Reggae Meets R&B as Beres Hammond and Charlie Wilson Collaborate
by Howard Campbell
[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Lovers rock king Beres Hammond and Rhythm And Blues legend Charlie Wilson got together here this week for recording sessions that blended Jamaican and American culture.
The singers recorded three songs at Hammond’s Harmony House studio with several of Jamaica’s top musicians. It is not known if they will be released on his or Wilson’s upcoming projects.
Keyboardist Robbie Lyn was one of the musicians who played on the songs. The sessions took place April 11-13.
“The songs aren’t fully reggae…more like slow jam reggae. Beres insisted on having the reggae flavor,” said Lyn.
Word from the Hammond camp is that the collaboration between the vocalists was five years in the making.
Hammond, who recently completed his fourth Love And Harmony Cruise, is arguably the most consistent reggae artist out of Jamaica for the past 30 years. Easy-listening songs like What One Dance Can Do, She Loves me Now, Step Aside, Double Trouble and Rockaway have made him a mega star in that country and its Diaspora.
Wilson found fame with his two brothers in the GAP Band during the 1970s and 1980s, thanks to hits such as Burn Rubber, Outstanding and Yearning For Your Love. As a solo act, he has endeared himself to new fans as “Uncle Charlie” with songs like There Goes my Baby and You Are.
He performed in Jamaica in 2015 at the Jamaica Jazz And Blues Festival in Montego Bay.
Lyn, who has recorded and toured with Sly and Robbie and Peter Tosh, has played on a number of Hammond’s hits including She Loves me Now and Rockaway.
He was accompanied on the recording sessions by drummer Kirk Bennett, bassist Donald Dennis, keyboardist Bowie McLaughlin and guitarist Mitchum Chin.