by Howard Campbell
TAMPA – Before production began last year on his latest album, I’m Livin Well, Glen Washington already had a number of songs written for the Willie Lindo-produced project.
If it’s one thing Washington is not short on, it’s composing music.
“I feel better when I write my own songs. I don’t mind singing other people’s songs but I have to really love that song to put myself into it,” he said.
The Tampa-based artist wrote 11 of the 12 songs on I’m Livin Well which was released in June by Lindo’s Heavy Beat Records, a mainstay of the South Florida reggae scene.
It was Lindo who suggested Washington cover You Were Meant For Me, originally done by soul legend Donnie Hathaway. I’m Livin Well contains originals such as the title song, Pressing On, I Found me A Love and Play Mr. Music Play.
The latter has special meaning for Washington, as it is one of the last songs on which famed trombonist Nambo Robinson played.
Washington, who is in his early 60s, said it was “a joy” working with Lindo whose impressive resume includes hit songs by Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown and Boris Gardiner.
“Things went well, Willie and (his son) Kashief were great. They are very organized an’ disciplined an’ yuh hear it on di album,” he stressed.
Washington is from rural Clarendon parish in central Jamaica. He started his career in the early 1970s playing drums in bands like C35 Incorporated (alongside Joseph Hill of Culture), The Titans and Happiness Unlimited.
His break as a vocalist came in 1996 with the album, Brother to Brother, produced by the legendary Clement “Coxson” Dodd for Studio One.
After a second album for Dodd, Washington cut several hit songs for Lloyd Campbell, another South Florida producer. Kindness For Sweetness and Rise And Shine (Give Jah The Glory) are his most popular tracks for Campbell.