Country Reggae! Morgan Heritage Mixes Southern Music With Reggae

Grammy-winning reggae ambassador, Morgan Heritage, according to the Associated Press (AP), is currently pioneering a new island-inspired reggae country mix that has become popular among patrons in Nashville’s famous bars and nightclubs.

Their latest album, ‘‘Avrakedabra,’’ which was partially recorded in Nashville, Africa, Europe and Jamaica features 12 songs and has been nominated for a Grammy for best reggae album following their 2016 win with their Strictly Roots album.

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‘‘Coming to Nashville has changed my life,’’ Morgan told The Associated Press.

Just being among the best songwriters. I remember going to a session with Keith Urban and just watching him. The musicianship, that’s what kills. That’s what we grew up on as a family. -Morgan Heritage

According to Morgan, historically, there is a long connection between country music and reggae music as Jamaicans could pick up powerful short-wave radio stations from the United States playing artists like Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline back in the days. In fact, his mother used to play Dolly Parton and Randy Travis, alongside Jamaican artists Toots and the Maytals.

If you follow reggae music and country music, it’s a lot of storytelling. In reggae we tell the story of people suffering. -Morgan Heritage (AP)

Currently Morgan is trying to introduce Nashville to reggae with his eclectic mix. He previously hosted a rooftop reggae party last summer at the Acme Feed and Seed, a popular downtown music venue and club, and served as a reggae DJ for a local radio station.

‘‘We cannot afford for our genre to be stagnant. You have reggae from Canada, Germany, Italy, California, and right here in America, right here in Nashville, Tennessee. -Morgan Heritage (AP)

The Morgan brothers started in the early 1990s as a band of siblings following in the footsteps of their father and Jamaican reggae singer Denroy Morgan.


Story originally published by Kristin M. Hall of the Associated Press.

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