Various – Inna de Yard

by Apr 13, 2019Reviews, Various

Various - Inna De Yard
Kiddus I

Release Info

Various – Inna De Yard

Label: Chapter Two Records | Format: CD-DBL LP-DR | Street date: April 12, 2019 | Website label

  1. Kiddus I – If You Love Me
  2. Winston McAnuff – Malcolm X
  3. Cedric Myton – Row Fisherman
  4. Ken Boothe – Everything I Own
  5. The Viceroys – Ya Ho
  6. Horace Andy – Ain’t No Sunshine
  7. Judy Mowatt & Jah9 – Black Woman
  8. Kiddus I – Survive
  9. Cedric Myton – Rebellion In Heaven
  10. Var, Derajah & Winston McAnuff – Be Carefull
  11. Derajah – Tribute To My Sista
  12. Ken Boothe – Speak Softly Love
  13. Var – Live Good

In 2004, French Makasound label launched its unique “Inna De Yard” series, featuring acoustic sessions with mainly roots reggae legends recorded live in the yard of renowned guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith (hence the series’ name). Experiencing financial problems in the late 2000s, Makasound had to stop their business early 2011. A couple of months later, the Makasound founders were involved in the launch of another label called Chapter Two Records, part of the major company Wagram Music. Luckily it led to the comeback of “Inna de Yard” in 2016 – now without Earl “Chinna” Smith’s involvement. Since the first release in the series, the very well sold compilation “Earl “Chinna” Smith & Idrens”, the reggae massive has been treated to about 11 full length albums, including noteworthy albums dedicated to the island’s great singers from Kiddus I to Junior Murvin, not forgetting The Viceroys, The Congos, The Mighty Diamonds, Linval Thompson, Ras Michael Junior, and – last but not least – Ken Boothe.

The Power of Togetherness

More than the music, it’s about bringing a state of mind to life: whereas today, in Kingston, young musicians and the stars of modern dancehall hide themselves away in cabin-like studios with digital equipment to record their tracks, the Inna De Yard series does the opposite. Production focuses on the simplicity of the orchestration, the warmth of the acoustic sound, the raw emotion of the voices and the collective energy, the precious moment when the communion between musicians creates music, in a way that is organic and almost spiritual. “The power of Togetherness” as Rastas like to say.

Inna De Yard

This new compilation, the follow up to the 2017 released “The Soul Of Jamaica”, brings together some of the legendary voices of reggae music like Kiddus I, The Viceroys, Cedric Myton, Winston McAnuff and Ken Boothe, with younger artists such as Jah9, Var, Derajah, representatives of the new reggae stage. newcomers to this project are Judy Mowatt and the great Horace ‘Sleepy’ Andy. Most of the songs, if not all, are truly entertaining acoustic versions of previously recorded tunes by these artists. Kiddus I’s “If You Love Me”, a reggae version of Edith Piaf’s “l’Hymne à l’Amour”, was part of his album “Take A Trip”, while Ken Boothe’s reggae version of Bread’s pop song “Everything I Own” reached Number One in the UK Singles charts on October 26, 1974. Winston McAnuff brings a version of his mid-1970s scorcher “Malcolm X”, which actually was given wider recognition when Dennis Brown recorded this song in 1977. Next comes Cedric Myton’s beautiful reworking of one of the Congos’ all-time classics, “Row Fisherman”. Also The Viceroys perform a classic tune. “Ya Ho” is one of their best known and most loved songs, originally recorded for Studio One in 1968.

More niceness

Horace Andy once again revisits Bill Whithers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”. Accompanied by nice accordeon play, the veteran singer shows that vocally he’s still in good shape. Judy Mowatt’s “Black Woman” is a song of sheer beauty, here powerfully performed by Judy Mowatt & Jah 9. Another highlight is “Survive” by the alluring and compelling reggae singer and cult figure Kiddus I, a great rendition of “To Survive” from the late 1970s, which can be found on his 2009 released dbl cd “Rocking Rebel”. Also worth hearing is Cedric Myton’s odd tale about Lucifer’s initial act of insurrection titled “Rebellion In Heaven”. With a superb take of Matthew McAnuff’s “Be Careful” by Var, Derajah & Winston McAnuff, the three artists celebrate the life, the work and the legacy of the Winston’s son, who was murdered in Jamaica on August 22, 2012. Then there’s Derajah’s “Tribute To My Sister”, a moving song that makes a serious impression. Ken Boothe returns with the nicely done “Speak Softly Love”, an interpretation of the Love Theme from the Godfather, before Kevor “Var” Williams, the rootsy, soulful singer of Pentateuch, rounds off this acoustic set in fine style with “Live Good”.