The lack of fresh material after his last studio album, 1984's "Making History," hadn't lessened European appetites for [Linton Kwesi Johnson]'s live performances. The demand was so great that the poet joined forces with his regular collaborator, bassist/producer Dennis Bovell, for a 1988 tour celebrating Johnson's 10-year career. Bovell and the Dub Band are also backing Johnson on the current tour.
Johnson wasn't inactive during his dry spell, serving as arts editor for the now-defunct Race Today magazine and doing journalistic work for British television and BBC radio. But that return to concert activity had an unexpected benefit: It got Johnson back in the writing groove, and now he plans to record a new album this summer.
He first experimented with blending his words with music with the Rasta Love percussion group in 1972. While working for Virgin Records later in the decade, Johnson suggested the label finance a demo recording of his work. That led to the "Dread Beat An' Blood" album released under the name Poet & the Roots in 1978. Four more albums for Island followed, and a live double album was released in America in 1986 by Shanachie.