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.