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Walter St. Clair: Home/Bio

Ras Luis Smalls/ Walter Belly Up

Greetings Everyone!!

It is I, Walter, coming to you direct with a biography and website update.

You have reached the website for usareggae.com, my home base, and location of all released music recordings of my reggae career as Walter St. Clair. Please read the older biography, beneath this one, for a more detailed timeline of the last 20 years.

In quick summary though, I was active and playing live from 1992 - 1998 with full bands. The next 11 years I was raising my son as a single dad. During that time I sang a song or two with Bredren up here in Colorado, and then played a series of acoustic shows from 2009-2015 with various musicians, most notably keyboardist and organ player Dave "Bassie" Christeson. Mike G. of Bredren and I put together a band we called Mountain Mystics in 2010 for a year of shows, and I sang a few songs with that bands offspring, Funkdafari, from 2011-2012.

It has been during these years where my knowledge and reflection on the commitment necessary to start and maintain a multi piece band has been fully realized. Additionally, my current locale would predicate constant need for traveling for consistent lucrative gigs. Challenges on multiple levels has caused a needed evolution on thought processes related to promoting my music and reaching as many people as possible.

Within that, I can see that, aside from sitting in with other groups, my full band shows will be rare for now. My focus needs to be entirely on recording, mixing, and mastering - SINGLES! Both of my usual reggae style, as well as just songs for songwriting and publishing opportunities. The current model of Youtube, CDBaby, and I Tunes sets up well for individual song releases. As a self produced home studio artist, the time involved in all aspects from writing, playing, singing, recording engineer, mixing engineer, listening back, remixing, mastering, listening, etc etc, is truly many full time jobs, done as best one can, as efficiently as one can, in the limited time my current work schedule offers.

Knowing this, I also live in the light where I know my place in the musical spectrum. Musically speaking, I have my own sound and delivery. Part home studio technical realities, part home grown yet deeply roots respected songwriting abilities. More recently as well, a reality of playing and recording multiple instruments myself, then plugging in various talented musicians wherever and whenever possible. All this, and my deep love for roots reggae songs, helps create this sound..

So please look for these singles on Youtube and here on CDBaby. I know this focus will bring songs to you all much faster, because full albums get pretty exhaustive for a one man part timer like myself. ( & this is the age of downloading that one song you like anyway!) My hope is an "album" of nice singles will eventually be created organically. I obviously long for the day when I can be a full time musician. Until then, this is my path..

I want to thank all of you for having an interest, and especially those of you who have purchased and enjoyed my music over the years! I truly feel and know that my best has yet to be released! Stay Tuned...

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Greetings People, welcome to the USAREGGAE website, featuring the music and vision of Walter St. Clair, a reggae singer/songwriter/performer for nearly 20 years. Walter considers himself just one of the many reggae soldiers around the world, trying to reach people through the love of music and word, sound, power. His views of Rastafari and religion in general are not traditional for reggae, nor is his own unique sound and presentation of the music. This originality is what has always set Walter apart in the contemporary music scene, and for better or for worse, he is committed to being himself and representing his knowledge of the world through his music. His Story Walter St. Clair has been a leader in the North American roots reggae movement for over twenty years. A reggae listener since the early 1980's, Walter delved heavily into the earlier works of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer. From there, other great Jamaican and British artists were discovered and his love for the music and the positive messages revealed within it grew expotentially. As the issues of tolerance, open-mindedness, freedoms for all, fighting against injustice and oppression, and ultimately human Love penetrated deeper into the consciousness of Walter, his own songwriting style and content were being formed. He finally joined the ranks of professional musician in 1993 with his ten-piece breakthrough reggae group The Shepherds and the release of The Shepherds- FOR THE LOVE in 1994. This 14-track CD is the true early days of Walter's career and shows the promise of a young up and coming talent. The For The Love CD is now available as a re-issue for the first time in ten years, exclusively through this website, and is now available through CDBaby's digital distribution, Itunes, etc. Walter's San Diego based group drew acclaim for its all original roots reggae full sound and strict adherence to the slower, hypnotic rythmns reminiscent of the mid 1970's. The 1995-1998 period saw Walter's songs and performances evolve into a legitimate reggae force. As Overstand, lead vocalist for The 8750 Reggae Band, and Walter St. Clair and The Overstand Band, Walter's bands were featured as opening acts for Burning Spear, Isreal Vibration, Culture, Bunny Wailer, Michael Rose, Pato Banton, and The Itals as well as sharing bills of many reggae festivals with todays top reggae performers. Additionally, his Overstand Band solidly played the classic Studio One and more modern Jamaican rythmns whn backing/touring with Jamaican artists Edi Fitzroy and Rankin' Joe. It was also in 1997-1998 that Walter was riding the success of Walter St. Clair and The Overstand Band - MOVING FORWARD. A 12-track CD with four dub versions, the disk hit the reggae massive hard with his usual unique horn arrangements and rythmns and always up to date lyrics. This release coincided with heavy west coast touring and the extension into the midwest reggae festival circuit. 1999-2001 saw Walter take on single parenthood with his son Isaac and withdrawal from the live performance scene. Gradually, as their father and son bond grew, Walter was able to finish and release Walter St. Clair - MORNING HERBS. This disk features studio recordings of many songs performed live on earlier tours with the musicians that played them live as well as a few studio-only tracks. While Walter was able to play a few duet shows in his new locale of Telluride, CO, he never toured and promoted this release, choosing to build a new foundation for life for he and his son. 2001-2006 took Walter into the computer age. Always recording analog previously, he took on the challenge of learning digital recording techniques and the endless possibilites of independent music through the internet. His affiliation with CD Baby has kept him in the ear of many and allowed him an avenue to record and promote his music on his own terms...