UNIVERSAL SPEAKERSWith roots in Laos and Cambodia, the dynamic duo Universal Speakers has performed throughout Southern California including most recently with The Fully Fullwood Band. On "We Roots" they celebrate the diversity that makes reggae music so great and the joys of celebration itself. With five independent releases to their credit and a blend of soul, hip/hop and multicultural reggae they bring a unique flavor to their own form of roots.

ZEMAZema. Now based in Kingston, Jamaica where she recorded her first album at Channel One in 1981, Zema held forth California for years recording and performing at all the classic LA venues. She currently tours with The Gladiators.

SHAYNA DREADShayna Dread made her recording debut with the Catch Me Time vinyl 12" "Don't Fight the Youth," anticipating the resurgence of a revitalized declaration of the rights of young people everywhere. It's joined on this release by her engaging delivery of a song with a unique history of it's own, "The Fire Is Burning." Written on the day Peter Tosh passed (as fires raged throughout Los Angeles), she has made this song completely her own.

QUEEN PQueen P sang lead for LA's legendary 80's ska pioneers Ocean 11 and remains at the forefront of LA's ska and rocksteady resurgence today. On "Love Sees All" she relates a cautionary tale for those who would stray from commitment for the transitory moment of pleasure that often ends in pain. With harmonies from the song's co-author Colin Giles, who has often joined her onstage adding harmonies to singers like Ken Boothe, Stranger Cole and the late Leonard Dillon and Alton Ellis, she gives the would-be cheater a moment of pause.

Jessica BurksJESSICA BURKS has wowed LA audiences in style with her acoustic pop performances and here crosses over with two tunes that meld mid-western roots with straight-up rockers riddims. "Hollywood Sign" has already garnered air-play on reggae shows around the country. "Ride All Night" celebrates the world's oldest emotion on one of it's most modern transportation systems.

JORDAN MERCEDESJordan Mercedes closes the disc with "The Sun Is Gonna Shine," an uplifting reminder that joy is where you make it. Although she has performed in live venues for years this is her debut recording and she brings a special warmth to a reggae tune with a unique instrumentation--including string bass, ukulele and tuba.

With the exception of this closing cut each song on the disc is followed showcase-style by a full-strength dub. Recorded and mixed at Rough Sounds and Mystery Man studios, the tracks alternately feature multi-instrumentalist Mystery Man and top LA session players including Mike Irwin, Gil Sharone, Stevie Veerhault, Alberto Fernandez, Todd Johnson, Fernando Jativa and longtime Twinkle Brothers stalwart Zacky Bernard.

CHUCK FOSTERWritten & Produced by Chuck Foster, writer for the Reggae Update column for two decades for Beat Magazine (he currently writes a column for the annual Reggae Festival Guide), hosts KPFK-LA's Reggae Central and is author of Roots Rock Reggae (Billboard Books) and The Small Axe Guide To Rocksteady (Muzik Tree). The sound is rootical, the vibe is heartical and the music will make you want to move and groove.