Earl "Chinna" Smith & Idrens Inna de Yard Vol. 2

Earl "Chinna" Smith & Idrens Inna de Yard Vol. 2
It's such a simple yet perfect recipe that it always stuns me that few reggae artists have bothered to make acoustic records. Maybe it's because drum and bass are thought to be the foundation of all good reggae. If that were true before, Chinna has laid that rumour to rest with his series of acoustic (or mostly acoustic) records recorded at his home and featuring elder statesmen of the Kingston music scene that Chinna has worked with over the decades as one of the country's best known guitarists. The emphasis on acoustic guitars, hand drums and piano gives the listener the feeling that they are indeed "inna de yard" surrounded by the guitarist and his idrens. Chinna contributes three tracks on this best of, of which "Harvest Uptown, Famine Downtown" is the crown jewel in an album of precious stones. The Viceroys rework hits "Detour" and "Ya ho" to great effect, and Barry "Merger" Ford's "Rebel" has such a fat bass line that the absence of drums is barely noticed. "Can't Stop The Youths" by Binghy Carlton and Patrick Andy alone will make you want to check out more of this series, and the Congos' "Thief Is In The Vineyard" is living proof that bare bones organic reggae made on acoustic instruments is a genre whose time has come. Go deh Chinna. (Maka)