Sunday, April 28, 2013

Muta's Check It! still relevant today -- Jamaica Observer

Mutabaruka performs at Dis Poem Word Festival in Hope Bay, Portland today (JO Photo)

Muta's Check It! still relevant today
By Howard Campbell Observer senior writer
Sunday, April 28, 2013
IN just over a decade as an in-demand session guitarist, Earl 'Chinna' Smith had worked with some of reggae's top acts including Dennis Brown, Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. It was at a concert in Cliff's hometown of Somerton, St James in 1982 that he first met an artiste that was destined for greatness. "Dis bredrin come out wid no shoes an' the first time him open him mouth was the poem, Every Time A Ear De Soun'," Smith recalled. That poet was Mutabaruka. Rastafarian Elder Mortimo Planno was standing next to Smith and was moved by the young poet's opening lines. "Him sey, 'Chinna, yuh haffi record dat," Smith said. Smith agreed and recorded Every Time A Ear The Sound as part of Check It!, Mutabaruka's first album, at the new Tuff Gong studio at Hope Road. In January, it was 30 years since American independent label Alligator Records released Check It!, arguably the most potent spoken word collection comparable to England-based firebrand Linton Kwesi Johnson's Dread Beat And Blood. Broadcaster/musicologist Dermot Hussey says he was 'blown away' when he first heard Check It!
Broadcaster/musicologist Dermot Hussey told the Jamaica Observer: "Everytime a Ear The Soun, Butta Pan Kulcha, Sit Dung Pon The Wall; they all gave such an accurate portrait of the life 'people down below' lived. Muta's authenticity, it was as if he too had lived that life."
Butta Pon Kulcha and Sit Dung Pon The Wall were on Check It!, as well as the provocative Dis Poem and Angola Invasion. Bruce Iglauer, owner of Chicago's Alligator Records, was eager to distribute the album. Read more:  For further information:

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