A big thank you to the Voice of Reason whose comment on 'Piccadilly Hop' suggested today's post. When you've got a hell of a lot of records and not a lot of free time, you can go for years without listening to some of them - even ones you really like. When someone reminds you of a long-forgotten gem and you pull it out of the record box, it can be like hearing it for the very first time.
Tommy McCook's 1978 cut of 'Riding West' is a bit like that. I picked this up in the flea market in Trowbridge some time towards the end of the eighties, quite liked it, stuck it in the banana box with all the other twelves and forgot about for a decade. I rediscovered it towards the end of the nineties after hearing Billy Hope's original, and really, really liked it. Tommy McCook is great when he goes with the more free-flowing improvisational stuff. A lot of his R&B, ska and even rocksteady recordings are really satisfying in that way, but for some reason you hear a lot less of it on his reggae sides. Anyway, I'd not listened to it in 6 or 7 years before tonight, and am feeling quite happy.
By the way, the dub is excellent: this is my favourite Bunny Lee / Tubbys dub bar none. It's deep and mellow, with echoing saxophone and a bit of reverb on the kick drum - perfect late-night listening.