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FYI

A Podcast Conversation With... Gramps Morgan

The Grammy-winning reggae star enlists Johnny Reid to produce his new album, Positive Vibrations. Learn more about the project in this FYI podcast.

A Podcast Conversation With... Gramps Morgan

By Bill King

Canadian singer/songwriter/producer Johnny Reid has a broader take on his music style beyond being labelled a country singer. Reid's roots are firmly grounded in soul, rhythm, and blues – those Memphis Stax records sides found in his mom's record collection in his native Scotland. 


The musical camaraderie Grammy Award-winning artist Gramps Morgan, lead voice for reggae group Morgan Heritage, and Reid share is easy to understand. Morgan possesses one of the greatest singing voices of recent memory – a direct throwback to the soul power era of Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, and Sam Moore of Sam and Dave. Morgan returns with a grand recording - Positive Vibrations, showcasing his rich baritone and songwriting skills. This is classic reggae – 2021.

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"Even though we have been physically distanced this past year due to Covid-19, we've seen people come together like never before. I hope that through this music, we can bring people together that wouldn't normally come together and spread more love along the way," Gramps says

The album was produced by the Scottish-born, multi-platinum recording artist Johnny Reid, and recorded both in Nashville, at Soultrain Sound Studios (the former home of historic Scruggs Sound Studios), and in Canada at Toronto's Revolution Recording Studio. Gramps Morgan co-wrote 13 of the 15 tracks for the project.

"Johnny and I came together in solidarity to create a soundtrack of positive vibes for all the good people out there," Gramps shares. "I hope this album helps us celebrate the goodness that is possible when people from all walks of life stand together as one. I want our music to transport all of us to the beach, sipping rum from a pineapple…an album dedicated to the 'Islander' in all of us."

While his reggae roots are at the forefront with Positive Vibration, Gramps sees his music as genre-less…bursting with positive vibration...a soundtrack to celebrate both love and music. By flavouring reggae with dashes of both country and soul, Gramps effortlessly blends the sounds of legendary artists like Ken Boothe, Toots Hibbert, Jimmy Buffett, and Kenny Chesney, creating a sonic recipe of his own to bring everyone to the metaphoric table.

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Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024

Awards

Allison Russell, Charlotte Cardin, DijahSB Shortlisted for 2024 Polaris Music Prize

The Beaches, rapper TOBi, indie experimentalist Cindy Lee, and previous winner Jeremy Dutcher are also amongst the ten artists in contention for the $50,000 prize, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year based solely on artistic merit. See the whole list here.

Some of Canadian music's biggest breakthroughs of the last year are facing off for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

Charlotte Cardin for 99 Nights, The Beaches for Blame My Ex, Allison Russell for The Returner and Cindy Lee for Diamond Jubilee are among the ten artists shortlisted for the 2024 award, which recognizes the best Canadian album of the year.

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