40 Years Later The Mighty Diamonds Trinity Is Harder Than Ever
Fifteen years ago I had the distinct pleasure of reasoning with Tabby Diamonds, the man seated on the center stool in this classic clip from a session at the legendary Channel One Studio. Our conversation that day took place at another studio—the also legendary Don One dub studio in Brooklyn. The bright, upful spirit that you sense watching Tabby lay down his sensitive vocals is the same spirit that he brings in person. And despite being a 25-year veteran of the reggae industry, he was strikingly youthful. “Every interview we do, people remark on how youthful he looks,” said his bredren who carried Tabby to the studio that day. “They want to know what is his secret.”
“I and I is like a tree planted by the river of water,” Tabby explained in a gentle but firm voice. “It giveth forth fruit in due season.” The Diamonds then had a new CD out called Speak The Truth. “Certain record companies don’t want to highlight the fact that we’ve been together for 25 years,” Tabby added. “But when you’re talking about diamonds, diamonds are forever.” Like black coal that stands up to millions of years of pressure. Albums like Right Time and Deeper Roots are stacked top to bottom with bonafide, all-time hall of fame boomshot selections. When you sing a song as brutally honest as “I need a roof over my head,” nothing more needs to be said.
Well here we are, 15 years later, and the Diamonds are still shining brightly. Big up to Carlyle McKetty and my sistren Sharon Gordon of the Coalition to Preserve Reggae music (CPR) for putting together Reggae Culture Salute, this coming Sunday November 1 in Brooklyn. Reggae Culture Salute is a 100% family-friendly annual showcase worthy of the Diamonds’ sparkling talents. Word is that Everton Blender and Warrior King will also be on hand to nice up the place, and Stephanie Black’s documentary Africa Unite—which chronicles the Marley family’s big 60th birthday celebration for Bob Marley in Ehtiopia—will also be screened. In other words, total niceness. And I’m not just saying that because Sharon and I share a birthday today. This show really looks like something special. Don’t miss this chance to honor our legends of reggae while they’re still around to enjoy the love. Diamonds are forever, just don’t wait too long…