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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1969 says:
July 12, 2007, 9:11 am
I love Barrington Levy!!!!!!!!!!!!! Too experienced is my jam and I love the fact that he's Broader than Broadway.
islandgirl550 says:
July 12, 2007, 10:14 am
Barrington is wicked... WICKED!!! Him tune ah SELL OFF!!!!!!!
D. says:
July 12, 2007, 2:14 pm
I'm not familliar w. the majority of his work, but I LOVE his collabo on "Bonnie & Shyne."
Jamaipanese says:
July 12, 2007, 2:52 pm
Barrington is a great artist and my Jamaican/Caribbean Brother ^_^
Naturally Sophia says:
July 12, 2007, 5:17 pm
Thanks Afrobella. I needed this, a nice diversion in my day. I have so much crap in my i-pod; I wonder why I never added him though I have his CD. Anyway..going back to my playlist starting with "Broader than Broadway".
claudette says:
July 12, 2007, 10:35 pm
Love Barrington, but Beres Hammond is my man ;)
titilayo says:
July 13, 2007, 8:23 am
My first concert was a Barrington Levy show. If my guess at your age is correct it was probably around the same time that you saw him, maybe on the same tour. He gave a fantastic performance.
Gee says:
July 13, 2007, 11:38 am
I didn't know his name but I used to jam on his collabo with Shyne. You really need your own thing on cable girl. Enjoy your weekend 'Bella.
La-Shaun says:
July 13, 2007, 1:05 pm
Lawwwwks!! Mr Levy A DI BOSSSS!! All a him tune dem sell off!!!
Neosoulbeauty says:
July 13, 2007, 1:47 pm
Love Barrington Levy but my man is Byron Lee and the Dragonaires!!
Jonathan says:
July 13, 2007, 5:58 pm
Yes, your Caribbean massive knows just what you're talking about. Barrington is the isht! I caught him in the Bahamas 3 months ago and he was the king of the night. And I mean, Elephant Man was there, Buju, Ky-Mani Marley, Vegas, Wayne Wonder...all these big dancehall artists, but NOBODY got a bigger reception than Barrington. We must link soon enough.
Lele says:
October 8, 2008, 9:35 pm
I just love you Barry
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