Special Guests I-Three

Throughout the Dream Rodeo Jamaican album, I have wanted to include not just my own arrangements of these powerful Bob Marley songs, but also, have a bit of the real heart and soul of Bob and his band there, so in every place I can, I have tried to use samples from some original Bob Marley recordings. In the case of the I-Three, I have taken very small snips, sometimes just one note, and inserted it into my recordings. Sometimes as the original sample for use making a sound in the sampling synthesizer, “Iris” and sometimes in a more literal context. Each sample used is a very small piece of audio, but somehow in my heart and soul, I feel a privilege as if I am making music with these great musicians, and a responsibility to stay true to the driving force behind all of this music, which is helping create peace and harmony in the world… even by just contributing a bit of beauty in the form of a song.

Here is an article about I-Three from the website of the Bob Marley Foundation:

THE I-THREE ARE THREE BEAUTIFUL BLACK SISTERS WHO POSSESS VOICES LIKE WELL TUNED INSTRUMENTS. INDIVIDUALLY, THEY ARE JAMAICA’S THREE MOST RESPECTED FEMALE SINGERS: RITA MARLEY, JUDY MOWATT, AND MARCIA GRIFFITHS. THE THREE ARTISTES WERE CLOSE FRIENDS LONG BEFORE THEY CAME TOGETHER AS A GROUP IN 1973 TO SING BACKING VOCALS FOR THE KING OF REGGAE, BOB MARLEY.

“WHILE WE WERE IN THE STUDIO FOR THE NATTY DREAD ALBUM, BROTHER BUNNY AND BROTHER PETER WERE IN WITH BOB… WE WERE LOOKING FOR A NAME TO CALL OURSELVES AND WE SAID ‘WE THREE’. WE EVENTUALLY SETTLED FOR THE NAME I-THREE,” RECALLS SISTER JUDY. “THE ‘I’ IN THE THREE IS H.I.M. EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE I, WHO IS THE FAR EYE WATCHING YOUR DEEDS… SO THE NAME IS REALLY MYSTICAL.”

BOB MARLEY FIRST HEARD THE THREE SONGBIRDS HARMONIZE EARLY 1973 AT THE HOUSE OF CHEN CLUB LOCATED IN NEW KINGSTON. HE IMMEDIATELY DECIDED THAT TOGETHER THEIR MELODIOUS VOICES MADE THE SOUND HE WAS LISTENING FOR. AS BACK-UP SINGERS, THE I-THREE SOUNDED SO PERFECT THAT BOB DECIDED TO KEEP THEM ON FOR THE REST OF THE NATTY DREAD ALBUM, THEIR FIRST ALBUM WITH THE KING HIMSELF. BY THE TIME BOB MARLEY PREVIEWED THEM IN HIS LINE-UP AT THE JACKSON FIVE CONCERT IN KINGSTON, JAMAICA WAS READY FOR A FEMALE SOUNDING WAILERS. THE AUDIENCE WAS ENTHRALLED BY THE PERFORMANCE OF THE ENTIRE GROUP – A PERFORMANCE CONSIDERABLY ENHANCED BY THE COLOURFUL SIGHT OF THE I-THREE IN RED, GOLD, AND GREEN HEAD-DRESSES AND GOWNS, CHUCKING IN UNISON AND SINGING HARMONY AT STAGE RIGHT. WITH BOB, THE I-THREE TOURED ALL OVER THE WORLD OPENING DOORS FOR REGGAE AND RAISING THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF MILLIONS TO ITS HYPNOTIC BEAT.

THE I-THREE RECENTLY COMPLETED A SERIES OF CONCERTS, SINGING TO RECORD BREAKING AUDIENCES IN JAPAN AND HEADLINING AT THE BOB MARLEY BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY CONCERT IN JAMAICA. THEIR APPEARANCE ON THE SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS CONCERT (WHERE THIRTY-FOUR PRESIDENTS AND THEIR SPOUSES AS WELL AS OTHER HIGH PROFILE PERSONALITIES CONVENED IN MIAMI, FLORIDA) WAS A MILESTONE FOR REGGAE INTERNATIONALLY.

THE I-THREE HAVE BECOME A HOUSEHOLD NAME WORLDWIDE THROUGH THEIR MUSICAL OFFERINGS AS A GROUP AND THEIR SUCCESSES AS SOLO PERFORMERS. BOTH RITA MARLEY AND JUDY MOWATT ARE GRAMMY NOMINEES FOR THEIR INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES. MARCIA GRIFFITHS WAS BESTOWED THE ORDER OF MERIT (JAMAICA’S HIGHEST TRIBUTE FOR ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT) AND RITA MARLEY HONOURED WITH JAMAICA’S ORDER OF DISTINCTION. INDIVIDUALLY, THEIR HITS INCLUDE “ONE DRAW”, “HARAMBE”, “GOOD GIRL CULTURE”, AND “WHO FEELS IT KNOWS IT” BY RITA; “YOUNG, GIFTED & BLACK”, “STEPPIN’ OUT OF BABYLON”, “ELECTRIC BOOGIE”, AND “ROCK MY SOUL” FROM MARCIA; AND JUDY’S “WORKING WONDERS”, “HUSH BABY MOTHER”, “MANY ARE CALLED (FEW ARE CHOSEN)”, AND “BLACK WOMAN”. TOGETHER, THESE THREE IRIE DAUGHTERS TOOK THE WORLD BY STORM WITH THEIR VERSATILE FIRST ALBUM BEGINNING WHICH FEATURED THE CHART TOPPERS “HE’S A LEGEND”, “NEIGHBOUR”, “THAT’S HOW STRONG”, AND “JEALOUSY”.

AGAIN SWEET HARMONY FLOWS WITH THEIR MUCH ANTICIPATED FOLLOW-UP ALBUM I-THREE SINGS BOB. THE RECORDING PAYS TRIBUTE TO BOB MARLEY, AND IS PRODUCED BY ACE PRODUCER CLIVE HUNT WITH VOCAL ARRANGEMENTS BY GRUB COOPER. THE ALBUM FEATURES THE QUEENS AT THEIR BEST YET AND IS DISTRIBUTED BY RITA MARLEY MUSIC AND TACHYON/PHONOGRAM RECORD COMPANY. THE I-THREE WILL SOON BE TOURING EXTENSIVELY, AND WHETHER YOU ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO SEE THEM LIVE OR YOU ARE ONLY ABLE TO APPRECIATE THEM ON DISC IN YOUR LIVING ROOM, YOU WILL FIND THAT THEIR MESSAGE OF LOVE, HOPE, PEACE, AND UNITY LINGERS WITH YOU.
– ONE LOVE –