Treat yourself to front-row seats of an unforgettable live set by the Jolly Boys at Geejam’s own Bushbar. Their modern take on traditional Mento lights up the stage every time. Not only are they keeping Mento alive, they’re revitalizing and reinventing it with their signature take on popular hits such as Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab,” Iggy Pop’s “Passenger” and Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.”
Dale “Dizzle” Virgo, the Geejam studio manager and in-house producer who doubles as the Jolly Boys drummer, remembers the recording of “Rehab” in particular. “Jon Baker’s idea was to modernize Mento, which is a traditional Jamaican folk music. So he came up with this crazy idea to record ‘Rehab’ in a Mento style and it worked, it became this instant classic.” Baker, music industry veteran and hotelier, who alongside Steve Beaver founded the Geejam Collection, admits that he hadn’t been in the studio for quite a while and Mark Jones, a close friend and well-known U.K. producer, was down visiting when they saw the Jolly Boys play at Geejam’s Bushbar. “The lead singer Albert Minott, he’s 77 but you’d never guess it, was just so charismatic and emitted a natural star quality,” describes Baker. “The next thing you know we’re in the studio cutting a cover of ‘Rehab’ with him.” Look out for the Jolly Boys’ version of “Day-O,” one of the most popular classics in the catalogue of Mento, and a new studio album coming out later this year.