Friday, October 09, 2009

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2009 - Track Seven - The Innkeepers' "Duppy Serenade"

Welcome back... as you can see I've got yet another tune up my sleeve for this years Spooktacular and it comes directly from good ol' Jamaican vinyl. Though technically the pic you see on the right over there is not a picture of the record I own it serves its purpose... I would have gladly scanned my copy which features the Supreme label in a vibrant shade of blue but that wonderful piece of technology was left behind in my divorce.

Okay, enough about the picture let's get to the music! What clearly appears as the tune "Duppy Serenade" and credited to the Inn Keepers is actually one of the originators of the early DJ style, Dennis Alcapone. The song touches again on the theme popularized in The Wailers' classic "Mr. Brown."

If you are unfamiliar with the story of Mr. Brown I'll fill you in by quoting from what I wrote about the legend of Mr. Brown in October of 2005...

" 1969 or ’70 the Wailers who were working with Lee Perry at the time, caught wind of a strange story involving a crow. This crow was somehow given the name “Mr. Brown” and the story went that he had been observed traveling around Kingston on a coffin on its way to the cemetery. Days later the same crow, wearing a shirt and tie, was seen in a courtroom. The general populace was scared stiff thinking that the evil powers of obeah (or voodoo) had been unleashed and had even gotten to the point that many were afraid to leave their houses at night. The story was even reported in the Jamaican newspaper the Daily Gleaner and added more fuel to the fire."

Now Alcapone goes on to make the story a little more interesting by claiming that three crows are riding around on the coffin now singing in unison, "John Brown, John Brown, John Brown, John Brown" but oddly not everyone can see them. To be honest with you, I don't really get the inside story to what's going on here... every time I listen to this tune I can't help but feeling like I'm missing an important insider piece of information.

Regardless, it's a good "duppy song" and with the crow embellishments I added I think you'll get the gist.

Spooktacular Track Seven

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