May 13, 2016 – Harrison Stafford & the Professor Crew proudly announce the release of their third album, the roots reggae and dub masterpiece “One Dance.” Stafford, perhaps best known as the lead singer/songwriter for the roots reggae band Groundation, took a short break from the group to travel to Jamaica in September, 2015 to record “One Dance” with some like- minded souls—reggae greats Leroy “Horsemouth Wallace (drums), Errol “Flabba Holt” Carter (bass), Lloyd “Obeah” Denton (keyboards) and Big Ship Productions’ Dalton Browne (rhythm and lead guitar). Stafford’s longtime collaborator Roger Landon Hall is also featured on lead guitar. Stafford previously worked with this legendary group of Jamaican musicians, aka The Professor Crew, on two previous releases: “Madness” (CD, 2011) and “Throw Down Your Arms” (CD/DVD 2012).
“Recording “One Dance” was an awesome experience, very magical,” said Stafford, who has been recording in Jamaica’s studios such as Harry J’s in Kingston, for more than 15 years. “I knew what to expect and how to run the sessions smoothly. These are masters; they have been recording this reggae music for more than five decades so they know how to get the job done right the first time. I knew if I did my homework and got the songs ready, we could record all the basic tracks in one day. So that is what we did, we recorded ‘One Dance’ in one day.”
Stafford, who also has a home base in St. Ann’s Parish, JA, experienced many touching and spiritual moments during the “One Dance” sessions.
“Every time I play music, it is touching and spiritual and with this crew of musicians; we are all instantly together as one energy,” said Stafford.
About the Tracks:
“One Dance,” the title track and lead single, is a rare and upbeat ska-infused dance tune. Stafford selected none other than Alpha Boys School alumni and Studio One drummer Horsemouth Wallace. “One Dance” is a song that Wallace and Stafford first jammed on in Jamaica a few years ago. Harrison wrote this song as a nice easy chorus of “One Dance Baby!” while the verses spoke very deeply about political power struggles and the subjugation of the poor. The groove is heavy between Wallace and bassist Flabba Holt– two legends of Jamaican popular music. According to Stafford, the ska influence comes from Wallace’s teacher Lloyd Knibbs, famed Skatalites drummer.
“Giddeon” is a dancehall track; up-tempo and groovy, said Harrison. The mood is very serious and the message is about confronting one’s faults in a moment of judgment and payback for the wrongs one has done in life. It is also talking about world leaders bringing about division, chaos and devastation and how they will reap what they sow on this road of life.
“Jah Shine” is both an up-beat disco rocker and a Nyabinghi chant. For Stafford, it’s all about the bridge: “Jah shine like the rainbow!” Lyrically the song addresses the corruption and hypocrisy within world religion and organized religions as a whole.
“Morality” is delivered against a rockers back-beat. The song has a simple yet strong message, that good teachings, love and blessings will come back to rule the hearts of humanity if we adhere to a moral code.
“Young Dread” is ‘a roots reggae track “livicated” to activist Mario Savio. “He was one of the main reasons I wanted to attend Sonoma State University, as he was on the faculty there,” said Stafford. “However, sadly, Mario died suddenly of a heart attack the first semester of my freshmen year at SSU. I was able to say hello to him on a couple of occasions and that was a blessing for me. Mario Savio was one of the first leaders of the free speech movement in California and had a great following and several moving public speeches at UC Berkeley, just 40 minutes away from where I grew up. I have been a fan of his for many years and I had been moved by his ‘Operation of the Machine’ speech on the steps of Sroul Hall on Dec 2, 1964. The intro to ‘Young Dread.” a song about the future of the next generation and how we need our voices to ‘roar like a lion,’ was the perfect opportunity to use this quote from Mario Savio.”
“California,” according to Stafford, is a ska-country tune. “I was hearing that Grateful Dead sound in this track, a real Californian sound,” said the raspy-voiced musician. “I love California; it’s my home and my birthplace. There are lots of great works and music still to come out of this beautiful state.”
“Balance” is a reggae song pure and true; In Studio One style, said Harrison. This song is about good over evil and putting out that message of unity and love for all people.
“One Dance” Track Listings:
1. Jah Shine
4. One Dance
10. Dub Shine
11. One Dub
About Harrison “Professor” Stafford
Harrison Stafford, perhaps best known as Groundation’s lyricist and front-man, is taking reggae music back to its roots. With 10 studio albums and countless world tours, Harrison is a veteran of the concert scene, having shared the stage with artists such as Ziggy Marley, Sting, Snoop Dogg, The Roots and Burning Spear on world stages such as Outside Lands Music Festival and the California Roots Music Festival. Harrison was dubbed “Professor” as many elder Jamaicans came to know him from his “History of Reggae Music” course he developed and taught at Sonoma State University (1999-2001). Harrison’s first solo release under the name “Professor” began in 2011 with the release of the album “Madness” after his pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine. The album stands as a testament to the power of reggae music in the struggle for equal rights and justice. Harrison is currently touring to bring the history and the culture to the masses by way of his solo work under Harrison Stafford & the Professor Crew. From 2000-2012 Harrison produced a documentary film on the history of the Rastafarian movement and Reggae music; entitled “Holding on to Jah”. The film features exclusive interviews with the who’s who of Reggae legends including The Congos, The Abyssinians, Ras Michael, Rocky Bailey, Brother Samuel Clayton, Pablo Moses, Israel Vibration, I Jahman Levi, Countryman, and Winston McAnuff among many others. “Holding on to Jah” was a collaboration with his long time childhood friend, director Roger Hall, and the film was recently released on DVD and online streaming November 10, 2015.
Visit Harrison Professor Stafford on his website: www.harrisonstafford.com
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Harrison-Stafford-45787388731/
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarrisonReggae
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On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/reggaeprofessor
MEDIA CONTACTS: Susan Underwood- 214-417-1170
Shelah Moody- 415-312-8689