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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Pick A Dub - Keith Hudson (2016 Reissue)

 Pick A Dub - Keith Hudson & Family Man
Mamba Records
Produced by Keith Hudson
Released 1974

Side One
Side Two

Pick A Dub has been released on a number of different labels. In 1975 it was was released on Atra, Rockers Unversite in the UK. In 1981on Jah Lives in France. In 1994 it was released on CD for the first time on Blood and Fire in the UK (and also on Vinyl). Simply Vinyl reissued it in 2001. Jusic International released it on Vinyl in 2013 but under the banner of King Tubby & The Barrett Brothers.

The album was reissued in December 2016 on 17 North Parade/VP Records in the UK and US as a Double album.

The second album was called Pick A Vocal and includes 8 extra tracks
A1 Be Still - Keith Hudson


It's not often that I get excited about Reissues and I have to say I was actually unaware this one had come back out until I saw it in the Reissues section in the latest edition of MOJO.

Pick A Dub was originally released in 1974 on Keith Hudson's own label Mamba (it was a very short lived label that released only a couple of albums and singles in a period of two years).

It was one of the first Dub albums I ever heard if I remember correctly and that was a couple of years after it first came out.

For those who know nothing about Keith Hudson let me just fill in a little of background that led up to this album.

Hudson was born in Kingston, Jamaica and as a schoolboy had arranged concerts with schoolmates who included Delroy Wilson, Bob Marley and Ken Boothe - oh to go back in a time machine to witness that little gathering!

He was a follower of Coxsone Dodd's Downbeat Sound System and begun hanging out with the likes of Don Drummond at around aged 14 and by 16 (1960) he had produced his first track Shades of Hudson that didn't actually get released until the late 60s. In order to raise money for recording sessions Hudson went to serve an apprenticeship in Dentistry. By 1968 he had his own label and the first hit came from the first recording session - Old Fashioned Way - Ken Boothe.

The list of folks who he has worked with is very impressive: Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis, U Roy, Big Youth, Dennis Alcapone, John Holt, Bunny Gale, to name but a few. 

Pick A Dub was I think one of the first Dub albums to get a release in the UK I believe. He was living in London at the time and also released another album Flesh of My Skin, Blood of My Blood that has been hailed as a masterpiece.

He moved to New York in 1976 and his career took a bit of a downer and although he continued to release albums all the way up until 1982 he was seen as one out of step with the current trends in Reggae.

In August 1984 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and seemed to respond well to treatment but just a few months later on 14th November he took unwell and sadly passed away.

In 2004 there was a great compiltation released called The Hudson Affair on Trojan/Earmark. This is quite an amazing collection of his various collaborations over the years. Well worth a listen.


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