Words by Jesse Serwer—
Bassist, vocalist, composer and lyricist (along with Albert Griffiths) for the great roots reggae band The Gladiators, and a former house musician for Studio One and Lee “Scratch” Perry, Clinton Fearon is truly one of the unsung heroes of Jamaican music. The multi-talented Fearon—these days making his home in Seattle, Washington—recently revisited the Gladiators’ heyday, recording an acoustic album featuring new versions of some of the band’s toppa top tunes. He plays every instrument on the LP, called Heart and Soul: rhythm, bass and acoustic guitars, congas, calabash, cabasa, cowbell and comb, wooden frog, spoons. Although the songs come largely from the reggae era, the new versions have a pre-reggae, mento-like quality to them.