Double Tiger, also known as Jay Spaker, is a man of many talents. As one half of Tour De Force and the guitarist and vocals with John Browns Body, this Brooklyn producer likes to keep busy. According to his bio, Double Tiger is “inspired by Kurosawa films, King Tubby and Vibration.” His debut album, “Sharp and Ready” released on June 30 with Easy Star Records, and we are more than ready for a reggae revival.
For the past five years, Spaker has been working on the collection of songs for this full-length album. Paying close attention to the fluctuating political climate, this album is a culmination of his experiences and emotions. Spaker states: “I feel it’s a very important time to make positive and uplifting music with the political climate, the many injustices and environmental issues. So many heavy things in the world right now and music has the power to heal and create change so I feel it is a duty of musicians to spread joy, heal and inspire.”
An eclectic mixture of style and sound, “Sharp and Ready” holds its own in the reggae genre with a smooth sound that gives it a modern twist.
In the grand tradition of ska and reggae influencing one another, the opening track “Rocking Time” pays homage to this longstanding musical relationship with its fast upbeat rhythm. “Feel is Nice” slows things down in an ode to traditional romance. “Sharp and Ready,” the album’s title track, is also on the mellow side, setting the tone and pace of the album. It almost acts as an introduction, with a fade out of Spaker’s lyrics “When a man walkin’ on the road of life/He must come sharp and ready.”
Meanwhile, “Time Has Come,” despite being upbeat, is a clear call to action, highlighting both political corruption and global issues. Considering the political climate that this album was born into, it’s little wonder Spaker feels a responsibility to address these issues in his music. As the greats did before him, Double Tiger soothes the wounds of the world through his music.
“Sharp and Ready” captures the highs and lows of passion, love, activism, and living in the moment. Keep your eye out for the album release on June 30, 2017.