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Gramps Morgan offers musical relief

Published:Thursday | January 21, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Roxroy McLean, Gleaner Intern

Gramps Morgan - Contributed

Gramps Morgan will be hoping to, yet again, soothe reggae fans with the release of his debut solo album, Two Sides of My Heart - Volume 1.

The baritone singer, born Roy Morgan, branched out on his own with his 16-track solo album which speaks to, as the album's title suggests, romantic love as well as love for his country and social issues.

Gramps is the first Morgan sibling to release a full-length album since Morgan Heritage went on a hiatus in 2008. "That was my father's (Denroy Morgan) dream," he said during a recent chat with The Gleaner.

The album was released in the United States last August on his Dada Son Entertainment label and sold more than 12,000 copies during the first week, but it's the local market that Gramps and his management team are targeting.

Growing interest

The album is being distributed by Tads Records, and Gramps has said that the public's interest is growing.

"A lot of people are getting interested in it (the album) since we have been marketing in the island," he said.

Gramps was fresh from a lengthy US and European tour when he sat down with The Gleaner. The keyboard player went to promote his album - which is the first of two projects - touring with international R&B singer India.Arie.

Volume 2 is said to be a mixture of souls and country music, which contain 12-tracks and is set to be released later this year.

During Gramps' album tour, he made a live appearance on VH1 with India.Arie and at Walmart's Super Store, which was broadcast over the store's 1,400 branches across the USA.

"Those were two major highlights working with her," he said.

He was also featured on John Legend's Evolver tour for several shows, and closed off the year with Buju Banton on his Rasta Got Soul tour, between September 11 and November 7.

Valuable lessons

Looking back, Gramps said he took valuable lessons from each individual, and will invest each experience into his future endeavours.

"India had a spiritual connec-tion with her audience, which we artistes can relate to. John was like a perfectionist and I also learned a lot from him vocally. The Gargamel just gives you it all onstage. I have also learned the importance of fitness, so I decided to hire a fitness trainer," he said.

On this well-produced album, there are a few songs that stand out and make an instant impression. The lyrics, he said, are a reflection of his deep connection with life and its offerings.

"I'm just giving fans a chance to get a feel of Gramps. I'm guaranteeing a change in life to anyone who listens to my album. There are so many confusing things happening in this world. My album is to give listeners a sense of hope," he said.

The songs to look out for are: Come Back To Bed, For One Night, One In A Million and Wash The Tears.