Yesterday I shared with you the excellent Jerry Brown-produced debut album by Noel Ellis. Light In The Attic Records recently repressed another outstanding Jerry Brown-produced album. Innocent Youths is the first long player released on Jerry Brown’s Summer Records imprint, hitting the emerging Toronto reggae marketplace in 1977. In 2008, the original LP is virtually extinct, a highly coveted and extremely rare piece of Canadian reggae history (often described as the northern answer to Lee Perry’s Black Ark). For the uninitiated, we are talking heavy bass, drums, reverb, echo, roots vocals, keys, guitar, percussion, and Brown’s wild style touch behind the controls.
Earth, Roots & Water initially forms in the mid-seventies to provide hard rhythms and tight backing tracks for the growing number of musical friends and family who venture to Brown’s Malton, Ontario basement studio. Over the years, a veritable who’s who of the Jamaican music scene passes through Summer Sound to record with like-minded brethren. Jackie Mittoo, Willi Williams, Johnny Osbourne, Carl Dawkins, Leroy Sibbles, Stranger Cole, and King Jammy are just a handful of the label’s impressive roster.
By 1977, Earth, Roots & Water evolve into an engaging live entity as well, based around the talents of Adrian “Homer” Miller (vocals), Anthony “Base” Hibbert (bass), Colin “Zuba” Suban (drums), Matt Shelley (guitar), and Tony “KB” Moore (keyboards). Both a sonic and visual force, the charismatic youths soon find themselves performing in and around the Toronto area, opening up for The Police and The Stranglers while extending the UK-born punk/reggae love affair to North America.
In 2008, Light In The Attic Records along with Jerry Brown and Jamaica-Toronto series producer Kevin Howes (aka Sipreano) decide to share this vital bounty to reggae fans the world over. Innocent Youths contains the complete studio album lovingly remastered from the original Summer Records master tapes.
As is always the case here at MIDNIGHT RAVER, we like to go directly to the original source material. It just so happens that the original pressing of this album resides in the basement. So I share the first pressing with you here with the hope that you seek out the album, which is in stores now. Heavy, heavy duty album with a distinctive lo-fi dread vibe reminiscent of a little Jamaican studio which was reduced to ashes by it’s owner in September 1978. I’m speaking of course of Lee Perry’s Black Ark.
Love The Same Old Way
Lou Sent Me
Jah Les’ Lament
Back A Yard