Local Wire

Collie Buddz @ Clubhouse Music Venue

As we gear up for another election season, it's easy to start thinking about all the things America gets wrong. But even though our politics may be screwed up, our music often gets it right. Jazz, blues, rock 'n' roll, hip-hop. They were born here, and if you really want a taste of America's influence abroad, just listen to Collie Buddz. The dancehall artist was born in New Orleans but grew up in Bermuda, where he was exposed to soca, a tropical variation on traditional styles that mixed in the influence of American styles like disco and R&B. Buddz rarely sounds like a traditional reggae singer — songs like "World A Girls" from his new record, Playback, owes as much to Marvin Gaye soul and early G-Funk ambiance as it does dancehall heaters. Furthermore, its message is global — as in, Buddz has ladies clamoring for him from all over the world. Braggadocio is hardly a uniquely American trait, but the beat is, and Buddz seems to have learned the right lessons from his various locales.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.