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In the Streets to Africa

Richie Spice

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The Deal: Roots reggae the way old-timers did it.

The Good: Jamaican Richie Spice (aka Richell Bonner) has collated singles, compilation tracks and new recordings into this 15-track collection that strolls down paths tread by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Burning Spear. Spice comes from a reggae family -- his brothers include DJ Snatcher Dogg, vocalist Spanner Banner and producer Pliers of Chakademus and Pliers. The disc features vintage yet feisty lovers' rock, conscious lyrics and signature originals like "Sunny Day" and the spiritual "Motherland Calling." Joseph Hill of Culture, Spanner and Pliers guest on a couple of tracks and the limited edition version contains an extra DVD with interviews, videos and live acoustic performances.

The Bad: There's not much here to dislike. The recording quality is tops and Spice's writing, though a bit kitschy at times, stirs up roots reggae stoked with wake-up calls.

The Verdict: This is an uplifting collection of reggae for roots-enthused lovers and activists. You can catch him at Tremont Music Hall on April 22.

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