A year ago at this time, Morgan Heritage was 20 days away from winning its first Grammy Award for best reggae album with its 10th studio album, Strictly Roots. Now the critically acclaimed group is ramping up a world tour and finishing up its forthcoming new album -- a taste of which premieres exclusively today on Billboard.com.
“Reggae Night” featuring DreZion finds Morgan Heritage directing that “everyone take a load off” as the group shifts into fourth-gear jam mode. Providing the inspiration for the upbeat anthem -- co-produced by DreZion, also a keyboardist for the band -- was none other than reggae icon and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jimmy Cliff.
After receiving the track from DreZion and playing it on the tour bus last year, Morgan Heritage vocalist Peetah Morgan recalls, “All we could hear was Jimmy Cliff's song ‘Reggae Night.’ And like many around the world, we are big Jimmy Cliff fans. The song basically wrote itself once we were singing the hook and just vibing.” Vocals for the track were recorded last October in a studio the group set up in its hotel room while in Zimbabwe.
Available now, “Reggae Night” is the second single from Morgan Heritage’s yet-untitled 11th studio album. It’s due this spring via the group’s own Cool To Be Conscious (CTBC) label. The project’s first single “Selah” was released last summer.
Adds Morgan, “We wanted to start the year off with a song to get people feeling good despite all that's going on in the world today.”
Morgan and his four siblings—Una Morgan (keyboard/vocals), Roy “Gramps” Morgan (keyboard/vocals), Nakhamyah “Lukes” Morgan (rhythm guitar) and Memmalatel “Mr. Mojo” Morgan (percussion/vocals)—will personally deliver that message when the quintet kicks off its world tour on Feb. 18 in Auckland, New Zealand. Additional tour dates will be announced in the weeks to come:
February 18 - Auckland, New Zealand - Raggamuffin Festival - The Trusts Arena
February 19 - Melbourne, Australia - Raggamuffin Allstar’s Tour - Margaret Court
February 21 - Sydney, Australia - Raggamuffin Allstar’s Tour - Hordern Pavilion
April 13 - Kampala, Uganda - Lugogo Cricket Oval
April 27 - Le Ferme, Martinique - Ferme Perrine
April 28 - Le Gosier, Guadaloupe - Palais Des Sports Du Gosier
April 29 - St Maarten - Carnival Village
May 3 - Antwerp, Belgium - De Roma
May 4 - Oxford, England - O2 Academy
May 5 - Manchester, England - The Ritz
May 6 - Birmingham, England - O2 Academy
May 7 - London England - O2 Forum Kentish Town
May 9 - Paris, France - La Cigale
May 10 - Amsterdam, Holland – Paradiso
May 20 - Nassau, Bahamas – Thomas Robinson Stadium Carnival Grounds