The grooves and the words sound familiar _ but not these grooves with quite these words.
Even the term _ reggae gospel _ sparks seemingly incongruous associations: Jamaican ghetto ne'er-do-wells at Sunday morning service?
But reggae, though often rooted in social and political issues, is also a music long permeated by religious beliefs and devout attitudes _ and people are listening.
Musically, reggae gospel is the latest example of reggae's resilience and flexibility.This is a music that, in less than 30 years since its emergence from Kingston's ghettos, has continuously absorbed influences, sometimes across profound cultural divides, retaining its essence while becoming a global language. The results are not only evident in its evolving synthesis with rock, funk and jazz, but in the defining role of dancehall, in which DJs speak over pre-existing reggae tracks, in the creation of rap. Reggae's impact has been felt nearly everywhere, from Nigeria and South Africa to Japan, Argentina and Israel.
Reggae gospel's growing profile is no doubt in part due to established Jamaican artists such as reggae singers Judy Mowatt and Carlene Davis and …