Entertainment

Inner Circle reaches out

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer writer

Tuesday, March 04, 2014    

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INNER Circle and singer Chronixx have teamed up for an update of Tenement Yard, the classic song the band recorded with singer Jacob Miller in 1976.

It is the latest collaboration by the band and a new-wave reggae artiste. Inner Circle, formed in 1968, recently did songs with deejay I-Octane and singjay Khago.

Roger Lewis, Inner Circle's co-founder and guitar player, says working with contemporary reggae acts is their way of reaching out to a new generation.

"In a way (it is) to reach a new 'demo' but we collaborate with the artistes we feel have the right vibe and who touch us musically," he told the Jamaica Observer. "We have done stuff with Junior Gong, Buju (Banton), David Hines of Steel Pulse and my dear brother Bunny Rugs."

Chronixx is the latest to work with the Miami-based veterans. He sang the lyrics to Tenement Yard with Miller's distinctive vocals from the original track in the background.

According to Lewis, "Jacob would be very happy...It's a perfect bridge of past and present."

Miller joined Inner Circle in 1975 after stints with producers Clement 'Coxson' Dodd and Augustus Pablo.

Recorded at the Channel One studio, the original Tenement Yard featured Roger Lewis on guitar, his brother Ian on bass and Earl 'Chinna' Smith on guitar and drummer Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace.

Tenement Yard was among a number of hit songs the burly Miller recorded with Inner Circle. He was still their frontman at the time of his death, at age 27, in an auto accident in 1980.

Inner Circle had a remarkable comeback in 1993 with the hit singles Bad Boys and Sweat (A La La La La Long). They won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album the following year with Bad Boys.

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