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Courtney John – My New Favorite Jamaican

I’ve been wishing for a while now that members of the Dap Kings or El Michels Affair would branch off and do a rocksteady side project using all their vintage analogue recording gear. Clearly, someone down in Jamaica was scheming something similar. Instead of trying to recreate that classic sound in a studio today, why not just sing new songs on top of old records? Simple but genius. To be fair, Bitty McLean has already been doing this for a while- with his 2005 album “On Bond Street with The Supersonics” as a perfect example of this very concept. But there’s something so classic about Courtney’s voice that I rarely hear today. So tender and vulnerable that it almost seems frail.

The chorus on “Lucky Man” usually has a way of staying with me all day after I listen to it once. I don’t have any problem with that, but I thought it only fair that I give you warning. And remember the rocksteady version of The Beatles “Blackbird” that I posted here back during Summer? Well he took that record too and turned it into a salve that should help heal even the most shattered heart. I’m also throwing in a couple older Bitty McLean hits for any of you out there who may have missed these when they first came out. Is this a new trend? Neo-rocksteady? I hope so.

Courtney John :       Lucky Man &       Win Some
taken from the album Made In Jamaica on Jamaica Records (2009)

Bitty McLean :       Walk Away From Love &       I've Got Love
taken from the album On Bond Street on Peckings (2005)