Vernon Buckley, aka Vernon Maytone, returns with another solid set for France’s Uniteam Music. In the Mood is the follow up to the excellent On the Right Track, which was released about three years ago.
Both sets have been mixed and mastered by Manu Genius – previously one half of acclaimed Dutch production duo Not Easy At All – and have largely the same smooth sound.
Vernon Maytone was lead singer in 70s roots duo The Maytones and his rural voice remains intact some 40 years after his debut recordings with fellow Maytone-singer Gladstone Grant.
In the Mood is slick with an edge and it comes with relicks of a number of classic riddims, including a scorching cut of the mighty Cuss Cuss riddim. Vernon Maytone sings passionately and emotionally about life and losses.
Another warm and charming album from one of Jamaica’s many unsung musical heroes.
Remember the great vocal duo The Maytones? They recorded some great tunes with producer Alvin Ranglin in the 70’s. Songs such as Boat to Zion, Madness, Zion Land and Money Worries, also featured on the Rockers movie soundtrack.
Anyway, lead singer Vernon Buckley, aka Vernon Maytone, is nowadays living in Canada and runs his own label – Music Life Movements – together with his cousin Everton Phillips.
Last year the label collaborated with Dutch producers Manu Genius and Marc Baronner from Not Easy At All, the same producers responsible for acclaimed albums from Chezidek, Earl Sixteen and Apple Gabriel. The result was an album titled Foundation Compilation – Reggae Series vol.1 with performers such as Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles and the late Sugar Minott.
Their collaboration obviously worked out fine since they have teamed up for the album Words of Wisdom. This album is almost a solo album from Vernon Maytone.
It collects 15 tunes, where of three are duets with Linval Thompson, U Roy and Vernon Maytone’s son Dillon Buckley, who turns out to be an above par rapper.
The U Roy duet was featured on Foundation Compilation, Show us the Way was originally put out in 1979 on the One Way album and some of the riddims have been heard on other Not Easy At All productions.
Words of Wisdom is however a well-produced modern roots reggae album. Vernon Maytone’s heartfelt singing is just as great as it was in the 70’s and suits the polished live-played riddims nicely.
I’ve been a long-time fan of The Maytones and I’ve previously praised Not Easy At All’s productions. So don’t get fooled by the gangsta hip-hop album sleeve and check out Words of Wisdom.