“Come Down Father” – Beres Hammond
Beres Hammond is one of my favorite reggae artists for a number of reasons. For starters, he has a stunning voice. He’s just so easy to listen to, whether it’s in the forefront of your mind or filling a room with soul. Once I started researching Hammond’s musical background this started to make more sense.
Born the ninth of ten children; Hammond grew up listening to his father’s collection of American soul and jazz music; including Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. He was further influenced by the native musics of ska and rocksteady, in particular Alton Ellis.
Hammond began participating in local talent contests from 1972 to 1973, which led to his first recording, of Ellis’ “Wanderer”. In 1975 he joined the band, Zap Pow, as lead singer, leading to the hit 1978 single, “The System”. However, he simultaneously sought a solo career, releasing his debut album, Soul Reggae, in 1976. His solo ballads “One Step Ahead” (1976) and “I’m in Love” (1978), were both hits in Jamaica. He left Zap Pow in 1979 to pursue his solo career, and recorded two more albums Let’s Make A Song in 1980 and Red Light in 1981.
Hammond’s luck took a sharp turn however when, in 1987, he was tied up in his own house during a home invasion. After this Hammond moved to New York and began recording in a style more reminiscent of the then emerging style we now know as dancehall. His first dancehall hit “Tempted to Touch” is probably his best known song, and found relative success in both the UK and US.
Hammonds enduring style was once again proven when he was selected to play for the Cricket World Cup in Jamaica in 2007. “Come Down Father” from his album Can’t Stop a Man is a beautiful example of Hammond’s excellence, although I could have chosen many others. Enjoy this low key reggae jam on this beautiful Sunday!