Category Archives: Bob Marley and the Wailers

“What a piece of art!” – DJ Paulo Matos Reggae Portugal

The latest review of the album “Punky Reggae Party” by Island Head is by DJ Paulo Matos from Solar FM “Reggae Portugal”.

“What a piece of art!”
“I confess that this is one of the best tributes/instrumental tribute to the immortal songs of Marley The Wailers I ever heard until today!  Arrangements and Production are first-class.  This Sunday I will feature the album in Portugal Reggae program.  Not to be missed.”

Confesso que esta è uma das melhores homenagens / tributo instrumental às canções imortais de Marley & The Wailers que jà ouvi atè hoje !  Arranjos e Produção de 1a Classe.  Este domingo no programa Reggae Portugal.  A não perder.

Listen to his station with this link:  Solar FM Reggae Portugal –  DJ Paulo Matos

Top Reggae Albums – March 2014 (blog)

I was checking out the iTunes Top Reggae Albums chart.  As usual, the top of the chart is dominated by Bob Marley, Bob Marley and The Wailers and we see the pre-sale of Ziggy Marley’s new release “Fly Rasta” at #3.  As you scan down the chart you can see the likes of Jamaican artists Collie Buddz, Shaggy, Gregory Isaacs, Sizzla, Barrington Levy, Toots and The Maytals, Jimmy Cliff and course Damian and Stephen Marley.

Then, there is the new generation of non-Jamaican reggae artists in the top 40 albums.  Most were born in California, USA.  Included in that list are Rebelution (Santa Barbara, Ca.), Iration (Isla Vista, Ca.) and Tribal Seeds (San Diego, Ca.).  I noticed one band omitted from the reggae chart that is very popular, also out of San Diego, the band Slightly Stoopid.  This band is listed under the Alternative music category but, certainly could be in the reggae genre.

Other reggae bands on the charts that are from the next generation American reggae artists/bands are SOJA, Matisyahu, J. Boog and The Green (both from Hawaii).

My band Island Head are an instrumental reggae band and most of us are from New York, Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung is from Kingston, Jamaica and David Frank is from Los Angeles, Ca.

Island Head reggae band/musicians

“Punky Reggae Party” by Island Head band/musicians

Here is what Pat McKay, SiriusXM program director for channel 42 “The Joint” said; “Island Head is an important project to reggae. It’s always great to have substantive, high art.  This work contributes to reggae’s growth. Reminds others of what it really is and what is still possible.  I feel so especially blessed to share this brilliant work with our audience.” 

“Inspired concept, great playing and a real feel for the music makes Island Head’s Punky Reggae Party a top quality, excellent release highly recommended to strengthen the heart and soothe the soul. A winner!“–Chuck Foster, host of Reggae Central on KPFK-LA, author of Roots Rock Reggae: An Oral History of Reggae Music From Ska To Dancehall (Billboard Books) and The Small Axe Guide To Rock Steady (Muzik Tree).

“Island Head musicians, tastefully demonstrate that a fresh perspective can still be brought to Bob Marley music.”  Dermot Hussey, legendary reggae radio personality and author of “Bob Marley, Reggae King of The World”.

“I have heard a lot of Wailers over the years and Island Head are one of the few bands that have an original take on the music.  It’s Island Head Hipreggaejazzrockvibe.” – Cableman Dan, host of “Reggae & World Rhythms” on WNTI-FM

Relix jamband magazine review of Island Head band

Relix is a music magazine and blog that focuses on jam bands, music festivals and band interviews.  They also do album reviews.  The current issue, September 2013, contains a review of the Island Head album “Punky Reggae Party”.

Island Head took some legendary Bob Marley and the Wailers performances and reworked them.  The band takes Bob Marley songs in a new direction treating them differently than they have been before.  The Island Head musicians recorded instrumental versions of these reggae classics.  You can hear them jamming guitar, sax, trumpet and keyboard solos.  Relix says; “The band frequently flexes their muscles a bit on solos, but their vocal-like quality feels tasteful and natural-always rocking steady and never forgetting to keep the party going.”

As of today, the review has not been posted on the Relix website (www.relix.com)  You will have to pick up a copy of the mag to read the complete review.

Island Head Musicians (Band) – Instrumental Reggae

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Island Head visited SiriusXM Studios in New York City where they performed three songs exclusively for the reggae radio station “The Joint” on channel 42.  Program director Pat McKay hosted an interview with the band.  “We had so much fun hangin’ with Pat.  We had a lot of laughs and she is so cool”, said sax player Timmy Cappello.  Pat teased Timmy about his on-stage sexual innuendos during his touring days with Tina Turner.  Pat said; “She came on to you, didn’t she”?  The room burst into laughter as Timmy said; “I ain’t sayin’ nothin'”.

When it came time to play the band got serious as they did new versions of “Burnin’ and Lootin’ and “Punky Reggae Party”, both Bob Marley and The Wailers covers.  The band’s instrumental version of Bob Marley’s “So Much Trouble in the World” has been airing for months on The Joint.  Now, the live version is also being aired.

You can catch all three live performances on SiriusXM as well as some studio cuts from the album “Punky Reggae Party”.

Listen to the album here

Pictured below is Program Director Pat McKay during soundcheck

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Island Head Welcomes All People All Music

This site has been visited by thousands of people from every corner of the globe.  That is a true testament to reggae music.  This music started by artists like Toots Hibbert that came from bands like The Skatalites and introduced to the world by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and The Wailers.

Island Head band want to do their part in carrying the torch.  All the musicians have had their share of doing recording sessions with computers and electronics.  The band wanted to make music kind of “old school” and have everyone in the same room at the same time in the recording process.  The interaction of the musicians is what makes this album so interesting.  They take some creative liberties and expand upon these songs written by Bob Marley, performed by The Wailers.

When you hear the wonderful saxophone solos by Tim Cappello, they were all done spontaneously, live, one take, no fixes or “punches”.  In the world of “perfect” music, this is unheard of.  I put “perfect” in quotes because the attempt is to make the music perfect and the result takes away the human imperfections.  These imperfections breathe life, heart and soul into the music.

The Island Head approach to these songs is to treat them with respect to the composer, the musicians and the reggae fans.  At the same time, the idea was to bring the sound up to date and bring in the aspect of improvisation as jazz artists do.  Reggae music has influenced rock, funk, hip hop, jazz and pop music.  Island Head musicians have all played music in these different genres.  Now, those genres are fused together to create Island Head’s own unique brand of reggae in the album “Punky Reggae Party”.

Hear the music here

Like Island Head on Facebook here

Follow Island Head on Twitter here

Island Head has been called: Island Head Musicians, Island Head Band, Island Head Reggae Band, Island Head instrumental reggae band, Island Head instrumental jazz band, Islandhead, islandheadband, islandheadreggae.  It is the same band known for doing great original reggae/jazz arrangements of Bob Marley cover songs that include I Shot The Sheriff, So Much Trouble in the World, Get Up Stand Up, Wake Up and Live, Burnin’ and Lootin’ and the title track to their album “Punky Reggae Party”‘.  The music can be heard on SiriusXM radio, College Radio Reggae shows, internet reggae radio stations and some terrestrial radio.  Please phone in requests to your favorite radio station.  Thank you for your support!

Island Head Band Live on SiriusXM The Joint

Island Head band has been on SiriusXM reggae satellite radio station “The Joint” channel 42.  Hear the exclusive performance by Island Head musicians and program director Pay McKay’s interview with bandleader Billy Messinetti and the band.  The band plays new live versions of “Burnin and Lootin’, “So Much Trouble In The World”, which continues to air on the reggae channel and the title cut from the band’s album “Punky Reggae Party”.  All three songs were written by Bob Marley and performed by The Wailers.  Also, check out the band’s original single called “Reggae Island” here on iTunes.

Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung tells how he has recorded with and/or performed live with just about every Jamaican musician including Buju Banton, Sly & Robbie, Black Uhuru and Peter Tosh.  Andy Bassford speaks of the years he spent with reggae greats Toots and The Maytals, Yellowman, Super Cat and Dennis Brown.  Sax player Timmy Cappello spent 15 years with Tina Turner and trumpeter James Smith is no stranger to reggae.  James spent 22 years with Burning Spear and recorded with Stephen Marley and Damian Marley.

More details and pics here