Great roots reggae are hard to find these days. Melodies and arrangements are important in reggae that, otherwise, can become a very redundant music genre. The upstate New York-based band 10 Ft Ganja Plant got it all: superb bass grooves, melodies that stick in your ear at first sight (Chalwa) and great instrumentation. Oh, and a great band name that really says it all 😉

Sunny Fundation blends cool retro-futuristic keyboards with the regular blend of rhythm guitar, groovy bassline and light offbeat drumming. Keeping it simple is the key. Why Can’t They Tell Us The Good News? is a dub that is trippier. One of the rare songs with vocalists on “Presents”, their very first album, comes in late in the line-up. Jah Teach I a Lesson is a solid number that could have been recorded 25 years earlier in the Bob days. 10 Ft Ganja Plant don’t sound like they want to bring back a music style. They just are roots reggae.

 

They released 10 albums since 1999 and have kept a lot of mystery about the personnel on their records as no credits appear on the sleeves of their records. Some band members have been heard on John Brown’s Body band. It is believed that former JBB dub engineer Craig Welsch heads the project.

“Presents” is a record that is ideal to throw in any reggae mix alongside the greats of the genre. I’d say 10 Ft Ganja Plant have something of the Wailers for the quality of their roots music with a touch of what Cuban guitarist Ernest Ranglin had done in the same years: instrumental reggae where everything flows. The sound quality unfortunately varies from one song to the other… and is really bad on some titles: Rebel in the Hills sounds like a bad Kingston demo from the 60’s, and it’s a shame.

But apart from this unfortunate detail, we got some solid reggae here!

10 ft ganja plant presents

10 FT GANJA PLANT
Presents
(ROIR, 1999)

-Genre: mostly instrumental roots reggae

Buy the album on the band’s Google Play page
Follow the band via their Facebook page

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.