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Fred Locks

 Fred Locks—

Reggae veteran Fred Locks started out in the rocksteady group called the Lyrics back in late 60’s. He’s back with some new material (“Live To Love/Misty Love”) which will be vinyl-only (download included) on October 9th via Duplex Music. “Live To Love” was a single that was first written by Fred Locks at the age of 12 in 1962, but he didn’t record the song until 2015. That’s a long time to wait to record something you wrote!

The vinyl-only single “Live to Love/Misty Love”, is the culmination of an eight-year partnership with Brooklyn producer David Ondrick, “David O.” and Roots Reggae veteran Fred Locks. This release introduces the inimitable vocals and lyrical prowess of Jamaican stalwart to a younger generation of fans, thirsting for the foundation sound of the 1970’s Kingston.

From 1967-68, Fred Locks started his career in the group The Lyrics, and recorded five songs with pioneering sound system promoter and producer Sir Clement “Coxsone” Dodd at Studio One in Kingston. Later, Fred Locks cemented his reputation with his 1976 debut solo album Black Star Liner, hits from which include “Black Star Liner” and “Time to Change,” both recorded in Vincent “Randy” Chin’s studio at the same time that Bob Marley was cutting classic sides there with renowned producer Lee “Scratch” Perry. Other hits from the same album like “True Rastaman” were recorded at Harry Js and Treasure Isle, iconic studios in a golden era of roots reggae.

David Ondrick, known as “David O,” has been a fixture of the NYC Latin music scene for the past decade as a saxophonist and backing singer, most recently for the Latin fusion band Sonido Costeño. Starting in the mid 1990’s, he applied the production skills he had honed for ten years as Technology Director at NBC Studios to reggae tracks with The Skatalites saxophonist Rolando Alphonso, and producers within the Brooklyn reggae scene; this includes Karl Wright, Grammy nominated drummer for Monty Alexander’s Harlem Kingston Express, and Courtney Panton Sr.

David "O" Ondricks

David “O” Ondricks

The A-side of the single, titled “Live To Love,” lyrics were initially written by Fred Locks in 1962 for his first group, The Flames. It was never recorded or performed, but Fred’s band, The Lyrics, rehearsed it five years later. Fast-forwarding to 2015, David O never heard the original instrumental arrangement of the tune, only Fred’s melody and lyrics. As he recalls, “We [he and Horace James] sent Fred a click track and recorded him singing the song and bridge ideas right into Pro Tools over the phone. Then we set up a musical structure around the lyrics, which then allowed me to produce the live music.” The B-side of the single, titled “Misty Love,” is the instrumental version of “Live To Love,” featuring David’s saxophone work. “Live to Love/Misty Love” is set to be released in anticipation of the full length album Time to Shine, Fred Locks Meets David O, Vol.1.


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