Musings along the Blue Sky Highway ~ Adventures in Sound and Music ~ Part VIII: Reggae


blueskyhwylogostreamingAdventures in Sound and Music

Part VIII: Reggae

Michael Ash Sharbaugh and Roger Allen Baut

Having left Folkerville several miles behind us, Michael and I had a hankering for listening to something somewhat more uplifting. The Sun was out, gleaming through our windshield, and we both remarked on the smell of the sea air as we approached Reggaeton along the coastal highway.
“Hey, Roger,” Michael said, ‘how ‘bout some reggae now?”
“Sure,” I replied, “sounds good to me—at least it will when you play some! Ha!”
“Well,” Michael acquiesced, “I haven’t a large personal collection of it, so let’s see what’s on SoundCloud and YouTube.” Michael tapped and fiddled with his pad.
Roger nodded and added, “Well, what makes ‘reggae’ reggae?!”
“That syncopated beat. Have you ever listened to ska music, Roger? It evolved out of that between the 1950s and ‘60s. The music’s accent is on the upbeat, not the downbeat. It’s a somewhat unexpected rhythmic event.”
“Yes,” I said, “I think I know what you mean. Reggae seems to be ‘bouncy’ to me. It makes me wanna dance!”
“Agreed! As for the term, ‘reggae,’ there are apparently conflicting tales of its origins: it either comes from the Jamaican term for ‘raggedy clothes’ or ‘rags,’ or, if you wish to take it from the words of Bob Marley himself, it is derived from Spanish ‘reg-,’ as in, ‘king,’ or ‘king’s music.’”
“Wow,” I exclaimed. “Who to believe?!”
“Well,” Michael replied, “that doesn’t matter as much as its sound. It usually brings to mind beaches and sunlight for me.”
“As for me, too,” I added.
“Ska was around in the ‘50s and reggae-proper arrived in the ‘60s—around the time psychedelic music wooed the States. Instruments used for the production of reggae were primarily the steel drum, acoustic and electric drums, guitar, organ, and bass guitar. On the guitar, a player would use a ‘double skank’ strum, while all the other musicians flushed out the arrangement. Calypso music, which was around much earlier, also had its hand at influencing reggae: listen to this early, early reggae hit with a ‘double skank’ guitar rhythm, Hopeton Lewis’ ‘Take it Easy’!”
“Well, ain’t that an ear-pleaser, Michael. What else you got in that ‘rock box’ of yours, Michael?”
Michael smiled and paged through his favorites. “How ‘bout this one, Roger? It’s a mysterious sounding dub tune with a cool organ part—‘A Murderous Dub’ by King Tubby!”
“Ooo, cool, Michael. Hmmm … I wonder what my faves might be. Definitely Bob Marley, since he was around since 1963. And maybe some King Tubby. We both dig him! Well, here are my Picks of the Week.”

Bob Marley


Roger’s SoundCloud Picks of the Week

Here are my SoundCloud picks of the week for Folk Music. Give a listen, and if you like what you hear, please ‘like,’ and ‘repost’ the tracks you enjoy on SoundCloud, Twitter, and/or Facebook. This is a great opportunity for you to support the creative work of the following fine artists.


 no woman no cry – Bob Marley & Erika Badu & Jimmy Cliff – chubblesterol – [Reggae]



♦ Bionic Horn Dub – King Tubby – DFA Records – [Reggae]



♦ Reggae Music – 1814Reggae – [Reggae]



The Blue Sky Highway™ is
Roger Allen Baut – Michael Ash Sharbaugh
and Adrian Hallam

blue sky highway


About Roger Allen Baut

Roger Allen Baut, aka Chasing Tao, is a music, art, and written word aficionado. His undergrad is in social studies (Major: Psychology and History with a Minor in Political Science) graduating Cum Laude, with departmental honors, and a member of the Gold Key National Honor Society, in 1989. He received his Master of Science in 1993. He is also a photographer and developer of "Contemplative Photographic Art," as well as the 'triplet' form of poetic expression, which consists of a photograph, poem or prose, and a video, to bring a three-dimensional aspect to the written word. His triplets may be found on his, and his contemplative photographic art on his site. Roger's latest adventure is the Blue Sky Highway™ (BSH), an experimental effort that has been very positively received by listeners on BTR and SoundCloud. It's a journey into sound that becomes sights and thoughts for the mind! The BSH is designed to be laid-back and relaxing, so that the listener may enter into a greater sense of creativity and contemplation. Roger says, that, "Through innovative music, writing, vocals, and thought, one may enter into a contemplative state, and thereby, enter into a greater sense of awareness."