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Blood Brothers

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Album Review

Good food sticks to the bones, and good music sticks to the heart; Boothe delivers the latter in abundance. Vocally, he's Ray Charles with a two-by-four on his shoulders. Blood Brothers remained a Jamaican secret for years; originally released in 1974 it didn't get exposed outside Jamaica until four years later when Trojan Records marketed and distributed it in the United Kingdom. Marcia Griffiths and Derrick Harriott accompany Boothe on backing vocals, and an all-star cast of Jamaica's finest provides the music. Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" comes across so convincingly you'll think Boothe actually committed the crime; he also excels on "No Woman, No Cry," another Marley tune, and David Ruffin's "Walk Away From Love." He's most comfortable shouting out hard-hitting sociopolitical numbers such as "Blood Brothers" and "Freedom Day."


Born: 22 March 1948 in Denham Town, Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

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

Ken Boothe was one of the most popular and soulful singers of the rocksteady era, arguably second only to Alton Ellis. Where Ellis was silky smooth, Boothe's vocals were deeper and grittier, earning him a reputation as Jamaica's answer to Wilson Pickett. First rising to popularity as part of a ska duo with Stranger Cole, Boothe forged a solo career on Clement "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One label during rocksteady's prime, building a generous part of his repertoire on American soul covers. Even after...
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Blood Brothers, Ken Boothe
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