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Lasana returns

BY BASIL WALTERS Observer reporter

Thursday, December 01, 2011

AFTER a long hiatus, singer and song writer Lasana Bandele, has returned with a cover version of Bob Dylan’s classic Blowin’ In The Wind.

The song was released last week in the US east coast city, San Francisco, United States.

"I’ve done a cover of Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ In The Wind," said Bandele, who was born in St James but now resides in the US.

He said he has always been a fan of Dylan.

"I have always loved this song by Bob Dylan. He is one of my favourite artiste and I feel a timeliness in this song; given the present state of things in the world," he said.

Lasana Bandele gained widespread popularity locally with his 1989 hit single Living In Shacks, which was from the album Storitela. The album — which was produced on his Storitela label — included tracks such as Big City, Subway Blues, Break Free, Bird Land, Waiting Inside and the title track, Storitela.

Bandele is hoping to reap similar success with the remake of Blowin’ In The Wind.

Written in 1962 and released on Dylan’s The Freewheelin’ the year after, Blowin’ In The Wind is widely described as a protest anthem. In 1999, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and five years later it was ranked number 14 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The song was never a hit for Dylan but gained international prominence when it was covered by American folk-singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary.

Bandele recorded and released his first single Hanging Locks, in 1974, was followed by Send Us Home two years later. He won a bronze medal in 1980 for his poem Mad Dogs in The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s festival competition. The year after, he received a Certificate of Merit for his effort Prison in the same competition.

Bandele performed on Reggae Sunsplash in 1990.