Ken Boothe

The Observer - The New Review - - RELEASES - Neil Spencer

Inna de Yard (WAGRAM/CHAP­TER TWO)

Ar­riv­ing in Ja­maica’s Blue Moun­tains for his first al­bum in 25 years, Ken Boothe asked: “Where’s the stu­dio?” Pro­ducer Ro­main Germa ges­tured to­wards the ter­race of the house where Boothe and a band of fel­low vet­er­ans were to record live in the open air… in the yard! The re­sult is a splen­did stroll through the cat­a­logue of one of reg­gae’s finest, most distinc­tive voices. Boothe still sounds like Sam Cooke’s Caribbean cousin, and still oozes ro­man­tic so­phis­ti­ca­tion, whether croon­ing on a rock­steady ver­sion of The God­fa­ther’s Speak Softly, Love, con­fess­ing heart­break on I Am a Fool, or straight­en­ing out a lover on Just An­other Girl. Classy, un­plugged reg­gae.

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