BLACK BLACK MINDS
* * * /1977 - Pressure Sounds - studio - discs:1
The Travellers were a harmony group from Kingston' Waterhouse ghetto. The singers of this group were Neville, "Lerch", "Hoffman" and "Fray". Highly underexposed, they released three (now rare) 7": the first was called "South Africa" (with "From Cape To Cairo" as a Dub on the B-side created by the legendary King Tubby); the second was called "Close The Gate Dread" and the third was called "It's A Long Long Time" (both credited to The Black Aces). All these three songs were released by their own Travellers label. In 1977 Prince Jammy produced The Travellers only long playing release: "Black Black Minds". The LP was released in a limited number in United Kingdom but soon disappeared. The group split and never recored again. Before this experience, two members of The Travellers had sang with Errol Nelson (who sung with The Royals and The Jays) for Jammy providing some background vocals on Black Uhuru' debut called "Love Crisis". "Black Black Minds" instrumentals were recored in three different sessions. The first was held at Harry J's with Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare and The Aggrovators (engineer: Sylvan Morris). The following two were made at Channel One (engineer: "Maxie") and Joe Gibbs' (engineer: Errol "Errol T" Thompson) with The High Times Band. The vocals were added at King Tubby's with of course Jammy engineering. The material presented here is not all impressive. The players deliver some very good foundations for The Travellers, but not all is as it should be expected. But there are indeed some good songs here. The list reads: the title track "Black Black Minds", "Know Yourself", "Jah Gave Us This World" (along with its Dub called "Natty Dread At The Controls" featuting U Black), "The Girl I Left Behind", "How Long" and "Poor Man Cry" (the real gem here!) (along with its Dub called "Jammy’s A Do It" featuting U Black). The general mood is quite old fashioned, especially if considering the year when the material was recorded. There is a very early 70's feeling which permeates their songs. And all sounds as if Jammy was quite aware of this. No pushing the boundaries, but preserving a sound that at the time of the recordings was (almost) gone. Since there is such a small amount of material from The Travellers available, this release is worth a check! Remember The Travellers.