ All The Trouble /—/—CD
Ray Paul/ I Love It/ Whimsicality/ Permanent Press CD
Steve Kusaba/ Mercury To Jupiter/ Life Cycle Of The Proletariat/—CD
Jeanne Lozier/ Beg And Plead/ Backroom Blues Vol 2/ Bongo Boy CD
Savodelli- Casarano- Bardoscia/ The Great Gig In The Sky, Money/ The Great Gig In The Sky/ Moonjune CD
Zhongyu/ Apple Of My Mind’s Eye 2/  Zhongyu Is Chinese For Finally/ Moonjune CD
David W Donner/ Avesah/ Eterna/ —CD
Geoff Hall/ Gone But Not Forgotten/ Understanding The Signs/ —CD
Stations that broadcast No Pigeonholes:
KKUP Edition> 2nd and 4th Sundays 3-5 PM, on KKUP, 91.5FM
European Edition> broadcast twice monthly by Radio Marabu throughout continental Europe ( and archived for the internet). www.radiomarabu.de
No Pigeonholes EXP> broadcast and streamed live on KOWS-FM ( 1st, 3rd, 5th Thursdays 6-8 PM Pacific Time. www.kows.fm> all experimental music.
Radio On> independent radio from Berlin. http://www.radio-on-berlin.com/