Allan Swymmer: Hear Duppy Laugh
With Roy Harris, Andrew Roblin & Melbourne the Drummer
Between negotiating sessions with the man who held my laundry for ransom, I called Allan. He had hired me to play banjo with his band and him at a wedding.
"Allan--How you keeping? I just wanted to touch base before our job tomorrow."
"The job is today."
"Okay. Good thing I called. I'll be there."
So I coughed up the $20 demanded by the laundry kidnapper. I pulled out of Port Maria and headed east along the endless construction project calling itself Highway 2000 toward Port Antonio.
I went to a small hotel in the hills where I had reservations. There was no one there and the pool was full of algae so I left. I checked into another place, went to my room and heard a sound system starting up next door. More negotiations. I left with most of my money. In the end, I returned to Jamaica Heights (as documented on the Jamaica Heights CD with Allan), a beautiful little place on a hill high above town, and then went over to Frenchman's Cove.
I met Roy and Allan. We played a little, then Melbourne arrived with his cell phone. He checked his text messages after every song. And he played great.
We all did, playing for an wedding party of indifferent tourists as the sun began to set.
It was good to hear Allan Swymmer, former Jolly Boy and, in my opinion, Jamaica's greatest mento musician. On this live recording--made with a single stereo mic and Hi-MD recorder--you'll hear him warm us up with "Balancing" and lead us into a set of rocksteady ("Intensified"), reggae ("Redemption Song," "Pressure Drop"), country ("He Has To Go") and mento ("My Pussine," "Rum & Coconut Water," "Hear Duppy Laugh"). Nothing was rehearsed. It was the first time the four of us played together.
Being hired by Allan was a dream come true for me. I hope you enjoy the music we made together.
Peace and love,
Other CDs from Upstart Records:
Allan Swymmer: Jamaica Heights
The Falcons: Live on King St.
Andrew Roblin: Thoroughly Modern Mento
Andrew Roblin: Quickstep
Andrew Roblin: Romantic Italian Mandolin
Andrew Roblin & the Pocono Mountain Men: Perilous Pursuit