When I dug up this record recently I knew it would be perfect for the Spooktacular I just wasn't sure why... sure it had "hell" in the title which is an obvious plus but, somewhere tucked away in a dusty bin in the back of my brain was a bit of recognition... but what the hell did hell have to do with a boat? A split second later it dawned on me... Charon! C'mon you know Charon don't you? Check out the pic over there on the right and you'll see the evil looking guy I'm talkin' about!
Charon is the ferryman of Hades who carries the souls of those recently deceased from the banks of the living world across the river Styx and Acheron to the world of the dead... at least according to Greek mythology. If the deceased had a coin to pay the fare they were brought across and if they didn't, they were cursed to roam the banks of the Acheron for a hundred years. The ancient Greeks would place coins under the tongue of a corpse before burial so that they were prepared for their journey in the afterlife.
But back to the music... The Santic All Stars were the house musicians for Leonard "Santic" Chin and his Santic Records label. In the early 70's Chin worked most notably with Horace Andy and Augustus Pablo and was the man responsible for the classic various artists album Harder Shade Of Black originally released in 1971. "Hell Boat" is the flipside of the Augustus Pablo's tune "Pablo In Dub," a 7" on the Santic label. A nice, heavy, drum and bass laden tune, doctored up just right for the Spooktacular!
"Hell Boat" by The Santic All Stars
Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2010 - Track Two