Horace Andy Backed by Welders: Straight to Hell (Fe True Records)
You might ask: How does a Milwaukee musician resurrect an iconic Clash song by recruiting a reggae titan to sing vocals? He simply does it.
Eric Blowtorch, longtime ringleader, troublemaker and activist has assembled a four-song collection that leads off with Studio One legend Horace Andy taking the Joe Strummer writ “Straight to Hell” for a ride with Blowtorch’s crew The Welders providing the music.
As it turns out, Blowtorch did his legwork long ago. The late Clash frontman had once mentioned to Blowtorch that he suggested Andy record the tune. Upon asking, Andy told Blowtorch he indeed had recorded the tune but was unsatisfied with the rhythm track. That’s all Blowtorch needed to get cracking.
As resonant today as it was in 1982, the song still echoes world politics with Andy’s ghostly vocals anchored by the mighty rhythm section of bassist Michael “Dr. Bassie” Bell and De La Buena drummer Cecilio Negron Jr., kicked off with a haunting trumpet line by Chris Bresette. The B-side offers up two skanky and dub version takes of the cut, “Pair of Dice” and “Asylum Seekers” featuring DJ Big Youth. The added prize is a Blowtorch original “Christmas In Ladbroke Grove,” written in London in December 2002 when he heard that Strummer had died.
Available as a 12-inch single on Fe True Records and as a digital download. A portion of the proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.