Don’t test the Jolly Boys: l-r Derrick “Johnny” Henry, Albert Minott, Joseph “Powder” Bennett
Bernard & boys, they’ve got yr techno right here. Gravelly-voiced Jamaican singer Albert Minott and his majority-septuagenarian group the Jolly Boys have eaten rock ‘n’ roll and new wave for lunch.
For over 55 years, the Jolly Boys have played a style of music called mento, which—much like Trinidadian calypso—dates back to the late-19th century, before ska, reggae and dancehall became Jamaica’s predominant styles. As with most things Jamaican, mento is simultaneously soulful, sweet and rugged.
Minott and his crew—including original members Joseph “Powder” Bennett on maracas, Derrick “Johnny” Henry on marumba box, Allan Swymmer on percussion, and Egbert Watson on banjo—have just released an album of covers called Great Expectations, produced by Jon Baker and Dale Virgo.
Tracks include versions of Iggy Pop’s “Passengers” and “Nightclubbing”, the Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” and the Rolling Stones’ “You Can Always Get What You Want.”
Here’s the Boys’ take on Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”…