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Jimmy Cliff & Tim Armstrong Collaborate on New Album

August 23, 2011

Everyone seems to hail Bob Marley as the do-all, end-all God of reggae music, but many overlook the accomplishments of James Chambers, also known as Jimmy Cliff.

Move over Kanye & Jay-Z; there's another, more rooted collaboration occuring between Jimmy Cliff and Tim Armstrong. Collaboration of the year? We'll see.

The penman of such classic songs as “The Harder They Fall,” “You Can Get It If You Really Want” and “Sitting in Limbo,” Cliff has been covered by the likes of Joe Strummer, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Garcia and many more. Not to mention, the reggae/ska musician is currently the only living artist to hold the Jamaican Order of Merit, a national award presented to citizens of distinguished international acclaim. (Bob Marley is the only other artist to previously attain the award.)

To follow up his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March of 2010, the 63-year-old Cliff is embarking on perhaps the most interesting experiment of his career, by joining Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong in writing new songs for a collaborative album. How this process will test the fluidity of two musicians who differ in age by 18 years will be interesting to track.

Armstrong is also producing the album, which will include a backing band known as the “Engine Room.”

The EP is expected to drop by November, with the full album arriving on shelves sometime in early 2012.

In an interview with Stereogum, Cliff noted other mysterious projects he was working currently working on.

“I’ll take breaks from touring so we can work on this record, with the hope of having the album ready for the end of the year or sometime early next year,” Cliff said. “I’m actually working on enough material for about three different albums right now. The juices are flowing.”

Not to hog the spotlight, Cliff and Armstrong reportedly will include a rendition of the Clash’s “Guns of Brixton” on the currently untitled record, which you can taste below!

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