Clinton Fearon
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Clinton Fearon

Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1969 | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1969
Band World Reggae


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"This Morning: #1 Caribbean African Top 25"

#1 CaribbeanAfrican Top 25 by KDVS Radio 90.3 FM in California (Nov 2016) - by KDVS Radio 90.3 FM in California

"This Morning: Best Roots Reggae Album 2016"

More than 15,000 people voted and choose their favorite albums. - Victoires du Reggae 2017

"This Morning: #1 in the Top 50 Albums"

“Clinton Fearon’s ‘This Morning’ is a great listening experience that even after several spins remains an album of enchanting beauty.”

#1 in the Top 50 Albums by Reggae Vibes NL (Nov 2016) - Reggae Vibes NL

"MOJO Magazine"

“Fearon’s is precisely the kind of voice we need right now, challenging the oppressive powers that seek to curtail our existence by unjust means.” - David Katz

"This Morning: Uplifting and positive new album from Clinton Fearon."

“Clinton Fearon has stayed true to his roots and musical recipe for a long, long time and it works every time.” by Erik Magni - United Reggae

"Clinton Fearon at the Rich Mix in London"

Clinton Fearon is a real roots reggae treasure. He will always be most associated with his membership in the Gladiators, one of the most high-profile roots trios of the 1970s, but after relocating to ‘the other side of the mountain’ in the mid-1980s and basing himself in Seattle, Washington, Fearon has been a consistent solo artist, creating meaningful music of inspired quality in his own right. During the last few years, thanks to the efforts of Makasound, the defunct French label now reborn as Chapter 2, overseas audiences have been able to hear Fearon in an unplugged setting as part of the ‘Inna De Yard’ live reviews, which brought him on tour as part of a package with the Congos, Kiddus I and Earl Chinna Smith, among others.
Furthering the concept, Chapter 2 recently issued the excellent Heart And Soul, in which Mr Fearon revisited his back catalogue in an acoustic setting. Now Sterns Records has had the good sense to issue the album in the UK, along with a couple of bonus tracks, and the showcase for the release was this superb Sunday night performance at London’s Rich Mix – a smart choice of venue for the event, as it is an intimate space with excellent sound, and draws a crowd that typically comes for the actual music, rather than to be seen or get drunk, as is the case at countless other London venues.
I made my entrance just a few minutes after the reported start time of 8:30pm, and caught the last notes of the opening number (but never found out which song it was). Although the venue was not full to capacity, there was a good crowd in attendance and everyone there was fully drawn in by the music from the get-go. Fearon looked great in black converse high-tops with red green and gold trimmings, which also adorned the edges of his vibrant green shirt. He looked entirely relaxed and had barely seemed to age since the Gladiators first reached the UK’s shores, during the time that they were signed to Virgin Records in the mid-1970s.
As he carried on with the set, the up-tempo One Love was delivered a sprightly romp while he conjured great accompaniment from his battered acoustic guitar; the noteworthy hook line, ‘If you got it in your bosom, check it out so that we all can be redeemed’ rang out with clarity. The wistful Follow The Rainbow, with its warning against corruptive greed, held plenty of emotion, and had nice guitar flourishes at the end. On The Other Side reminded that, although Clinton Fearon was usually a baritone foil to the high tenor lead of Albert Griffiths in the Gladiators, he did not really take a back seat in the group; instead, we can think of him as being akin to Mick Jones in the Clash, or Jerry Butler in the Impressions, which is to say, when he sang lead, it was always strikingly different, as this song made perfectly clear. Similarly, although he was the bass player in the Gladiators band, he began as a guitarist, which was attested to by the sweet blues licks he brought into his Rich Mix rendition. Before launching into Who Cares, one of the songs from his first acoustic album, the 2005 issue Mi An Mi Guitar, Fearon explained that the song was inspired by an experience he had at a Native American pow-wow, in which he was approached for donations by a down-and-out Native American and an African-American war Veteran. Then came Chatty Chatty Mouth, the chilling song he addressed to a Jamaican politician that made so many promises to Kingston’s ghetto dwellers, yet caused so many deaths once in office. By the time he hit Rich Man Poor Man, he was in full stride vocally, and the emotive power of his voice was causing the hairs to stand up on the back of my neck.
The Studio One classic Tribulation sounded dynamite too, and he was evidencing a very broad vocal range on this song and Never Get Burn, sounding almost soprano at the end of the latter. Marvel Not, which Fearon identified as a favourite, got a very strong audience response, as did the closing Lovelight, leading to an encore request that took the form of Halleluyah another contemplative number from Mi An Mi Guitar. Then the Reggae Roast deejays took over, playing great roots discs to the end of the night, while our man stuck around to chat to the fans and sign CDs, being just as down-to-earth and humble off-stage as he was on-stage.
Throughout the set, Clinton Fearon took time out to impart a bit of wisdom, speaking of the motivations behind the songs and his general view of the world, but he did so in a way that was never preachy. He focussed on the positive, and the audience fed on the positiveness—a great exchange powered by uplifting music and the hope of making the world a better place. One man, one mic and one battered acoustic leaves nowhere to hide on stage, but with his guitar and voice, Clinton Fearon achieved what many fully electric bands fail to impart in a live setting.
Mr Fearon, take a double bow, as I can only describe this concert as the sound of reggae at its magnificent best. Don’t miss him if he comes to your area! - Reggaeville

"Clinton Fearon, roots de campagne"

A 63 ans, l’ancien chanteur des Gladiators vit toujours par et pour sa musique. Son nouvel album Goodness est un joyau de reggae acoustique.

Fin des années 50. Le jeune Clinton Fearon peut encore compter son âge sur ses doigts, et déjà, il donne de la voix. Ses premiers professeurs de chants sont perchés dans les arbres de la province de Sainte Catherine en Jamaïque, il se souvient y avoir fait ses gammes en écoutant les oiseaux. Plutôt sauvage à l’époque, il préfère crapahuter dans les collines que jouer avec les autres marmots. « J’étais un enfant très timide et solitaire, dit-il. C’est en faisant de la musique que je me suis enfin libéré dans mon rapport aux autres. » Cette timidité presque maladive explique plus tard ses débuts discrets dans les studios de Kingston.

A 18 ans, il est enrôlé par Albert Griffiths pour le seconder au sein des Gladiators, son ami Dellimore Sutherland complétant leur trio vocal. Fearon composera plusieurs chansons pour eux par la suite (On The Other Side, Chatty Chatty Mouth ou Richman Poorman), toujours en restant dans l’ombre de Griffiths, leader du groupe. Chez Studio One aussi, le producteur Coxsone Dodd l’utilise comme bassiste derrière les grandes stars de son écurie. Lee Perry l’embauche ensuite au Black Ark, mais le considére aussi meilleur musicien que chanteur. Clinton raconte une séance chez Scratch pour la chanson Untrue Girl: « Pendant que je chantais, Perry a soudain allumé toutes les lumières dans le studio pour me gêner. Il m’a dit : “ Un chanteur doit toujours rester imperturbable ! Même si les murs s’écroulent autour de toi, ça ne doit jamais s’entendre dans ta voix.” »

Le trio de Kingston devient mondialement célèbre grâce à un deal avec Virgin, sur la collection Frontline consacrée au reggae, vers 1977. Clinton participe à une quinzaine de disques et tourne avec ses complices autour du monde jusqu’en 1987, date à laquelle il décide de rester à Seattle après un concert et de s’y installer. Il quitte ainsi le groupe pour lequel il a tout donné depuis vingt ans. Après le succès international, l’épreuve qu’il traverse alors à la fin des années 80 ressemble aux premiers vers du fameux poème de Kipling : « Si tu peux voir détruit l’ouvrage de ta vie / Et sans dire un seul mot, te mettre à rebâtir… » Le Jamaïcain a chanté ses refrains sur le toit du monde, avant de revenir à la case départ à trente six ans. Mais il se relève en quelques années et fonde le label Kool Yuh Foot sur lequel il signe plusieurs excellentes galettes : Mystic Whisper en 1997, Soon Come en 2002 et Mi Deh Yah en 2010, peut-être son meilleur disque.

Ce n’est pas son genre, mais Clinton Fearon pourrait aujourd’hui se vanter d’avoir construit une longue et belle carrière sans jamais renier ses convictions. Son label est une modeste affaire de famille gérée par son épouse, Catherine Fearon. Son Boogie Brown Band est formé de musiciens de Seattle ayant progressé à son contact au fil des années, pour devenir aujourd’hui une flambante mécanique reggae. Il nourrit aussi une complicité fertile avec Mell Dettmer, un ingénieur du son qui l’aide à affiner ses basses chaleureuses et ses guitares incandescentes. Sur son nouvel album, son style n’est toujours pas nu-roots, mais bien roots tout court, à l’ancienne. « Tout est une histoire de technologie. Bien qu’ils enregistrent en acoustique, les jeunes producteurs finissent par mixer le son de façon très digital. Avec Mell, on essaie de garder la chaleur de la musique. On enregistre sur une console seize pistes, avec de vieux effets dub, des échos et des reverbs sur des machines vintages. On ne va pas trop loin dans le travail du mix sur Pro Tools. Et je joue le moins d’instrument possible aux claviers, car rien ne vaut le son d’un vrai piano. »

L'illustration de la pochette de Goodness offre un reflet assez fidèle de la personnalité de Clinton, toujours affable face à son public comme dans la vie quotidienne. Le chanteur dégage l’apaisante sérénité de ceux qui n'ont pas de doute sur le chemin à suivre. En 2014, il chérit encore et toujours son indépendance, et produit ses albums comme ses tournées. Il espère d’ailleurs pouvoir défendre son nouvel album sur scène en compagnie de son orchestre entier, mais rien n’est gagné : sept musiciens avec lui implique d’emmener au minimum onze ou douze personnes sur la route, pour le son et la régie. Autant de billets d’avions, de nuits d’hôtel et de cachets à payer. Clinton et sa femme y croient : ils organisent une opération de crowdfounding sur le site L’investissement des donateurs y est récompensé : chacun reçoit selon sa générosité des disques dédicacés, des morceaux inédits en téléchargement, ou une heure de leçon de basse avec Clinton. L’argent récolté servira à offrir au public un meilleur concert, avec une vraie section de cuivres et des choeurs pour sublimer les harmonies de Clinton. « Ca fait une vraie différence quand on est au complet, assure-t-il. Je sais que mes chansons en ont besoin, et le public le sentira aussi, j’en suis sûr. J’ai toujours privilégié la qualité par dessus tout pour ma musique, car la musique me le rend toujours d’une façon ou d’une autre. » - Mondomix

"Goodness: Hands down one of the albums of the year"

When Clinton Fearon left Gladiators while on US tour in 1987, he began a solo career using local musicians in his new home of Seattle, Washington. Only with the arrival of engineer Mel Dettmer to the project for 2004’s Give and Take did the sound he was forging - old school roots reggae like Gladiators but adding a rural American feel - take flight. Each successive album thereafter was a progression in quality, reaching a high point with 2010’s Mi Deh Yah. Follow-up Heart and Soul was something of a detour: an acoustic revisit to songs he wrote for Gladiators that represented a tribute to his past. 

For latest effort Goodness he is electric again: writing and producing all original compositions. And if anything, he has improved on Mi Deh Yah’s heights.

Many of the familiar themes and ingredients are present and correct. The complex songwriting for reggae (plenty of bridges and middle-eights). The woody, bucolic folksy feel. The strings on the jaunty highlife meets ska of Come By Yah. The knowing references to Bob Marley in the clavinet driven Long Run Short Catch. The soothing way he sympathetically chides us for our foibles and misdeeds on Blame Game and The Hunter - like musical therapy. How his music hits instantly with no feeling out process.

Other discs that are so immediate often lose their power. Not this one. 
But post acoustic stop-off - when he gave his messages room to breathe - everything is clearer, cleaner, tighter, more unified in sound. It’s his third consecutive release on bass duties and he anchors all tunes with surety. Every reverb and delay on every snare seems sparing and judicious: to give atmosphere or presence yet never to confuse or be-fudge. 

Unlike young retro producers, Fearon is not lionising a mythical age. He has unfinished business with the music he has been creating since the 1970s. The flute and cuica decorated Wi No Know It is remarkable: for both its seamless blend of a classic soul intro to its main body of rustic roots and for a message – rare for culture reggae – of being unsure what will happen next. 

Clinton is not an experimental artist making wild leaps on each record. He is a craftsman, an artisan, refining and getting better at doing the same thing every time. Packed with goodness this is as strong song-wise as Mi Deh Yah, displaying increased unity and more assured production. Hands down one of the albums of the year (although it comes as no great surprise). - Reggaeville


All songs written and composed Clinton Fearon

Albums with Clinton Fearon and Boogie Brown

Disturb the Devil, Kool Yu Foot, 1993
Mystic Whisper, Kool Yu Foot, 1997
What A System, Kool Yu Foot, 1999
Soon Come, Kool Yu Foot, 2002
Give and Take, Kool Yu Foot, 2005
Vision, Kool Yu Foot, 2006
Faculty Of Dub, Kool Yu Foot, 2008
Mi Deh Yah, Kool Yu Foot, 2010
Goodness, Kool Yu Foot, 2014

Albums with Clinton Fearon in solo acoustic

Mi An Mi Guitar, Kool Yu Foot, 2005
Heart And Soul, Kool Yu Foot, 2012

Albums with The Gladiators and originally released between 1969 and 1987

Clinton Fearon on bass, harmony vocal and lead vocal for some songs.

Babylon Street, Jam Rock
Dreadlocks the Time Is Now, Virgin
Gladiators By Bus, Jam Rock
Gladiators, Virgin
Naturality, Virgin
Proverbial Reggae, Virgin
Serious Thing, Nighthawk
Sweet So Til, Virgin
Symbol of Reality, Nighthawk
The Gladiators Presents, Studio One
Trenchtown Mix-up, Virgin
Vital Selection, Virgin

Singles of Clinton Fearon released originally between 1969 and 1980

Tribulation, Studio One
Jah Almighty, Studio One
On The Other Side, Studio One
Message To The Nation, Upsetter
Untrue Girl, Upsetter
What A Joy, Virgin
Miss Jones, Jam Rock



Clinton Fearon is a composer, songwriter, singer and player of instruments since his early teens, and a professional since the age of 19.

He was born in Jamaica and become the bassist, vocalist and lyricist for the mythic Gladiators, as well as a session musician for Coxsonne Dodd in Studio One and Lee Scratch Perrys at Black Ark, two of the main producers on the island at this time. He also composed some everlasting bass lines for well-known artists like Yabby You, Jimmy Riley, Max Romeo, Junior Byles and many others.

After leaving Jamaica 1987, Clinton Fearon start a new career from Seattle. With other musicians of the Gladiators, he decided to stay in the US and to found The Defenders. The band built a nice following in the Northwest. After five years the band split and Clinton Fearon formed the Boogie Brown Band with local musicians in 1993.

His latest album "This Morning" released in September 2016 is #1 Roots Reggae album for several media in Europe and North America. "This Morning" is Clinton Fearon's 12th album of his solo career. 

Each song of Clinton Fearon is a strong message coming from the heart of a man who dedicates his life to help a better world to come. With chiselled music and poetic lyrics, he opens reggae to a wider audience who simply loves his beautiful songs.

Clinton Fearon is playing his music all over the world, touring with Boogie Brown band or in acoustic sessions to spread roots reggae everywhere.


My music is roots reggae from the island of Jamaica.  I grew up deep in the hills, up in St. Catherine, surrounded by nature, beauty and hard work.  Even as a child, I knew I wanted to be a musician and began my career singing in church and at school, and eventually built my own guitar!  As a teenager, my journeys took me to Kingston where I met many musicians and began writing and recording music.  The Skatalites, Motown artists and Jamaican musicians who came before me all influenced my music. 

I write from my heart.  The world is full of inspirations nature, people, politics, love.  I write about them all.  My music is good for the soul - always with a message of hope and betterment for tomorrow.  Its good for dancing, good for listening and I think its good for all. Clinton Fearon

Band Members