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Reggae troubadour Andru Branch is a celebrated champion of peace. He has been recording and performing songs, promoting universal love, for over twenty years.
Andru signed with independent Jamaican record label Kingston Muzik in 1996 and recorded his first album with members Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Alvin “Seeco” Patterson and Tyrone Downie of The Wailers, which went on to be nominated for a JUNO Award for “Best Reggae Recording” in 2000. Entitled What If I Told You, Kingston Muzik shopped the album at the MIDEM Conference in 1998, and licensed its distribution to independent reggae distributor Tabou 1 in Paris. The album was distributed in France, Holland, Germany and throughout the USA, and charted on radio in France and in the Netherlands.
Following the CD’s release Andru tore down the house at internationally acclaimed music festival Reggae Sunsplash where he was invited to perform in Jamaica in 1998. Kingston’s Sunday Herald called it “one of the most outstanding performances at last month’s renewal of Reggae Sunsplash”.
Andru returned to Kingston Muzik in the fall of 2000 where he recorded the bed tracks for a second album with bass player Chris Meredith and drummer Squidly Cole, formerly of Ziggy Marley’s band.
Upon his return to Nova Scotia in 2001, Andru learned that one of the legendary forefathers of reggae music resided in East Preston, just outside Halifax. Famous around the globe for his work with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Toots & the Maytals and Burning Spear, original Studio One reggae bass player Brian Atkinson joined Andru in 2002 to form the dynamic, seven-piece Halfway Tree. The group performed extensively at festivals, clubs and universities between 2002 and 2009, often to capacity crowds. Highlights have included the Montreal International Reggae Festival, the Atlantic Jazz Festival, the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival and the Evolve Awareness Festival.
The 2007 release of “Bring Back Real Reggae Music”, from Andru’s sophomore album The Only Constant, earned global recognition. The album charted across the country while the second single “Ease Off The Pressure” sat at number one for four months on CBC’s Galaxie Radio. Canada’s music authority Exclaim! Magazine called it “nothing less than stunning”.
Andru Branch & Halfway Tree had their first international hit single with the release of “My Jamaican Weed” in 2009, followed by the 2011 smash hit “Rocksteady”. The brand new album Step Into The Light is due out this summer.