Ed Robinson to release John Holt tribute album
International recording artiste Ed Robinson celebrated the music of legendary crooner John Holt on his latest pop-reggae album, Tribute to John Holt. The album, produced by Kemar 'Flava' McGregor, premiered on Tuesday, November 11 on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
Conceived during a pop-reggae recording session between Robinson and McGregor, Tribute to John Holt represents a modern, mainstream approach to the songs of Holt, who himself personified the mainstream appeal of crossover reggae.
John Holt, who died on October 19, 2014 in London, is considered an important progenitor of the 'lovers rock' genre, scoring mainstream radio hits with smooth-groove reggae covers of contemporary love songs - most notably, his rendition of Kris Kristofferson's Help Me Make It Through The Night, which became a UK Top 10 radio hit in 1973. For Robinson, Tribute to John Holt is greatly influenced by a deep passion to recreate Holt's positive, melodic vibrations and to popularise Holt's legacy to a global audience.
"I had recorded the single, Let Your Hair Down, with Kemar McGregor, and while we were working on that recording, John Holt passed away," said Robinson. "Kemar came up with the idea: 'How would you like to do a tribute song for John Holt?' We eventually decided to do a full album. The album is very emotional for me, because I've spent a lot of my time making songs that uphold the dignity of veteran singers like John Holt, and making sure they get the respect they deserve."
Decorating McGregor's lavish bass grooves with sprightly, exuberant vocal inflections, Tribute to John Holt represents Robinson's emblematic mixture of Holt's contemporary energy, as well as his heartfelt cultural soul. "I would say the album is very modern," said Robinson, "It's a very modern record - a well-produced record in terms of the technology we used - achieving an acoustic sound in a computerised studio. But at the same time, it's a very emotional record. I meant this album from the bottom of my soul."
Robinson plans to tour the album during the coming months, having already secured concert dates in South America, the Caribbean and the North American west coast. When asked about the spiritual message intended by the album, Robinson wants his fans to bask in the beneficent vibrations of Holt's lyricism, as Robinson once did as a youth listening to Holt's singles in Jamaica.
"Holt's music makes me feel like I'm in a good space, it takes me back to a feeling when life was pure," Robinson said. "The album is going to take listeners to a time when music was telling you that you could be a good person, not just on the outside, but also on the inside. That's my relation to this - and that's the emotion I'm trying to stir up in people - that it's all about love. No matter what the song is about, and no matter what the storyline is, at the end of the day, the story should be about love."