Judging by the underwhelming response from the dub poetry post I think it's time we change gears here and perhaps lighten the mood a little. So here for your listening pleasure I have compiled 20 seemingly light- hearted mento songs for your summer listening pleasure. All songs are borrowed from various sources and because time is tight this week I'm not going to go all out and give you an in depth synopsis of each song - just the artist, title and from what CD it's borrowed from. So kick back, lose your shoes and troubles as we embark on a trip back in time to the "Land Where the Rum Comes From" circa 1955. For maximum listening pleasure I sincerely recommend mixing yourself a rum based libation, if you are so inclined, and getting into the true spirit of things. Enjoy your trip!
You'll notice a couple songs in the mix that are "modern" recordings of mento but they have been selected because they do keep with the feel of the vintage tracks and shouldn't be a distraction.
Reggaexx's Distinctly Jamaican Sounds Mento Extravaganza 2007
1. Healing In The Balmyard - Harold Richardson - Jamaica Before Ska
2. Miss Constance - Count Lasher & Charlie Binger's Six - Boogu Yagga Gal
3. Blu-Lu-Lup - Lord Fly - Jamaica Before Ska
4. Special Amber Calypso - Lord Power & His Calypsonians - Boogu Yagga Gal
5. Nebuchadnezzar - Laurel Aitken - The Pioneer Of Jamaican Music
6. Night Food - Chin's Calypso Quartet - Dip & Fall Back
7. Broom Weed - Stanley Beckford - Stanley Beckford Plays Mento
8. Big Big Sambo Gal/Mattie Rag - Dan Williams and His Orchestra & Lord Fly - Mento Madness
9. Guzoo Doctor - Alerth Bedasse & Chin's Calypso Sextet - Take Me To Jamaica
10. Talking Parrot - Charlie Binger & His Calypsonians - Boogu Yagga Gal
11. Take Her To Jamaica - Lord Myrie, Cecil Mitchel & James Convery - Calypso Jamaica
12. Jamaica - The Hiltonaires - Trojan Jamaica Box Set
13. Bitter Cassava Killed Joe Brown - The Jolly Boys - Sunshine N' Water
14. Come Down From America - Lord Composer - Lord Composer With The Calypso Champions
15. Green Guava - Lord Tickler - Take Me To Jamaica
16. Linstead Market - Louise "Miss Lou" Bennett - Jamaica Before Ska
17. Money Is King - Alerth Bedasse & Chin's Calypso Sextet - Chin's Calypso 2
18. Come We Go Down a Unity/Old Lady O/Linstead Market - Boysie Grant & Reynolds Calypso Clippers - Mento Madness
19. Nobody's Business - Lord Composer - Lord Composer With The Calypso Champions
20. Three Little Birds - Monty Alexander & The Rod Dennis Mento Band - Concrete Jungle: The Music of Bob Marley
I found this map of Jamaica, complete with highlighted lodging and accommodations, in a book I recently picked up called "Pleasure Island - The Book Of Jamaica" edited by Esther Chapman and published by the Arawak Press in 1955. Pleasure Island is basically a very concise travel book which tells the traveler a short abridged history of Jamaica and then goes on to recommend all the sites to see, things to buy, places to eat, etc. but from a long lost, bright-eyed 1955 perspective. It makes for some entertaining reading and I breezed right through it in a couple hours, while listening to mento and sipping on a Coruba and ginger beer. If you've got an interest in pre-independence Jamaican history, with a kitschy 1950's feel, I recommend digging this one up.