Woo! After the weight of yesterday’s post I feel the need to lighten things up a little bit.

As you’ve realized, I’m equally obsessed with hair, beauty, and music. And during the summer, I want effortless, healthy hair, easy-to-maintain beauty, and happy, bubbly music to make me dance. To me, summertime goes hand-in-hand with reggae.

We love having barbecues, and it’s fun to put together a party playlist to go with the vibe. One of the first ingredients in my perfect summertime party playlist? Barrington Levy. My Caribbean people know what I’m talking about. There’s just something about the sweetness of his voice, that “skiddly-waddily-iddily-diddily-diddily-whoa-oh-oh, seen” that he adds to almost every song, that relaxes me instantly. No wonder they call him the Mellow Canary.

He first rose to prominence in the late seventies, and many of my favorite Barrington songs are from that period. “Looking My Love,” “Shine Eye Gal,” and “21 Girl Salute” can all be found on 20 Vintage Hits, a compilation album of some of his earliest Jamaican singles.

Some of Barrington’s most timeless songs are odes to the Rasta sacrament like “Sensimilla,” “Under Mi Sensi,” and click here to download “Collie Weed, another one of my favorites. (An aside: There’s a killer remix of that song, that intermixes a woman singing an adapted refrain of “Killing Me Softly” between Barrington’s verses. I’ve only ever had it on a soundclash cassette, which is ancient and warped now. If anyone has an MP3 of that track, please, please holla at me!)

Check out his live performance of Too Experienced. He’s as flawless live and he is on CD. Want proof? Read this glowing New York Times concert review, or compare this recording versus the live version of Black Roses. He knows how to put on a SHOW. Check this video of him performing “Here I Come” in 1985. The silver suit might catch your eye at first, but the dancing will keep you watching until the end.

Extra broad, extra broad, extra broader than Broadway! I was really sad to miss him when he came to Miami in May, but I know he’ll be back. I’ll catch him then.

So what’s my favorite Barrington Levy jam for the summer? It’s hard to pick just one, but I’m gonna go with “She’s Mine.” That song just takes me back to being fifteen years old, dancing in Trinidad’s national stadium, and thoroughly enjoying my very first Barrington Levy experience. Every day I love it just a little bit more. Click here to download “She’s Mine.”

Hungry for more Barrington? Treat yourself to Too Experienced: The Best of Barrington Levy. It includes old hits, plus newer songs like “Living Dangerously” and “Vice Versa Love.”

Do you have a favorite summertime jam thatgets the party started right? Share it with me!

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