Gingermon Gets Us Baked to Perfection
This is reggae from the heartland of the USA, by Tim Grandee a.k.a Gingermon. Baked To Perfection (Midwest Coast Records) is a fine full-length release that seems to come squarely down on the side of Legalize It. The front cover alone shows the love this singer/instrumentalist has for the ganja. Those mellow melodic vibes have permeated the grooves of these tunes like a yellow nicotine haze that evokes the last rays of sunset on the Caribbean.
The first song Babylon Say Freeze lays down the marker emphatically taking elements of roots reggae and combining it with dance hall elements and a Major Lazer flava. The repeated guitar figure is mesmerizing and gives the track a slightly psychedelic feel as well. Then the vocals of Gingermon and Brian Marsh bring the elements of toasting in. To American weed heads, the meaning of toasting is not what YOU think it is. It is a form of vocal competition designed to let the performer one up each other. Toasting became popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s when the DJ and the sound system was the hot thing in the Islands.
Oh, No is another funky track that sounds like an homage to the Studio One recordings. It has a sunny feel that makes me want to groove every time I hear it. This sounds like a top ten single to me and I think that radio should jump all over that track. We got the sun, so let’s beat the drum is the crux of the matter on this one. Slip some funky guitar leads on top and you got a musical stew that is bubbling up.
Sativa is Gingermon’s love song for his favorite strain of cannabis. Being an Indica woman I have to say that maybe Tim should try a few hits of that and see what songs hit him. Gingermon is an equal opportunist and included a song for the drinkers called Drink Up. The sprightly piano and boozy sax lines serve the song well. The lyrics are a little unclear. Much like a conversation late night in a Jamaican beach shack down on the shore that has a couple of scrawny cows wandering around it. The only action you can take in the end is to raise the glass and say drink up, mon.
Gingermon also does a cover of the Johnny Cash song Folsom Prison Blues in a Don’t Worry Be Happy kind of way (anyone out there still remembers that little 1988 a cappella ditty by Bobby McFerinn? Lol!). Ukuleles and an egg for percussion coupled with the traditional aspects of the original recording make this cover hum along like a train chugging down the tracks. All in all, this record by an Irish Reggae mon from Cleveland is one of the most interesting musical projects that has come across my attention so far in 2019.