Exciting Scot-Jam release from legendary Ken Boothe

February 26, 2024

article reposted by Chelsea

via jamaicaobserver.com

Veteran crooner Ken Boothe has released a new track for his catalogue.

Out of Tribal Global Records, it is produced by Kieran C Murray.

Taken from the Jamaica Sings Robert Burns project, Ken Boothe delivers a unique and powerful version of a 239-year-old song from Scotland in a sensational intercultural fusion of Jamaican reggae music and Scottish traditional song.

In 1786 Robert Burns, the world-famous national poet of Scotland, booked a ticket for a ship’s passage to Jamaica to go and work on a plantation. Ultimately, Burns did not sail to Jamaica, his first book of poetry was published, and the rest is history.

A Jamaica-based Scottish musician and producer, Murray began imagining how Burns’ songs might sound in contemporary Jamaica, and in 2015 Jamaican singers and musicians began recording Robert Burns’ songs for the
Jamaica Sings Robert Burns project — Ken Boothe was one of those singers.

With his distinct and soulful voice, and over 30 albums to his credit, Ken Boothe is renowned as one of Jamaica’s finest vocalists — appealing to both die-hard reggae fans and wider mainstream audiences.

Also known as Mr Rocksteady, his hit Everything I Own reached #1 on the UK charts in 1974, other hits include Crying Over You and Is It Because I’m Black?

Ken Boothe is a tour de force on Green Grow The Rashes O!, delivering one of the most powerful and unique renditions ever recorded. Singing with the strength and conviction he is known for, while also evoking a soulful tenderness, Ken Boothe demonstrates how a good song can stand the test of time.

Producer Murray said: “Ken Boothe was the only person I had in mind for recording a Jamaican Version of Green Grow The Rashes O!, so when he expressed his love for the idea of this project in bringing together Jamaican and Scottish culture, he agreed immediately to sing the song”.

Recorded in the summer of 2015, this song is finally getting released after some delays, among them the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Murray arranged the song along with Ken Boothe, keyboardist Demar Gayle, and singer Subrina “Brina” Ward.

The track was laid down at Anchor Studios, with Ken Boothe recording his vocals at his home studio in Kingston.

Robert Burns originally penned the original Green Grow The Rashes O! in 1784, which went on to become one of his best known songs. Written as a paean to women, it relates how men’s happiest hours of are spent in the company of ladies, and in the final verse describes how after trying her apprentice hand at creating men, Mother Nature created her noblest creation, women.

Some of Burns’ other ‘greatest hits’ are Auld Lang Syne, sung all around the world at a new year and My Love is Like a Red Red Rose.

“Music is not black, and it is not white, it is universal… it belongs to all of us, it’s colourless. Music brings cultures together… We need to speak one language for the world, and that is music. If we look into ourselves, spiritually speaking, we know that we all are one,” said Murray, who also lectures at Edna Manley College of Performing Arts, School of Music.

Ken Boothe is backed by top musicians on this track, among them guitarist Omar “Jallanzo” Johnson, keyboardist Demar Gayle, drummer Anthony Watson, saxophonist Dean Fraser, trombonist Nambo Robinson, trumpeter Dwight Richards, with backing vocals from Klyve & Tammi Moncrieffe.

Want to Be a Guest?

Email Us Your Story


Stream our top episodes!

More Posts for Show: Cruisin On The EDGE w/ Danae