TIMING is everything, and no one knows that better than lead singer for the longstanding Third World band, William 'Bunny Rugs' Clarke.
Bunny Rugs, regarded by many as having one of the best voices in reggae music, feels the time is right for him to release his solo album, aptly titled Time.
"The title is of major significance. It was deliberately chosen to reflect my belief that 'if you don't have respect for time, you don't have respect for yourself'," he tod the Sunday Observer.
Some might question his sense of timing though, as Third World's album, Patriot, released digitally, is currently one of the 'movers and shakers' on the iTunes Reggae chart.
As a prelude to his album, which is expected to be released by the end of June, the singer has released his digital EP (extended play) comprising three tracks — Love Is Blind, Just Can't Deny and Kurfew — which he says has been generating positive feedback.
A consummate professional when it comes to the business of music, Bunny Rugs says it is his dream that all concerned will put more effort and professionalism into the craft.
"You have things breaking down in the middle of a performance, bass amplifier way below what is required," were some of the things he pointed out, adding that "We need to put more professionalism in it".
"The music is in a great glorious position," was Rugs' comment on the error many critiques of the music have.
"There's the perception that our music is going down, but it is not. Just look amount of young people coming out of music school," he argued.
According to the veteran musician, there is a lot of spin-offs from Reggae — culture, roots, rock, ska, rocksteady.
"We're fortunate to have a music that allows so many categories," he said, pointing out that many make the mistake of taking one small part of it to condemn an entire genre.
"We need to look at what we have, value it and realise that what we do have the rest of the world is crazy for it," stated Rugs as he spoke about the progress Reggae music has made.
"We in Jamaica like to throw away things. We have thrown away ska, rocksteady... foreign groups embracing all the genres we throw away," said Rugs in pointing out that it is time for Jamaicans to start appreciating their culture.
Born in Manchester, Bunny Rugs came to live in Kingston — at 36 John's Lane to be exact, between Laws and Barry Streets.
By the time he was 15, Bunny Rugs knew he wanted a career in music. It was this love that saw him accepting an invitation to audition at Kitty Mat Club in Kingston. He totally wowed his audience and ended up becoming a member of the Charlie Hackett & The Souvenirs Band.
In 1968 he migrated to the United States where he further honed his musical skills by joining Hugh Hendricks and the Buccaneers, a popular party band in Brooklyn.
The year 1973 saw him heading back to Jamaica to replace Jacob Miller as the lead singer with the Inner Circle band. There, he played with musicians who would later branch off to become Third World, including founding member Ibo Cooper.
Some 36 years later, and still with the group, Bunny Rugs says, "I couldn't pay for that journey. Being the lead singer for the group I still have the opportunity to expand myself and show another side of me."
Time, according to the reggae crooner, will be a mixture of lover's rock and social commentary. Featured tracks will be Never Gonna Give Up Jah, We Got The Formula, Thinking Bout You and the title track, Time.
SOURCE: Jamaica Observer
However, according to Bunny Rugs: "It's a coincidence. I have been working on Time for about three years now. We decided that I would release my album six months after Third World's," explained the man who has been the lead vocalist/guitarist and a songwriter for the group for over 30 years.