Inner Circle reaching new fans
At the start of 2015, Inner Circle reached out to a new generation of reggae fans with 'Tenement Yard' (Newscarrying Dread), a song they did with neo-roots artiste Chronixx.
The veteran band stayed on that path with We The People, a peace track they recorded with Kabaka Pyramid, another key figure in the roots-reggae revival. That song was recently released and is a call for global peace.
"It don't have nothing to do with election (in Jamaica) or anything like dat. We the people still have something to say," said Roger Lewis, Inner Circle's guitarist.
A video for the song was shot in Miami, the band's base for more than 30 years. It is where the visual for Tenement Yard (Newscarrying Dread) was also filmed.
A contemporary spin on a song Inner Circle first did with singer Jacob Miller 40 years ago, Tenement Yard (Newscarrying Dread) was a solid hit in Jamaica. They launched the Chronixx version and video in Kingston in January at Triple Century Sports Bar, and performed at Rebel Salute that month.
Lewis is pleased with the response to the song, which re-acquainted Jamaicans with the band which formed in 1968.
"When wi did Rebel Salute, people look an' seh things like 'a who dem bredda ya'? It
wasn't massive in terms of exposure but it was good for us," he said.
Lewis and his younger brother Ian, who plays bass, are among the original members of Inner Circle. Keyboardist Bernard 'Touter' Harvey has been with them since their heydays of the 1970s when Miller was lead singer.
Miller died in 1980 at 27, and the Lewis brothers relocated to South Florida. In 1993, Inner Circle returned with a vengeance, thanks to the party anthems Sweat (A La La La La Long) and Bad Boys.
Both were from the album, Bad Boys, which won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1994. Inner Circle plans to release a new album, Kingston 21, early next year.