Linton Kwesi Johnson

LKJ A Cappella Live

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Now recording for his own indie label, Johnson's first release in six years is a return to the form of Dread Beat An' Blood -- that is, no band, just Johnson's lyrical, rhythmic voice setting the tempo. This is Johnson's first full disc without a band, but don't let that stop you from hearing these 14 vignettes of London life -- full of discord, racism, and, thankfully, hope for a better future. Johnson's voice, lilting, dynamic, and melodic, is always commanding, and his gift for recitation will make you forget that there is no backup band. Available through LKJ Records, P.O. Box 623, Herne Hill, London.