Reggae stalwarts Toots and the Maytals stopped by Spotify’s studios in New York to record a session that included their clever interpretation of John Denver’s classic, “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” as well as their new song, “A Song Call Marley.”
Toots and the Maytals slid into “Take Me Home” — which they originally covered on their 1973 album In the Dark — with a robust, gospel-tinged intro that ended with frontman Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert unleashing a stunning vocal run. The Maytals then kicked out a groove that mixed a reggae backbeat with country flourishes while Toots sang the song’s iconic chorus with the perfect little lyric tweak: “Country road, take me home/To the place, I belong/West Jamaica, my oh my/Take me home, country road.”
The band also breezed through “A Song Call Marley,” an understated reggae gem that doubles as an effusive tribute to the titular reggae legend.
Toots and the Maytals premiered “A Song Call Marley” on The Tonight Show last July before releasing the studio version a month later. At the time, it marked the first piece of new music from band in six years.
Toots and the Maytals recently kicked off a lengthy summer tour. The group’s next show is tonight, June 7th, in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, while the run wraps September 15th with a set at Kaabooo Festival in Del Mar, California.