Amp Fiddler ’s musical roots of course go very deep in this city, from playing keyboards with P Funk to teaching J. Dilla how to use the MPC

and way beyond. Congratulations are due to the master musician for being selected by a committee of five leading music biz professionals to receive the Heineken Independent Achiever Award here in Detroit on September 4th. The award “recognizes individuals in the music industry who possess the virtues of hustle, drive and the power to inspire others through their work in music” — and was selected by a Los Angeles committee that included, among others, Motown Records president Sylvia Rhone and Kedar Massenburg, the man often credited with originating the neo-soul movement.

If that’s not enough, Fiddler has also been nominated in the category of “Male Vocalist of the Year” in the Soul Tracks 2008 Readers choice awards. You can vote for him at this Website. The awards ceremony will take place in October, also right here in D-Town.

We can also expect a pretty unique new album from the artist this fall – October is the month the Strut Records label is aiming for – that pairs Fiddler with reggae rhythm legends Sly and Robbie (aka Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare). The album, titled Inspiration Information, was recorded by the trio in just three days at Anchor Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. “This is monumental for me,” Amp says of the project. “I discovered Sly & Robbie through their Compass Point productions with Wally Badarou, all the Grace Jones records, ‘Boops’ too. I loved the way they experimented with a more ambient direction.”

For their part, the reggae duo discovered the Detroit native via their manager. “We heard that Robbie used to be part of the Funkadelic set-up,” says Sly. “We were always right into the Parliament-Funkadelic sound. Their brand of funk was so different. I loved it from their first record. Me and Bootsy Collins are good friends -- he played on one of our albums -- and I always loved Motown too, ever since I was a kid. That all brought us closer to Amp and the musical groove just stuck. We just hit it off from the first session.”

Sounds great, mon! So who’s bringing the ganja?

Amp Fiddler: Down with the reggae dudes...

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