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What Is Mento?

Updated: Jun 13, 2018

Hi Everybody,

At a lot of our gigs we get asked about mento. We play a couple of mento style numbers in our set. Audiences seem to really enjoy them and want to find out more. In this blog we'll give you a little background information.

Mento is a traditional form of Jamaican music that predates styles such as Reggae, Rock Steady and Ska. It is often played on acoustic instruments and it has it's roots in a mix of African and European influences. It is sometimes confused with Calypso (from Trinidad) because of the often similar lyrical content (story telling, humour, inuendo etc.) but it is its own unique style and has had a huge influence on the styles that have followed it. The picture below is the sleeve of a double CD that is readily available on line and has a great selection of tracks.

If you want more detail this website should fulfill your needs:

Mento not Calypso Album Cover, The Original Sound of Jamaica
Mento, Not Calypso

Two songs in our set are heavily influenced by mento - 'Doctor Gig' and 'The Coconut Question.' For a little taste of acoustic mento why not have a look at our video.

Best wishes from all the Band.

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