Thursday, December 29, 2011

'Rehab' - The Jolly Boys ( Modern Mento version of Amy Winehouse's hit).

'Rehab' - The Jolly Boys ( Modern Mento version of Amy Winehouse's hit).

'The Passenger' (Iggy Pop).

'I Fought the Law' (The Clash).

The Jolly Boys is a mento band from Port Antonio, Jamaica. It was formed in 1955 and had great commercial success in the late 1980s and 1990s among reggae and world music fans. They released a new album in 2010 (Great Expectation) and are currently the house band at GeeJam, a hotel in Port Antonio.

The Jolly Boys grew out of a group called the Navy Island Swamp Boys that formed in the late 1940s or early 1950s and often played at Errol Flynn’s parties. This group included Moses Deans on banjo and guitar, Noel Lynch on Guitar and “Papa” Brown on rumba box. After this group split in 1955, Deans and Brown formed The Jolly Boys (a name Errol Flynn is said to have coined) with Derrick “Johnny” Henry on maracas and drum, Martell Brown on guitar, and David “Sonny” Martin on guitar. One of the group’s regular substitutes in this period was percussionist Allan Swymmer, who joined the group as a full member in the 1960s. This group was very popular throughout Port Antonio and earned the reputation of being the finest mento band in the parish.

Although its core group has remained fairly stable over the past sixty years, a full list of the Jolly Boys members would include a large number of official but transient members. Today, the "original" group consists of Albert Minott (lead vocals), Joseph “Powda” Bennett (vocals, maracas), Derrick “Johnny” Henry (rumba box), Allan Swymmer (percussion), and Egbert Watson (banjo). The current touring band mixes three of the original members (Minott, Bennett and Henry) with three younger members (Dale Dizzle Virgo on drums & percussions; Lenford “Brutus” Richards on banjo; and Harold Dawkins "Jah T" on guitar).

The quality of their performances–and particularly the strength and charisma of lead singer Albert Minott–led GeeJam’s co-owner Jon Baker to co-produce an album of rock covers done in a "modern" mento style. These included songs by Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Rolling Stnoes and The Clash, with in-house studio engineer Dale Dizzle Virgo. In November 2009, ethnomusicologist Daniel Neely was brought to play banjo and act as the project's music director. The album, called Great Expectation was released in late 2010, and yielded an international tour representing a new stage in Jolly Boys history.

No comments:

Post a Comment