Freddie McGregor Releases New Album: Di Captain

Freddie McGregor recently (September) released his latest album, Freddie McGregor – Di Captain, in Japan. The 15-track album is slated for a November release in Jamaica. Among the tracks are “Bag a Hype,” a remake of Bobby Babylon (featuring Gappy Ranks), “Rainbow Country,” “Let it Be Me” (featuring Etana), “There You Go,” “Love in the Ghetto,” “A Love Ballad,” and “My Story.” The Jamaica Gleaner reports:

[. . .] In Japan, McGregor did performances at the Blue Note in Tokyo, delivering two 75-minute shows each night. There were quick results outside of the audience’s applause, as A Love Ballad entered the top 50 of the online charts. Bucking the trend of Jamaican performers picking up bands in the countries they visit, McGregor toured with a Jamaican outfit he describes as “solid, solid, sweet!”

Getting the right sound is crucial, even at the expense of the budget. “If you keep the musicians right the work will keep coming in. Nuff time we no make money, but we make sure the music is right. That’s how I got the deal with Polydor. I took it unto myself to bring a 12-piece band – not because we had the money, but because we knew something would happen. And it caught the attention of Polydor,” he said.

However, on this trip Japan saw something that Jamaica has not. McGregor said “We no get a chance to do it in Jamaica. The shows in Jamaica cater to a certain kind of artiste. People like me, Marcia Griffiths, we don’t get to do a good performance on Sumfest and shows like that where you have certain time.” In Japan, he said, although the Blue Note is a jazz club, reggae fans mixed with the jazz audience for his performances. And there were loyal people, as McGregor said some of those who came were those who attended his first concert in Japan.

He started recording Di Captain three years ago, some of the songs done in London. Steelie and Clevie, Stingray, Freddie’s son Stephen, and Dalton Browne are the producers on the set. There has been an unusually long gap between this set and the 2005 Coming in Tough which, like Di Captain, is distributed through VP Records.

[. . .] McGregor has seen his share of activity this year, doing the Legends series at the Hollywood Bowl with Ziggy Marley, Toots Hibbert and Bob Andy. Then there were shows in San Francisco, Toronto (Jamaica 50 concert) and Marseille in France, among his European appearances.

[. . .] McGregor confesses some nervousness about the fate of Di Captain in Jamaica. “Over the years, we do some of the songs and we do not get the attention and you wonder if it going to be the same. I can’t complain that my songs are not played. The thing is when you have new product, it depends on the atmosphere at the time,” he said. However, he said for this release “I believe it is good timing” as the market is ready for “some good authentic reggae”.

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