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'Time A Go Dread' a happy period for Parkes

Published:Wednesday | February 22, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Lloyd Parkes

Lloyd Parkes, bass guitar player and leader of Lloyd Parkes and We The People Band, was in an unusual position when the Red Rose for Gregory concert was postponed on Sunday, February 12. In a press conference at the Constant Spring Golf Club, St Andrew, he was introduced as part of the backing band for the concert, yet he was a solo singer on an album which was number 15 on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart for that week.

Time A Go Dread, was number 15 on the American-based listing, with Parkes doing lead vocals. Songs on the album include Money For Jam, Time A Go Dread (title track), Mafia, Strike and Slaving. It was put out by Pressure Sounds, with notes on its website saying there are "22 tracks on this set of Lloyd Parkes' finest work ... Lloyd Parkes has been one of the pivotal session musicians for many years and is still highly in demand today".

The album was some time in the making. Parkes told The Gleaner that Time A Go Dread comprises "songs I have done over the years, like the '70s up to the '80s. Some of these songs were not released in Jamaica". However, he said, "this is a new album as it is a compilation."

It is not an unusual turn for Parkes at the microphone, one of his better-known songs being Officially, which is a staple for the band when it plays at concerts before slipping into backing-band mode. In 2010, The Gleaner reported that he was lead vocalist on the album Lover Man, slated for release in December that year.




Time A Go Dread had only a week on the Billboard Reggae Chart, but Parkes said he was startled by its appearance. Still, he told The Gleaner, "these are good songs, but sometimes you make songs before the time." After its release in January, Parkes said "it took off".

Parkes said he knew something was happening when there was an increased demand by sound systems for dubplates (specialised recordings). "We get a lot of requests for dubplates in Europe," he said, but there was a surge late last year.

"It is a wonderful thing. It shows [that] when you do good music, it lasts forever."