Joanna Marie does ode to Cool Ruler

Friday, July 20, 2018

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WHEN singer Joanna Marie was mulling ideas for her next project, she decided to cover a song by Gregory Isaacs, one of her favourite artistes.

Her take on The Cool Rulers' 1982 hit Hush Darling was released last week. She produced the single for her JMTC Enterprise label.

“Yes, I am a big fan of Gregory Isaacs, and also had the pleasure of meeting him. I shared the stage with him alongside Dennis Brown and John Holt at a show on South Beach in Miami,” Joanna Marie told Jamaica Observer.

There is not much difference from the original which was done in Isaacs's signature laid-back style. She said this was deliberate.

“I love his version, so I kept most of the organic sounds and added my touch to it.”

Hush Darling is Joanna Marie's second production. Her first was another cover — of Dennis Brown's version Silhouettes, which came out last year.

Isaacs did Hush Darling during a fruitful career period that also yielded songs like Night Nurse and Private Secretary. He died from cancer in 2010 at age 59.

Born in Kingston, Joanna Marie (real name Joanna Chin Loy) is well known in South Florida music circles. She is from a family with strong musical ties. Her first cousin was singer Suzanne Couch, who died earlier this month.

She began recording in 1986 after moving to South Florida. Single Girl, produced by influential disc jockey Clint O'Neil, was her first song.

Her sole album, Simply Irresistible, was released in 1999.

Some of Joanna Marie's recent songs, including I Need You, were done for independent producers, but last year she decided to take on the production side of things.

“I feel I have more control of my career when I produce my own songs. It brings out the best in me,” she said.

— Howard Campbell

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