Winston Francis – Unfinished Business

by Jun 3, 2024Mini-Review, Reviews

Winston Francis-Unfinished Business

Release Info

Label
Uhuru-Tamoki-Wambesi-Dove
Format
CD
Street date
May 31, 2024
Contact
Facebook Artist

Tracklist

1. Declaration Of Rights
2. Jah Music
3. Everybody Bawling feat Captain Duce
4. Beatitude
5. Conctrete Castle King
6. My Conversation
7. Unite-Wah Wi Wa feat. Captain Duce
8. Trying To Conquer Me
9. Movie Star
10. Rain From The Sky
11. Silhouette
12. Stick By Me
13. Can’t Do Without You
14. Put Youself In My Place
15. Queen Of The Dance Floor
16. I Conquer The Devil Last Night

Winston Francis

Reggae icon Winston Francis, better known as Mr. Fix It, boasts a career spanning decades. Francis’ journey began in the 1960s, where he recorded for Coxsone Dodd. He captivated audiences with his own song Mr. Fix It,M alongside soulful covers like Joe South’s Games People Play and the poignant Reggae And Cry. In the late 1960s, Francis cemented his legacy with Let’s Go To Zion, a powerful roots reggae anthem. After leaving Studio One, his musical path led him to the UK. However, the 1980s saw him taking a break from music to dedicate himself to social work, serving as a beacon for youth in Brixton. Fortunately, music’s pull proved too strong, and Francis eventually returned to the stage. Today, he continues to be a vibrant presence, both in recordings and on tours.

Unfinished Business

Winston Francis’ most recent musical endeavor, Unfinished Business, showcases his collaboration with renowned Jamaican producer Roy Cousins. Cousins, known for his work with artists such as The Royals, Don Carlos, and Prince Far I, brings his impressive musical background to the table. The album features 16 tracks, built on the foundation of vintage riddims created by Cousins and Bunny “Striker” Lee. Alby Donnelly adds saxophone overdubs, while AJ Franklin from The Chosen Few contributes vocals to this project.

Classics and Roots

What immediately stands out after listening is that his voice is still exceptionally good, despite his advanced age – he was born in 1943! The rather rootsy album is all about celebration of recognition, as Winston expertly covers several classics and backing tracks of yesteryear are used. It must be said that the sax overdubs are very often distracting than contributing anything, while AJ Franklin’s vocal contributions are enriching. The album opens strong with his cover of Declaration Of Rights, while The Melodians’ cover Everybody Bawling is very creatively performed with the help of deejay Captain Duce. Two familiar Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee tracks by The Uniques, Beatitude and My Conversation, are performed in fine style by Winston. Unite-Wah We Wa, also featuring Captain Duce, deserves a repeat treatment! The Love Won’t Come Easy riddim is found on Queen Of The Dance Floor, which vaguely recalls John Holt’s Ghetto Queen textually. Classics like Trying To Conquer Me, Stick By Me and Rain From The Sky pass by, effortlessly and sensitively covered by Winston. A welcome contrast to the album’s rootsy offerings comes with Can’t Do Without You, a mellow lovers rock track featuring sweet doo-wop-inspired backing vocals. Put Yourself In My Place stands out as well, with the saxophone overdubs finding a more harmonious role in this lovers song. It remains to point out the very strong rootsy closing track I Conquer The Devil Last Night.

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