The record, which will come out January 27, 2015, includes 12 songs and guest appearances by members of Tribal Seeds, Hawaiian singer-songwriter Kimie Miner,Sister Carol, The Wailing Souls, and the late, great reggae legend Sugar Minott.
For New Kingston, having the new record come out on the buzziest reggae label in the world is a big step forward, following two self-released albums, and years of extensive touring, playing with acts like Collie Buddz, The Green, Easy Star All-Stars, Beres Hammond, and many more. The band is a true family affair, featuring three brothers (Stephen, Courtney Jr., and Tahir), who all sing and play instruments, joined by their father, Courtney Sr., who plays bass. With their Jamaican roots, reggae is in the band’s blood, but having grown up in the musical melting pot of New York City, the three brothers bring in plenty of other influences as well. The band also saw firsthand as the U.S. reggae scene boomed and embraced many of the techniques — from relentless touring to social networking — that helped shape the careers of the biggest bands in the evolving genre.
For Easy Star Records, having New Kingston on the roster is a return to its roots for the nearly 18-year old label. This is the first New York City-based act on the label since early signees Ticklah and Easy Star All-Stars. Label co-founder Michael Goldwasser used to gig with Courtney Sr. back when the rest of New Kingston was still learning to play their instruments. Sister Carol and Sugar Minott both were on several of Easy Star’s initial releases, including their very first one.
“New Kingston definitely stands out in the current scene,” says Easy Star CEO Eric Smith. “Their show is dynamic and exciting, they are one of the hardest working bands we have ever met, and every other artist we talk to has nothing but positive things to say about them. Musically, we feel they bring something different to the label, something that feels current, and at the same, brings us back to our earliest days of releasing reggae in New York.”