Jah9 – Steamers a Bubble (Live)

I figured it’s about time I featured some of the female voices involved in the so called reggae revival.  At the forefront is Janine “Jah9” Cunningham, hailing from Falmouth, Jamaica.  Her first album called “New Name” (released in 2013) was a sensation, and has helped brand her musical style as “Jazz on Dub” rather than simply reggae.  Her voice is very unique, although I wouldn’t say she is “great” singer in the traditional sense.  However, she more than makes up for it with her lyrics, style and the raw emotion.  This video is from a BBC 1Xtra session done in January, and I was very impressed with the performance:


When I heard the original recording of this song a while ago, I didn’t really like it that much to be terribly honest.  However this live studio session recording is MUCH better for a couple of reasons.  First off, I love the fact that the piano is more prominent in this BBC session.  In the original recording, the piano sounds so muted that’s its barely audible.  I don’t know if this was intentional or just a poor mix, but I think the emphasis on the piano adds a whole new layer to the song.  Then, just before the four minute mark, the band goes into a FANTASTIC dubwise instrumental.  Watching them dub it out live is a beautiful thing, so much so that Jah9 herself seems to enter a trance like state.

If you want to check the original recording and official music video, you can do so below, but I think you will agree that the live studio session is quite special.  I really love it when musicians can take their live performances to another level, and Jah9 is now officially on the list of artists that I want to see in concert.


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