Atlanta based producer Matt Mansfield aka Piper Street Sound has created a stunningly beautiful & collaborative EP of instrumental Reggae music with legendary Reggae guitarist Andy Bassford (Toots and the Maytals, Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, Culture, Roots Radics). Black Eyed Peace follows 2020’s Small Plate / Rid Them EP but puts a focus on guitar melodies masterfully executed by Maestro Bassford. The songs still bear that special Piper Street customary horn heavy & dub infused stylin’ but on this release, the flow moves into some new territory; elements of Rocksteady, major keys now bouncing alongside their minor key brethren, Yaya Brown’s akete drumming prods and propels the rhythms carved by the uber-tight drumming of Brian Daggett and the bass of Mansfield, Chris Case’s keyboard mastery blazes alongside, almost at times within the horns of Will Scruggs, Jonathan Lloyd and Dashill Smith. Black Eyed Peace is a collaborative affair pieced together gradually over the course of the pandemic, the horn sessions miraculously took place the week before everything shut down, and all other elements were recorded in home studios and electronically gathered by Matt, who then helped to guide them through the forest of the unknown into a toGetherness of today, many of us seek to find.
I had the opportunity to spend a little quality time with Andy Bassford to get a deeper look and feel into what led to his accepting this fantastic project as something he could feel ready to attach his name to. We get an inside look into his decision making, the vibrancy of the newly found relationship with Matt and even the possibilities of what comes next sonically. When you listen in, it sounds like the discovery of what could be has just beGun. Andy has been around so many of the great artists and sounds of a genre specifically, but I believe after listening in on this conversation, you’d agree that he is clearly in the business for the music, and I am so excited that Matt and he have found each other, and as that door keeps opening, we will all benefit from future collaborations and new found friends.