Entertainment

Organic feel to Ecosystem

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!


Never one to be conventional, singer Courtney John took a different direction for his fifth album. He wanted a sound that has resonated with reggae fans for over 40 years.

“I always wanted to do a classic-sounding reggae record but it had to be done with the right people, an' that's what I've done,” he told Sunday Observer.

That album, Ecosystem, was released Friday, by Soul Man Records out of Paris, France and his Fi Wi Music label. It has an organic feel that recalls Desmond Dekker, Augustus Pablo, and famed session organist, Winston Wright.

The 11-track set is produced by Pierre-Marie Williamson (aka Brimstone) of Soul Man Records with I-nity (Williamson's business partner) in charge of assembling the cast of French musicians who worked on it.

Production on Ecosystem started one year ago, shortly after John and Williamson spoke about the possibility of doing a full-scale project. It has a live, stripped-down sound that has attracted Europeans to roots-reggae since the early 1970s.

For John, known for ballads like Lucky Man and Baby Tonight, it is his most fulfilling project to date.

“Working with musicians made a big difference. It wasn't like working with someone who give mi a rhythm an' mi sing,” he said.

The lead song, All The Way, was released last week. Other strong tracks are the Dekker-ish It's For Real and Cold Feet, which has a ska tone reminiscent of American west coast bands.

Ecosystem is released digitally but will also be available on vinyl.

Then known as Yogie, Courtney John broke through in the late 1990s with lovers rock songs like That Was Then and a cover of American blue-eyed soul singer Paul Davis' I Go Crazy.

He has also experimented with ska on songs such as Lucky Man and toured with singer/songwriter Michael Franti.

John plans to push Ecosystem in markets where he has a foothold: his old hometown, Toronto; Europe, the US west coast, and Argentina.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT