Blues/Reggae Rock Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter Jahmings Maccow was influenced from infancy by music coming out of the Mississippi Delta and the Caribbean. Sounds like the Blues, Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae, is the foundation and backbone of his musical style reggae rock. Listening to Blues Guitarist like Blind Lemon, Leadbelly, Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Johnson, John Hut, Lightnin’Hopkin, Muddy Waters, Magic Slim, John Lee Hooker and Jimi Hendrix on the Blues side and artists like The Wailers, Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, Jackie Opel, John Holt ,Dobby Dobson, Desmond Dekker and Tinga Stewart on the Caribbean side. 1970 he migrated from Anguilla to the US Virgin Islands to live with his mother and three years later moved to New York City where he would attend a music school on the upper west side of Manhattan. During the early to late 1980’s he record, played and tour with some of the top reggae bands in New York City of that era. In the Fall of 1987 he moved from New York City to the San Fernando Valley of California to continue his musical education. During that period he sign a songwriters contract with Sunrise Records in Hollywood and appeared on the National Cable TV show, The American Music Show. Since that time period Jahmings Maccow has continued to play and record with some of the top reggae musicians and producers in the business today and has evolved into a Reggae Rock Guitarist and a Great Singer/Songwriter.
Can you remember when you first wrote a song?
That’s a good question! That all came together at different time periods! I believe I told the story to the press before, some what, but I have to tell you again since you are asking about the Genesis of my songwriting! First of all it’s a Devine Inspiration from Creation, but if you are asking about it on a biological level, an example of this came about in Crab Hill, Panya Ground, Sandy Point St. Kitts when I was a very small youth I used to listen to local musicians experimenting with scales modes on their instruments and coming into their own creative stature!
They call that learning to speak musically, but two brothers in particular really caught my attention! This was the first time I saw two people playing one piano in two different octaves! One brother would play a line in one octave and the other brother would answer that line in a different octave! What I didn’t know at the time is that it’s is the same phasing used in playing the blues!
It was around this time period I started to play and experiment with modes on my instruments and later on in the St. Thomas US Virgin Islands, still as a youth, I used to listen to guitars players of that time period getting more melodic with the scale modes!
When I got to New York City in the early 70’s I started listening to as many blues guitarists as I could! It wasn’t until the late 70’s early 80’s when I started singing at the professional level to pay more attention to my songwriting by bringing my guitar playing, singing and songwriting together to broaden the horizon!
What do you learn about yourself from the blues/reggae culture and what does the blues mean to you?
Let me start with the first part of the question? The Blues and Reggae are off beats of one another the blues is played on the one and three and reggae is played on the two and four, coming from different angles, but with the same objective! Expression of a Battered Soul! One that identify me with both angles, as a musician. The answer to the second part of the question is that Blues is the Foundation of Jazz, Rock, Reggae and other musical styles! So Blues is my Groundation.
What are the difference and similarity between the Blues and Reggae culture and music?
Like I mention to you previously Blues and Reggae have the same identical objective, addressing of the Battered Soul, from different angles! Blues from the 1+ 3, the Passive and Passionate Angle and Reggae from the 2 + 4, the Agressive and Passionate Angle! Blues is an African Origin and it is the musical influence in The Americas, the Caribbean and even the European Continent.
What’s the best jam you ever played in? What are some of the most memorable gig’s you’ve had?
My early days in Brooklyn, New York with Rhythm Dimensions Band! My most memorable gigs by far would be New York City’s Central Park and Washington DC White House Lawn Concerts!
Can you explain that a little bit – is it a cathartic process or simply your ‘work’?
Those two concerts were part of the American and European Rock Against Racism Tour that I was on in the 80’s during my early musical development years, that opened up the doors to big name Music Producers and Major Record Companies A&R Personnel , that jump started more of my Musical Journey.
Were you writing music with anyone else?
No one outside of my good friend Computer Paul, because at that point in time I was on a mission to bring all of the elements together, playing my guitar, singing and songwriting!
If you could form a duo with anyone else, who would be top of the wish list?
That’s another good question? Because I am a Rastafarian! I Am going to say my Songwriting Mentor Nesta and he is no longer on this plane.
What do you do to relax when you’re not making music?
Hangout in Nature!
Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna o for a whole day…?
My Overstanding is this…The past, the present and future all co-exist at once outside the realm of time in the mind! So you can create or re-create an event at any moment. It’s all timeless.