"We're honoured to have released this album! Count Kutu & The Balmers are the most authentic mento band in the world! You guys are more mento than the Jolly Boys are these days!" Chuck Wren (Jump Up Records)
It is a little known fact that this production outfit had a deep affinity with mento music, back in the day when I along with the creator of Bisikleta Productions had dreamt of finding a local band who does authentic mento whom we can include on our upcoming monthly events up until my co-conspirators untimely death that I had never stopped dreaming about it. Until I chanced upon a punk rock band called The Sneekers that our dream had taken shape.
One of the regular bands who have been performing on our productions had informed me that the front man for The Sneekers, who happen to be a regular fixture for The Rude Maynila Sessions have an unfathomable knowledge when it comes to mento music and in fact had another band that actually plays authentic mento and has been busking and hustling for the tourist of El Nido, Palawan. When we finally lined up his mento band for the sessions every one were instantly mesmerized by what they had seen and heard.
That band that had mesmerized our audience is called COUNT KUTU AND THE BALMERS.singing about the everyday lives of Filipinos injected with a humourous slant and armed with low end guitars, tenor banjo, maracas, catacoo, sand block, bamboo drum and rumba box recreating the rural style of Jamaican mento, made famous by artists such as COUNT OWEN, FRATS QUNITET, THE HILTONAIRES, LORD TANAMO, JOLLY BOYS and SUGAR BELLY is so authentic that they hit the style right out of the ball park. This may be sacrilegious to say, but it is as Jamaican as ackee and saltfish and Miss Lou.
Their beat was so infectious that the band had created a buzz in the underground music scene playing on some notable music events such as Irie Sunday and last year's Ska Reggae Festival and with the magic of YouTube they eventually caught the ear of Chicago's Jump Up Records head honcho Chuck Wren which landed them a record deal resulting in a limited edition 78 rpm style 10" vinyl. And besides that according to my reliable source The Jolly Boys manager Jon Baker had also taken interest on them.
And to get a taste of what this band is all about, below is their music video for your eyes and ears pleasure. To get a hold of the TAKE ME LP, we will be selling their vinyl on SEPTEMBER 28, FRIDAY at THE SPOT.