SONG OF THE DAY Lew Hanson & the Islanders – Soul safari

Llewellyn Hanson, better known as Lew Hanson, was a Jamaican-raised Englishman who wrote Calypso songs in New York. He was a vocalist and percussionist but regretfully his recording career was rather short-lived, resulting in only a couple of singles and one album, which was released in the mid-70’s.

Just For You… From Home And Abroad is the title of this one record and consists of ten songs, all written by Hanson, together with US lead guitarist/songwriter, Edward Smith. The two songwriters were backed by a vibrant band called The Islanders who consisted of, Winfield Jordan (bass guitar), John Smith (drums), Jernom Johnson (guest flutist) and Roy Evans (guitar).

From what I’ve heard so far, the album seems to offer a happy mix of reggae, funk, soul and Calypso, all of which are fused together in equal amounts. The funkier offerings (like today’s song) definitely appeal more to me, but its nice to hear an album of such varied-yet-well-balanced sounds! This band obviously liked to experiment, weren’t afraid to mix things up and succeeded in fluidly blending such an array of styles! Album opener Soul Safari is by far the funkiest thing going on in this record and quite a contrast to the other tracks, with its swirling flute, punchy rhythms and cool racy guitar/vocal lines. It was also released as one of the few 45’s they put out and promises to take you on an expedition of soul discovery, so pack your listening gear and away we go!

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