Heavy rain on Monday morning made the prospect of a decent day-off walk unlikely, but the weather had miraculously improved by lunchtime, so I was belatedly able to get out and stretch my legs properly for the first time since being knocked sideways by Covid. I took a stroll on the common. It's one of those walks that can be cut short if necessary, or easily extended if desired, by means of a series of looping and inter-connecting footpaths, stiles and gates. The common is vast and there was nary a soul around - it was bliss. The skies cleared completely, it became very warm indeed and, as is my wont, I documented bits of the walk with my phone. Honestly, my cloud storage is chock-a-block with endless shots of big skies and footpaths disappearing off into the distance. I managed 5½ miles, followed a well deserved pint at the end.
Watty Burnett was essentially a session vocalist for Lee Perry in the 1970s, on standby for whenever a Scratch production required a baritone harmony in the mix. This was exactly how he came to appear so prominently on one of the very greatest albums produced at the Black Ark, 'Heart of the Congos'. Indeed, Burnett's voice became so fundamental to The Congos' sound that by the time of the album's release he was a fully fledged member of the band. In 1977, immediately prior to his adventures with The Congos, Scratch produced a solo single for Burnett, a cover of Brook Benton's 'Rainy Night in Georgia', re-titled 'Rainy Night in Portland'. Remarkably, the masterful 'Open the Gate' was originally hidden away on the flipside of that tune, only gaining a full issue in its own right in 1980.
Watty Burnett - Open the Gate