Jimmy Cliff's Rebirth

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Sunday, October 14, 2012

FORTY years after a low-budget film named The Harder They Come made him a superstar, Jimmy Cliff is enjoying a career revival.

His latest album, aptly titled

CLIFF... enjoying a career revival

Rebirth, has received strong reviews in Europe and North America where it has made major charts.

Cliff, 64, got another big boost recently when he was named to tour with the Dave Matthews Band, one of the biggest acts of the 1990s and a strong touring unit.

The tour is scheduled to start November

30-December 1 with two dates in

East Rutherford, New Jersey.

They will

also perform in Louisville, Kentucky, Chicago, Toronto, Connecticut

and Boston.

Rebirth, a 13-song set, was released in July. It is produced by Tim Armstrong of the punk/ska band Rancid who also worked on The Sacred Fire, Cliff's 2011 EP.

Megan Romer, reviewing Rebirth

for worldmusic,about.com, wrote: "He hasn't released much of anything with real sticking power recently. But I've officially flipped my Jimmy Cliff radar back on folks, because Rebirth is the best new reggae album I've heard in entirely too long."

Rolling Stone magazine also gave Rebirth the thumbs-up, describing it as 'Cliff's best music in decades'.

Though he had a strong seller in the early 1990s with a cover of Johnny Nash's I Can See Clearly Now, Cliff has not produced a major album since The Power and The Glory which was released by Columbia Records in 1984.

The renewed acclaim Jimmy Cliff has received in recent months is similar to accolades his ska contemporary Toots Hibbert during the last decade.

Rebirth reached number 83 on the British national chart and peaked at number 76 in the United States.