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Jimmy Cliff

Scared Fire EP (Collective Sounds)

Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW 2012 Records

Jimmy Cliff

Sacred Fire EP (Collective Sounds)

Reggae royalty Jimmy Cliff has kept a low profile in recent years, so this five-song EP is noteworthy. He's teamed with producer Tim Armstrong of Rancid, a band that has long felt right at home mixing punk, ska, and reggae. It's therefore not surprising Cliff largely hews toward the bubbly, upbeat skank of reggae's old school, when he was a youngster recording for Jamaican producer Leslie Kong. Rancid cover "Ruby Soho," Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," and a new Cliff original, "Ship Is Sailing," all adhere to that busy, effusive riddem. The centerpiece, a righteous cover of the Clash's "Guns of Brixton" references Cliff's lead character, Ivan, from landmark reggae film The Harder They Come. A wicked dub, "Brixton Version," bookends the set beautifully

(Wed., 10pm, the Main; Thu., 12mid, Hype Hotel; Sat., 12:30am, the Stage on Sixth Patio)

***.5

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