For Revolutionary Purposes
Redemption Sevenfold Redemption Sevenfold began in Los Angeles in 1981. They are known for their thrilling and conscious original roots rock reggae. Along with the electrifying Redemption from Trinidad, the band features the amazing one-handed guitar virtuoso Saint Paul... check him out on songs like 'Lost and Blind.' Also with the band is the smoking-hot guitarist Carlton Sharpe who blazes the lead on songs like 'Never Again.' On drums is a star in his own right - the Jamaican artist Shaka Man - be sure to listen to his music on CD baby. Jamming the bass is Javin, formerly of Idren. Rounding out the touring band are keyboard master Juni Crawford, and Jiji & Gina on vocals and percussion. The original CD For Revolutionary Purposes... 'It is through prayer that I have found my 'new' voice,' says Redemption, the leader of the group which bears his name, Redemption 7 Fold. 'I asked the Lord to bless my voice, to bless his people with music.' His long-time partner and co-founder, St. Paul, echoes the theme of spirituality which underpins their latest project. 'These songs are about the different facets of truth, and situations that people need to consider, real issues we must deal with every day.' 'Our purpose,' says Redemption, in a voice that is at least an octive deeper than the one in which he sings, 'is to cause a revolution of spiritual awakening.' Redemption was born in Port of Spain and started playing music as a youth in Trinidad, creating his first calypso around the age of seven and establishing himself in local talent contests. He emigrated to the states in 1969 and arrived in Los Angeles at the age of 11. In 1980, he came up with the concept of his first band, called Redemption, jelling two years later when a remarkable young man named St. Paul arrived from Denver. Immediate musical sparks flew between them. St. Paul's first experience with reggae had come in 1978 at a Peter Tosh concert. 'His song '400 Years' really stuck with me. I was just learning to play guitar. I never had a teacher. But the music called me.' Born with only one arm, his right one, he invented a system that allowed him to develop a surprising virtuosity on the guitar. 'My system is to use alternate tunings and play nice, rich chords with just a few fingers and pick, strum, and riff with a few others.' Redemption reformed his band with St. Paul, adding the second half of the group's name. 'Redemption means salvation, and seven is the number of perfection, completion, and consummation....the ultimate manifestation of the Holy Spirit which we call Sevenfold.' Although this is actually the group's second album, it has the feel of a debut. 'It feels like our first major release,' agrees St. Paul, 'because it's truly the culmination of works we started a dozen years ago. We've put a lot of hard work into it.' All the songs on the album were written by Redemption. The work features some of the finest musicians in reggae, including a veteran of world tours with Peter Tosh, master drummer Carlton 'Santa' Davis, of Word Sound and Power, and the Soul Syndicate. Santa is featured on the opening track, 'Lost 'N Blind.' 'The track 'Lost 'N Blind' is to remind people that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. I wrote it because of a lady I know who talked a lot about religion. She believed in reincarnation, that when you come back you might be a bird or a fly or something else. I thought she was kind of lost, but it gave me the idea for this song.' St. Paul feels 'a spirit and energy here, a mystical presence in the music, deeper than the song itself.' 'Reason and a Purpose' highlights monster bassist Aston 'Family Man' Barrett and lyrical keyboardist Tyrone Downie, both of whom toured the world as members of Bob Marley's Wailers Band. 'There's a time to reap and a time to sow,' declares Redemption, echoing the Bible. 'Wailing,' according to it's composer, 'is an anti-politician tune about sufferation and healing, and the struggle to keep a family together in the face of anger, hunger, and need. 'My green is lean if you know what I mean'.' It too features Santa and Tyrone, along with a massive solo by Derrick on trumpet. 'Makes Me Wonder' was born back in '85, 'written after running into a lot of adverse personalities. And today things have gone from bad to worse,' laments Redemption. 'How come there are people like that - blasphemers, cheaters, liars, backbiters, people who offer no love, only hate? It makes me think of Timothy, Chapter 3, speaking about perilous times which have their parallel today.' The rollicking testimony of 'Real Thing,' which includes a taste of Satchmo by way of Desmond Dekker, invites you to 'open your ears and close your jaw.' Says Redemption, 'Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, he's the real thing. I want people to come into the knowledge of the spiritual law.' 'Never Again' brings the inspired guitar leads of Carlton Sharp into focus. 'Every rebel knows that experience is a great teacher. I've learned my lessons about relationships and I will never be a fool again, putting myself in that kind of position.' 'Right to Life' is a remake of Redemption's successful 12' release from the 1980's called 'Legal Murder,' and it includes his children, the light of his life, on it's chorus. Tyrone and Fams are featured again. 'This song has a lot of rings, like a tree, and it's message is more important today than ever before.' 'Without Jah,' according to Redemption, 'everybody and everything is nothing. Jah is a title, and God has many titles: Jahovah, Ehoihim, Yahweh, but the name of the Most High God is the Lord Jesus Christ. All of those names are incorporated into the name Jesus Christ.' Rounding out this collection are a pair of inspired dub tracks, eminently danceable, imbued with the spirit that has made Redemption Sevenfold one of Southern California's most popular club and festival bands. As to the future, Redemption himself is uncompromising: 'Our goal,' he says, 'is to spread the message, and inspire and turn people in the right direction.' -Notes by Roger Steffens, co-author of the forthcoming autobiography of Bunny Wailer, 'Old Fire Sticks,' and an international lecturer on the life of Bob Marley.