HEAR THIS: Richie Stephens “Let’s Dance”

Crucial Steely & Clevie Production Rescued From The Hard Drive

When veteran musicians and connoisseurs of great music speak of the “good old days” there is an unfortunate tendency among some younger heads to roll their eyes and tune out. But what if they really don’t make em like they used to? How will the cultural traditions of any musical genre be upheld and kept alive without a portion of love and respect, not to mention patience and attention to detail? The greatness of Jamaican music, for example, was established by pioneers like Clement “Coxsone” Dodd. Countless immortal songs and instrumental tracks which originated at Dodd’s legendary Studio One have been passed down over the years and decades, creating a mighty musical legacy. John Holt’s “Let’s Dance,” for example, was first recorded by one of Dodd’s ace house bands, Sound Dimension. The original recording may be slightly lo-fi by today’s standards, but the brilliance of both the musicianship and Holt’s vocal performance are undeniable. A decade or so later, master saxophonist Richard “Dirty Harry” Hall produced a superior cover version, with vocals by the Cool Ruler himself, Gregory Isaacs. Both Dodd and Holt, Hall and Issacs have all passed away, but the music they made together lives on, built as it was upon a solid foundation. The latter recording inspired the great production team of Wycliffe “Steely” Johnson and Cleveland “Clevie” Brown, who laid down their own version of the sweetly lilting riddim track shortly before Steely took ill and eventually passed away on September 1, 2009. “Clevie just recently found back the riddim on a hard drive, and decided to voice Richie Stephens on it,” reports their associate and archivist Danny Pepperseed. This track will be featured on Richie’s forthcoming album Luv-A-Dub Style, which is due for release early next year. Judging by this tantalizing preview, the record can’t come soon enough. Listen keenly. Audio After The Jump…

“As we embrace and your heart gets close to mine, I get so happy I could cry” Let it go…

Richie Stephens: lead vocals
Cleveland ‘Clevie’ Browne: drums, percussion & backing vocals
Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson: bass & keyboards
Haldane ‘Danny’ Browne: guitars
Barrington Bailey: trombone

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