Nutin Na Gwan
Sylford Walker
Crazy Joe Records
July 22, 2006

Track list
  1. What A Lie
  2. Do Good
  3. Golden Pen
  4. Equal Rights
  5. Every Goody
  6. God Bless The Lady
  7. Nutin Na Gwan
  8. Hi Grade
  9. Book Of Testiment
  10. Hear My Plea
  11. Love Is Blessing
  12. Sensimilla
  13. Golden Pen Version
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 3
Roots singer Sylford Walker was born in 1957 in St Andrews, Jamaica. He's certainly an ample, underrated singer, who is probably best known from his Joe Gibbs produced debut single "Burn Babylon" (1975) and his late 70s recordings for producer/musician Glen Brown, which are gathered on the Blood & Fire release "Lamb's Bread International" (2000). Being an unprolific artist there's been little Sylford Walker material available. Throughout the years just a few singles were released, among them "Bowla Skank" (Pantomime), "Burn Babylon" and "Jah Golden Pen" (Joe Gibbs), "Can't Understand" (Attack), and "Book Of The Old Testament" (Art & Craft).

Three decades after his debut recording Sylford Walker returns in the reggae arena with a Joe Gibbs & Errol Thompson produced 13 track album featuring songs recorded between 2003-05, all of them underpinned by original Joe Gibbs riddims from the period 1975-79. It was the last project that the late Errol Thompson (known to many simply as ET) -- with assistance of Anthony "Bassie" Hibbert and Bubbler -- worked on. Bassie recorded all the vocals, while Errol Thompson was in the vocal booth with Sylford Walker helping him with the lyrics. Then Bassie and Bubbler did the overdubs, before Errol Thompson and Bassie mixed the album over a one year period.

Though Walker's voice isn't as easily recognizable as, say, Horace Andy's or Dennis Brown's, it's just as powerful. Sylford Walker's vocal delivery -- in a few tunes reminiscent of Culture's Joseph Hill -- sounds splendid on tunes like "What A Lie", the wonderful "Golden Pen", and "Love Is Blessing". Other tunes worth of hearing are "Do Good" with its deep roots riddim, "Equal Rights", the spiritual piece "Hear My Plea", and the title track "Nutin Na Gwan". Good lyrics, beautiful rootsy harmony vocals and some wicked rockers style riddims played by musicians such as George Fullwood, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Lloyd Parks, Carlton Davis, Bobby Ellis, Vin Gordon, and Tony Chin makes this release very attractive.

All in all a solid collection of tunes from a very unprolific singer, who truly deserves some more attention.