'Rehab' is the first single to be taken from the legendary Jolly Boys' forthcoming album, 'Great Expectation'. It's a fantastic version of the song made famous by Amy Winehouse, uniquely interpreted in the mento music style and a perfect accompaniment to the heady days of summer. And their version has Amy's full seal of approval - she's a huge fan of the band and went to Jamaica recently to see them play. The single was produced by Jon Baker, founder of the seminal hip hop label Gee Street Records, and recorded at his Geejam Staudios in Port Antonio.
The video is a must see. Vibrant, entertaining and aesthetically beautiful, it reflects the different eras of The Jolly Boys' historical journey, from their original moonlighting days as the house band of choice through to their current incarnation as the purveyors of modern mento whose pop sensibility is very much in keeping with the mood of the times.
The casting of Patrice Flynn, a Hollywood movie starlet in her own right and wife of the late film icon Errol Flynn, plays a key role in recapturing the original Jolly Boys story. Her presence is a compelling reminder of the Hollywood heyday when the Jolly Boys regularly lit up many a party at Port Antonio's Navy Island.
The video was shot in three Portland locations, and is as much a map of Jamaican roots and culture as it is an edgy elegy to the band. The first is the archetypal Jamaican rum bar where mento bands traditionally performed, often only for drink money. The second is a stage performance, slightly reminiscent of the Buena Vista Social Club, which pays respect to a bygone era. The final setting is a limbo lounge, a homage to the fusion of contemporary nightlife, clubbing and performance with the pure entertainment aesthetic and tongue in cheek humour of the original mento sound.
Watch it here -
Few artists come close to matching the longevity, potency and originality of the Jolly Boys in terms of their sound, style and impact. With a history dating back to the 1940's, the band shows no sign of hanging up their (rather dapper) hats just yet. The combination of their stoic resolve and the unparalleled showmanship of their 70 year old charismatic front man Albert Minott offer a glimpse into a glorious past that is quickly catching up with the present day.
While Jamaica is known for its reggae and ska, it is mento that is the original sound of the island and the forerunner to these two musical genres. With an amazing history spanning over 60 years The Jolly Boys' name is synonymous with the mento sound and they are undoubtedly the most recognisable mento bands in the world. With this single and album we are about to witness the next chapter, the birth of modern mento.
Here's a documentary about the incredible history of The Jolly Boys:
UK LIVE DATES:
24th July - Secret Garden Party Festival
31st July - Cardiff Big Weekend
1st August - Cambridge Folk Festival
1st August - Tabernacle, London
3rd August - Bush Hall, London
8th August - Big Chill Festival