Inna De Yard
Linval Thompson
Inna De Yard / Makasound
September 13, 2005

Track list
  1. Inna The Hills intro by Kiddus I
  2. Jah Guiding Star
  3. Hit Dem With The One Drop
  4. Good Gracious Woman
  5. Mercy Mercy Mercy
  6. Jah Jah Dreader Than Dread
  7. Ease Up
  8. Train To Zion
  9. Gimme Back (Weh Yu Take From The Poor) feat. Israel Voice
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 4 Production : 3 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 3
Arguably, Linval Thompson, like Barry Brown, takes perhaps too many vocal cues from Johnny Clarke -- but no matter -- he has built up a strong following over the years, with tracks such as "Roll River Jordan" and "Jah The Conqueror" which showcased apocalyptic thundering dubs. The man certainly has his own vibes, and doesn't solely rely on derivation.

He characterises -- some might say epitomises -- the mid 70's classic roots vocal style.

Linval's voice has stood the test of time, and perhaps sounds fuller and stronger now than in his 70's heyday.

This "Inna The Yard" series is a meditative collection of strictly acoustic music -- no digi beats -- not even any electric guitars/bass. It's all binghi driven tunes.

Chinna approaches his guitar like a slowed down, sparser Richie Havens, or perhaps at times, even sounding -- surprisingly -- like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Ali Farka Toure.

This is by no means the conventional Chinna style we have got used to over the years from his work with Pablo's Rockers label or Bertram Brown's Freedom Sounds -- though he did sometimes play in this sparse acoustic style for Pablo on albums like "Blowing With The Wind" (See tracks like "Drums To The King" for a style very similar to this album), as well as on some Lauryn Hill releases.

"Jah Dreader Than Dread" takes the "Armagideon Time" bass rise and fall as its focal point -- but interestingly, the bass parts are taken up by the Binghi drummers.

"Ease Up" is a roots jazz blues workout, with strong delta influences and Horace Andy style vocal overtones.

The album closes with an acoustic jam over the "Drum Song" rhythm, here entitled "Gimme Back" with Linval going into classic jazz and blues vocalising, verging on scat styles at points. Chinna begins to sound very like John Lee Hooker on this tune, with a metallic percussive scraping on the guitar.

These are heavy, spontaneous sessions -- however, it would be a pleasure though in the future, to see Makasound management take this acoustic, meditative project into a studio to work off all the rough, spontaneous edges -- ultimately to produce a carefully prepared, well produced and historically groundbreaking album like Bim Sherman's "Miracle."

Now THAT would be worth waiting for. This rough and ready "backyard session" does indeed, work well on its own terms -- but it is surely a taster for a deeper, more polished project just waiting to be released.

Now that is when these tunes would be heard in their full glory -- For the moment however, this is pleasant enough.