Throughout the Dream Rodeo Jamaican album, I have wanted to not only pay tribute to Bob Marley and Jamaica by re-presenting these songs in the Dream Rodeo fashion, but I also wanted this to be a little more than that. We have the precious resource of the recordings of Bob himself. Just like a drink of fruit juice is better tasting and more nutritious that a sugary fruit flavored drink, I wanted to stir in some real ingredients to give our versions of the songs some true piece of the soul of Bob Marley and the soul of Jamaica.
There are times I have taken a note of his vocals and imported that into a synthesizer and manipulated the sample so much that you can’t even tell it’s a voice, and other times when I have sampled his signature guitar backbeat “Scrape” sound and flown it into my arrangements on the two and four, just as if Bob had played the sound himself. Other times I have used a note, or a lick from a guitar solo of his and played it to suit my own purposes, constructing my own guitar melody with notes that Bob played. One thing that I never did, was simply lift a part that he played and include it in it’s entirety, (or even more than a few seconds) as he played it.
I consider using the sounds that Bob made in these songs to be like stirring in wheat when making bread or baking cookies, or even creating the batter to fry something in… It’s in there, and it’s an important ingredient, but it is never just placed there to be there, or placed there in a way that would even be recognizable as what it is, if you did not know where the sound came from. In that way, I can have Bob Marely and certain members of his band playing on my album, but not be ripping him off.
If you are not aware of Bob’s life, legacy, and contribution to the contemporary music of the world, and to the culture and political landscape of Jamaica, here is the link to the wikipedia article on Bob. I will include a portion of it here, but I encourage you to look further into the life of a man who was honored on the cover of Time magazine, not just for his music, but on his impact on the entire world!
Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, OM (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers (1963–1981). Marley remains the most widely known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited with helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience.