Published Mar 17, 2015Despite being based in Toronto, Exco Levi maintains that his heart and soul is still in his native Jamaica with new album Country Man. The reggae artist has captured the Juno Award for Reggae Recording of the Year for four years running, but he puts forth a sense of humbleness and gratitude that informs this project. "I still maintain my roots as a rural country man," Levi states early in the record, and his tales of poverty and hard living are illustrated on tracks like "Suffering Man" and "One Room Shack."
Levi's sound leverages a conscious vibe rooted in an old school roots reggae production style that comes off comforting yet fresh. At this stage in the game, Levi has an easy command of the groove, as seen on numbers like "Life in the Factory," "City Life" and "Loneliness Is My Story," and even at 19 tracks, Country Man doesn't feel overstuffed. Canadian reggae is often underappreciated, but this record shows a master at the top of his game. (High Priest Music/Penthouse Records)