Live In Paris
Ken Boothe
DIK Sud / A la folie / Sony BMG
July 1, 2005

Track list
  1. Silver Words
  2. Crying Over You
  3. Everything I Own
  4. Artibella
  5. When I Fall In Love
  6. Without Love
  7. Freedom Street
  8. The Girl I Left Behind
  9. Moving Away
  10. Puppet On A String
  11. You're No Good
  12. The Train Is Coming
  13. Come Tomorrow
  14. Tell You Goodbye
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3
This, the artist's first ever live album, presents the (then) 56 year old Ken Boothe delivering his back-catalogue of lovers rock and reggae hits at the Cabaret Sauvage in Paris last year (2004). As Boothe reminds us most of these songs are over 30 years old - and sound all the better for it - in addition to which (despite his years) he still has a fantastic voice which has lost none of its soulful, rasping quality.

Featuring 14 tracks and coming in at 70 minutes long, the album feels about the right length, providing enough material without becoming drawn out. As you would expect from a live album there is interaction with the audience - with heartfelt respects going to both political figures as well as to some of his missed contemporaries. Credit must go to Boothe for these parts also being the right sort of length - you feel that he is engaged with the audience without it detracting from the actual music.

All his hit songs fans would expect are here including Crying Over You, Puppet On A String and (arguably) his biggest hit - Everything I Own. His early musical roots emerge on the upbeat, ska-style rendition of Artibella - one of the highlights of the album.

On the whole this is a very enjoyable album - it's a treat to hear one of the most distinctive Jamaican artist of the 60's and 70's still going strong and sounding great live. This is a worthy addition to any reggae or rocksteady fans collection - whilst fans of Boothe will doubtless be delighted to finally have a live performance of his hits available.