1. Ride On 5:21
    2. Out In The Rain And Cold 4:36
    3. Hear My Cry 7:02
    4. Chains 3:42
    5. Return 5:22
    6. Down To The Valley 5:32
    7. Honest I Do 2:42
    8. What Have We Got 4:48
    9. On The Beat Sound ( Slow Fuse Bonus CD Mix) 4:35
    10. Must Have Been The Devil (Slow Fuse Bonus CD Mix) 5:24
    11. Falling Down (Slow Fuse Bonus CD Mix) 6:04
    12. Too Late (Slow Fuse Bonus CD Mix) 5:33
    13. Storm Is Rising (Herbaliser Remix “for a few dollars more”) 4:04
    14. Ride On (Control Tower Remix) 3:58
    15. Hammerhead (Re-Mix) 5:28
    16. Another Sinful Day (Acoustic) 4:06

Digital Bonus Tracks

  1. Same Boat (Demo Version) 4:27
  2. Long Way To Go (Demo Version) 3:52
  3. No More War (Dub Space / Max´s Mix) 3:49
  4. Ride ON (Extended Version) 14:19
  5. Ain´t It A Shame (Version) 4:34
  6. Hammerhead (Early Demo version) 4:17
  7. What Have We Got (Flying Version) 4:31
  8. What Have We Got (Guitar Version) 5:00
  9. Lift Off 5:24
  10. Chains (AT Version) 3:43
  11. Storm Is Rising (Drum Machine Version) 5:04
  12. Judgement (Alan´s Version) 5:13
  13. No More War (Axe Mix) 3:47

Skip McDonald: Guitar
Doug Wimbish : Bass
Keith LeBlanc: Drums
Adrian Sherwood: Mixing desk


DATE : August 23, 2013
FORMAT : CD, Digital (6 page digi-pak)
CATALOGUE : Echo Beach CD094
(16 tracks / 77:47 playtime)
Limited edition of 999 copies



August 23, 2013


What is Little Axe? It’s what you get when you take the blues and subject them to the 21st century. It’s not a complicated thing. The blues is a feeling, not a technique. And feelings don’t change as much as we’d like to think. In fact, it’s entirely feasible to imagine that were Charley Patton, Howlin’ Wolf, Leadbelly, Blind Willie Johnson and Skip James alive and kicking today, they’d recognise Little Axe as a continuation of their own work by other means. Little Axe is the blues, the deep blues channelled through time, dubbed, tweaked, sampled, processed, explored, refreshed – surfing the present, from the past, into the future.

The story goes like this. Some time around the start of the Eighties, the guitarist and bluesman’s son Skip McDonald, finds himself operating as an element in the most important rhythm section on the planet, the Sugar Hill Gang house band. He and his partners in groove, drummer Keith Le Blanc and bassist Doug Wimbish, are the guys putting the booty into ‘Rapper’s Delight’, ‘White Lines’ and ‘The Message’ – the rap records that changed music forever.

The new album “Sabiduria” (Wisdom) sees Dactah Chando again electrifying listeners with his striking and authentic vocal style. His voice captivates with its endless positive energy and the lively, colourful stories he tells.

Soon, Le Blanc introduces McDonald to an interesting Englishman in New York. Adrian Sherwood is a pioneer of a different sort, a “mixologist” responsible for putting together the never-ending dub/roots/soundsystem project known to all hip Brits as On-U Sound. Sherwood is in the US making connections, as is his wont. They convene in London and Sherwood, Le Blanc, Wimbish and McDonald, plus vocalists Gary Clail and Bernard Fowler, release a sequence of brilliant recordings under the Tackhead ident. A new sound is born that somehow conflates the principles of hip-hop, funk, dub and techno. The connecting factor? The belief, says Sherwood, that there is common ground shared in “the music of Captain Beefheart and Prince Far I, King Tubby and Jimi Hendrix”. All you have to do is find it.

This was the thinking and subtle practise that led to such all-time classics of On-U mixology as Bim Sherman’s Miracle – in the making of which McDonald played a significant part; to Skip’s production and technical work with artists as diverse as African Headcharge, Junior Delgado and Sinead O’Connor; and to the first Little Axe album, ‘The Wolf That House Built’. The “House” was Son House (much championed by the White Stripes) and the “Wolf” was of course Howling Wolf! Released on the legendary R’n’B label Okeh, it was a critical success with a single “Ride On” being used by Barclays Bank in a TV campaign.

A decade on, ‘The Wolf.’ still sounds warm, dark, fresh and deep. It’s all of those things because it came from the heart of a real bluesman. “I want to write, record and perform music,” he says, “that connects with people – something they can touch.”

Touch? Well, yes. The music on ‘The Wolf that House Built’ and its successors, the soulful ‘Slow Fuse’ (1996), the dark and tough ‘Hard Grind’ (released in 2002 on Fat Possum in the US and On-U Sound in the UK), and the more song-based ‘Champagne & Grits’ (released on Realworld 2004 featuring Shara Nelson and Chris Difford Of Squeeze) is so dense, weighty and rich in texture you feel that you can touch it, even as it touches you. This is not music you’d want to drop on your foot.

“Bought For A Dollar, Sold For A Dime” (released on Realworld 2010) was the a remarkable stone Skip McDonald aka Little Axe set up as a last present for Realworld. In 2011 he came up with a new start on On-U Sound with the blusy reggaeisch album “If You Want Loyalty Buy A Dog”.

“Return” is a return to his first movements in a spezial selection with remixes, unreleased stuff and very spezial moments.




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