Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Jolly Boys - Great Expectation (2010)


"A mento quartet from Port Antonio, Jamaica, formed 1955. They perform with bongos, banjo, rhumba box & kalimba / finger-piano. In the 50s, they were popular at The Trident Hotel & parties for ‘the rich’n’famous’, e.g. at Errol Flynn’s residence.In the late 80s, interest was renewed, when Jules Shear heard them playing at the Trident - he returned later & produced Pop ‘N’ Mento & other albums. A new album - Great Expectation - is slated for release, late 2010. Official site:"

The Jolly Boys have been in the music industry for over 50 years and they're still cranking out music like there's no tomorrow! They play a unique Jamacian style of music called mento. Here is a summary of what mento is.

"Mento is a style of Jamaican folk music that predates and has greatly influenced ska and reggae music. Mento typically features acoustic instruments, such as acoustic guitar, banjo, hand drums, and the rhumba box — a large mbira in the shape of a box that can be sat on while played. The rhumba box carries the bass part of the music.

Mento is often confused with calypso, a musical form from Trinidad and Tobago. Although the two share many similarities, they are separate and distinct musical forms. In part, the differences stem from the differing colonial histories of the two West Indian Islands, as Jamaican music lacks the Spanish influences found in other Caribbean musical styles." - taken from here.

The album Great Expectation draws a lot of focus from calypso, mento, and reggae influences and incorporates such instruments as a rhumba box, banjos, and hand drums. What I love about this album the most is the fact that it's a cover album; meaning to say every song as has been somewhat popular and done by bigger acts. It includes such songs as Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash), Riders On The Storm (The Doors), Blue Monday (New Order) and You Can't Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones). The Jamacian sound really adds to and gives new meaning to these songs and will have you replaying this album for hours. Get yourself cultured today!

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