by Howard Campbell
[SOUTH FLORIDA] – Whenever Chris Stapleton sings Tennessee Whiskey at his shows, it gets raucous response. The country singer covered the song in 2015 and his version has become an anthem.
Singer/guitarist Wayne Armond recently put his spin on the track. The track was first recorded by country artist David Allan Coe in 1981. Armond, best known for his work with the reggae band Chalice, never heard of Tennessee Whiskey until recently.
“My business partner and I were in the studio working with one of his artists and he said he would love to hear a reggae version of a song named Tennessee Whiskey which I had never heard before,” he recalled.
Armond checked out Stapleton’s mega hit on YouTube once he got home and went about transforming its country/blues flavor to reggae. His version was released in May by My MM Productions. The company was launched in Florida last year by Orville Marshall, his business associate.
Once he listened to Stapleton’s bluesy cover, Armond found it easy giving it a reggae feel.
“As a guitarist, it wasn’t anything outstanding. I liked the lines, I liked the lick….it was the simplicity, the beautiful melody and the way the guy sang it. Basically, that’s it,” he explained.
Armond’s ‘reggae-rized’ cut of Tennessee Whiskey is among My MM Productions’ initial releases. There are two other songs — Don’t Trust Dem by Costa Rican singer Stevie Malekuu and War A Gwaan by Luciano, both done on the Transfusion ‘riddim’.
The label’s current productions are completed by Wayne Picks on Alton Ellis, an instrumental album of Alton Ellis songs.