Clinton Fearon – Heart and Soul

March 31, 2012

Clinton Fearon - Heart and SoulWoody-voiced ex-Gladiator Clinton Fearon‘s superb 2010 album ‘Mi Deh Yah’ (I’m here) was a high point in his solo career and told us unflinchingly what makes him tick. It would have been hard to follow such a definitive statement about his present so now the Seattle-based veteran has turned back to the past with an acoustic set of songs he wrote while in the Gladiators.

Unlike his 2005 unplugged longplayer, the aptly titled ‘Me An Mi Guitar’, ‘Heart and Soul’ utilises fulsome acoustic arrangements (all played by Fearon himself) involving guitar, percussion and a Taylor bass – whose big resonating chamber gives a deep boom that recalls the rhumba box of the mento era. In a way, this entire record is reminiscent of the final mento fusion recordings of the late Stanley Beckford, creating a more organic sound in Jamaican music than is usually possible. Clinton’s engineer of choice Mel Detmer, who has been with him on  an unbroken string of top notch grown up roots albums since 2004’s ‘Give and Take’, remains at the controls.

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