RECORDING ARTIST, SINGER, SONGWRITER, MUSICIAN
FOCUS Magazine (Toronto)
The Skipah is a product of the courageous Maroons. He is a serious Rastaman. Errol's faith is the driving force in his life. It characterizes his being. With his sporting majestic dreadlocks, he pens plays and sings out his hunger for Justice and Equal Rights. He is certainly one of the hardest working entertainers in Canada today.
Waterloo Region Record Newspaper (SHOWCASE)
Errol has a voice full of richness and is a masterful bass player. Errol sings of struggle, love and life, all with the same positive feeling. Not only does he write excellent songs, but he has also masterminded video renditions of his material. A performance by Errol and his band Injah transcends mere playing, taking you on an appealing versatile and spiritual trip through the heartbeat of reggae.
Waterloo Region Record Newspaper (ENTERTAINMENT)
Celebrating Black History Month with music that’s all about peace and love
KITCHENER — Reggae artist Errol Blackwood looks to February's Black History month as a time to share the music and the culture he loves.
"I feel music is like food," said Blackwood, who will share his bountiful feast Feb. 9 at the Registry Theatre with Errol Blackwood Injahband featuring musicians Craig Ruddock, Craig Dixon, Osborne Joseph and Billy Stergiou.
The band will also perform Feb.15 at Maxwell's as part of the "Legends of Reggae" concert featuring headliners Andrew Tosh and Echo Levi.
Jamaican-born Blackwood is a successful reggae artist living in Kitchener and, though he is busy and has a regular following, the singer/songwriter looks forward to concerts during Black History Month where he can introduce new audience members to a style of music made famous by Bob Marley.
Like Marley's songs, Blackwood's music is rich in the African tradition of storytelling. The singer was born in the Maroon Hills of Jamaica, came to Canada at 17, and worked in a Toronto hotel where he saved enough money to purchase his first real guitar having honed his skills as a child using a homemade bamboo instrument. He naturally gravitated to reggae given it originated in Jamaica in the 1960s, a fusion of many influences, everything from American jazz to African rhythms.
The music, he said, has strong positive messages, but recently those messages have fallen on deaf ears in Jamaica.
"Bob Marley used to sing about loving ourselves, loving our culture," he said, adding how sad it is to see his homeland embroiled in gun and gang violence, having fallen far from Marley's teachings; he blames a lot on the music that has become popular with young people in Jamaica, music that inspires violence.
"We've gone from peace and love to gun violence," he said. "I've never seen Jamaica so violent." Blackwood's music sticks with Marley's tradition of reaching deeply felt emotions.
One of his songs has a particularly tragic, poignant history. Blackwood's friend, musician Gary Fraser of Cambridge, was a mentor and the man who taught him to play guitar. Blackwood always ran new songs past Fraser. One day in 2009, he called to ask the 47-year-old Fraser if he could come sing his newest song, "Fallen Star." To Blackwell, the song title was a play on children's stories, but he soon changed his mind.
"...A performance by Errol and his band Injah transcends mere playing, taking you on an appealing versatile and spiritual trip through the heartbeat of reggae..."
The Record Showcase
Celebrating Black History Month with music that’s all about peace and love - continued.
"I started playing the song to him and he listened," she said. "The next day, he died."
That bitter sweet memory still evokes deep emotion as he recalls that after losing his friend, Blackwood realized the song was like a premonition. "Fallen Star" will be recorded for the first time in a new release this spring, Blackwood's first acoustic album.
Blackwood hasn't recorded any music in five years. It's a long drought that's about to come to an end when he releases the acoustic album "Dreadnaught & Fire" in April, and a new reggae album, "Spirits Singing Through Me," later in the summer.
His upcoming concerts will feature some of this new music.
Blackwood's writing style is unique for a singer/songwriter.
"I don't listen to music," he said. "I like it quiet, when I'm alone."
When a song comes — sometimes in the middle of the night — it's usually unexpected and fully formed.
"I don't try to write a song, a melody just comes.
email@example.com Jan 31, 2018 by Valerie Hill Waterloo Region Record
Lake Head University - Thunder Bay (THE ARGUS)
Imagine the herb-enhanced vocals of Joe Cocker and the lyrical grace of Eric Clapton. Errol in all his Rastafarian wisdom delivers even more of a powerful mix with his new CD release, "WAKING UP THE DREAM." recorded in Jamaica. One listen and you will feel the most passionate, vocal presence and skillful instrumental-punch penetrating your spirit with good vibrations. Errol's CD, "WAKING UP THE DREAM," an investment that is truly a collector’s piece
Dub Missive International Vol. X, No. 3
Waking up the dream by Errol Blackwood hits dread on The Jamaican born
Canadian based singer and bassist captures the essence of roots reggae with hungry tunes of love, redemption, judgment and hope. His sweet throaty vocals lend themselves to so many styles and he easily maneuvers from lover's rock to righteous anthems of roots. "I'm the one" is one of the strongest dance tracks. The gritty reality of one urban family is reason to weep on "Little Bit of Tear" as Blackwood narrates a tale of despair. Eventually you loose reality/killing then just becomes another spree/and the children die/how could we close our eyes. Free world bounces back with a hopeful kind of Bob Marley meets Talking Heads admonishment to the system and its slick-talking purveyors of false freedom."Liberty Woman" is a slow burner. Saving the best for last, the most outstanding is the Nyabinghi-Style "Mandela" with bass drums laying the heart beat foundation. Blackwood hails the great freedom fighters. His raspy voice calling with emotion as he begs us to heed the message and carry on the dream