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Album Review

That Toots Hibbert's voice, drenched in Memphis soul and rooted in Jamaican gospel, is still a powerful instrument after four decades of performing is the first thing you notice while listening to this collection of duets with pop, rock and reggae artists. "Funky Kingston," featuring Bootsy Collins and the Roots is one of the best tracks here, retaining the loose, loopy groove of the original Maytals version, probably because, from Bootsy's opening invocation of "are you ready for some Toots, Roots and Boots," nobody seems to take things too seriously. Keith Richards manages not to sound too ravished on "Careless Ethiopians," while Ben Harper and Hibbert effectively ride an atmospheric, slow-burning arrangement of "Love Gonna Walk Out On Me" to emotional fulfillment. Hopefully True Love will bring the woefully overlooked Toots some well-deserved attention.

Biography

Formed: 1966

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While they never achieved the commercial success or cultural impact of the Wailers, Toots & the Maytals were nearly as important in the history of Jamaican music; like the Wailers, the Maytals thrived as ska gave way to rocksteady and then evolved into reggae, they boasted one of the island's finest singers and most charismatic frontmen in the great Toots Hibbert, and they worked with many of the most important producers and sidemen on the island. The Maytals were also the band that most clearly...
Full Bio
True Love, Toots & The Maytals
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