I’ve only ever been an occasional reader of the bi-monthly French reggae magazine Natty Dread, but when ever I have got hold of a copy I’ve always been really impressed. The only negative is that it’s all written in French meaning that looking at the pictures and listening to the free CD that came with each issue was always far easier than trying to read the articles.
Therefore it’s a real pity that the latest issue, number 62 with Tarrus Riley on the cover is the last issue. The editor in chief, Thibault Ehrengardt, has put out a press release that announces that after ten years of publication they are going to stop releasing the magazine on a regular basis. The main reason given is that they just don’t feel there is enough worthwhile roots music coming out of Jamaica anymore and they were having difficulty maintaining the enthusiasm to produce the magazine. This is a real pity as reggae music needs ambasadors such as Natty Dread, the demise of the magazine will make it harder for roots reggae producers and artists that they’ve always championed to gain positive exposure.
This final issue of the magazine looks great as always, it has a four page article about Ginjah, six pages about George Phang, Charlie Chaplin and Echo Minott, a two page obituary of Sugar Minott, ten pages about Tarrus Riley, five pages about 70’s artist Milton Henry, three pages about Frankie Paul and a load more. The layout is great and there are loads of superb photo’s. So farewell Natty Dread… I’m off to try and decipher it all now starting with the George Phang and Milton Henry features, you should do the same.