Cornerstone Roots: Free Yourself
By Rachel Fallon
This is the third offering from Raglan-based roots-rock reggae five-piece Cornerstone Roots. After their fantastic first album 'Soul Revolution' and follow up EP 'Forward Movement' they have now excelled themselves with this rich, poignant live studio recording. Front man Brian Ruawai projects their political and spiritual message in his usual raw vocal style, perfectly suited to this genre. Add to this the family line up of Brian's partner Naomi Tuao on bass, and son Reiki on backing vocals and you have a warm Aotearoa family vibe. Since they formed in 2001 Brian and Naomi have also set up the Motherland Collective, functioning as both a music label and a vehicle to organise the annual Soundsplash reggae festival in Raglan's natural amphitheatre. The stand out track here is Jah, their most ska influenced featuring Jamaican dancehall vocalist Luciano, which I would love to see as a single. This work was recorded at Dudley Studios Hamilton with engineer Dan Howard in co-production with Brian, released by The Motherland Collective and distributed in NZ by Rhythmethod.