Category Archives: Jamaican music

Review of Island Head Live at The Falcon!

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Billy Messinetti and Don Harris (together they produce and do arrangements for Island Head)

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Andy Bassford of Island Head

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Jeff Ganz of Island Head

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Don Harris of Island Head

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Timmy Cappello (sax player vocalist of Island Head)

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David Frank (madman on the B3) of Island Head

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David Frank, Dave O’Donnell (Punky Reggae Party mix engineer), Billy Messinetti

Thank you to all who came out to see Island Head at The Falcon!  What a fantastic night, so much fun!!  Special thanks to Island Head’s keyboard player, David Frank.  David flew in from LA to do this gig because he just loves playing the music with this group of amazing players.

The band opened the night with classic Jamaican instrumentals from the Studio One collection called “Tunnel One” by legendary reggae sax player, Tommy McCook and “Darker Shade of Black” by Soul Vendors. The latter is actually an excerpt from The Beatles song “Norwegian Wood”.

When Sax player/vocalist Timmy Cappello introduced the band’s version of “Baby I Need Your Loving” by The Four Tops he said; “We have such a symbiotic relationship with Jamaican reggae musicians and artists.  They write songs, we make them our own.  We write songs and they give that grace and that thrust with a whole new feel”.

One of the highlights of the band’s set was their version of “Freedom” by Richie Havens. The groove was kind of a Soca/Reggae thing which had the whole crowd on their feet.  Don and Timmy took advantage of their wireless clip-on microphones and were dancing with the audience and played amazing solos.

Keyboard player David Frank’s band, The System had a big hit called “Don’t Disturb This Groove”. Island Head did a version with a groove called “”Rockers” that was originated by the legendary drummer/bassist duo Sly & Robbie. “Rockers” is kind of a half-time feel with the bass drum playing quarter notes (4 on the floor).

Of course, the band played most of the songs from their album “Punky Reggae Party” that has been heard on reggae radio especially SiriusXM “The Joint” channel 42.  They closed the set with a furious version of Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff” that featured an energetic funky drum solo by Billy. The crowd would not let the band leave so quickly and demanded an encore.

The encores included the classic “House of The Rising Sun” done Island Head reggae style. The final song took the audience by surprise as the band ripped into a cool reggae version of “Kiss” by Prince. There was not one person left sitting!

See Island Head live

Island Head will be performing songs from the album “Punky Reggae Party” which are unique instrumental versions of Bob Marley songs as well as the Island Head original, “Reggae Island”  The band also will play some classic Jamaican Studio One instrumentals.  Sax player Timmy Cappello will be singing some classic pop hits his own reggae style.

DATE: Thursday August 21, 2014           PLACE:  Treme     553 Main St, Islip, NY    WEBSITE LINK: TremeLink       Phone: (631) 277-2008

DATE: Friday August 22, 2014     PLACE: A Place 2 Go (Jamaican Restaurant)        273 North Ave, New Rochelle, NY          WEBSITE LINK:   AplaceWebLink     Phone: (914) 365-252

DATE:  Thursday August 28, 2014       PLACE: The Lackawaxen Inn     188 Scenic Drive, Lackawaxen, PA.       FACEBOOK LINK: Lack Inn FB    PHONE: 570-685-7061

 

ISLAND HEAD set list

  1. Burnin & Lootin
  2. Tunnel One*
  3. I Shall Be Released
  4. Swing Easy*
  5. Get Up Stand Up
  1. So Much Trouble in the World
  2. Wake Up & Live
  3. Heavy Rock*
  4. Don’t Disturb This Groove
  5. House of the Rising Sun
  6. Punky Reggae Party
  7. Reggae Island
  8. Baby I Need Your Loving
  9. Darker Shade of Black* (Norwegian Wood)
  10. I Shot The Sheriff

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.

Classic Reggae Performance

Island Head performed this past week for a mostly Jamaican audience in New York.  They played extended versions of the entire “Punky Reggae Party” album along with some classic reggae music.  Besides the Bob Marley covers the band usually does they jammed on tracks from a Studio One album entitled “Downbeat The Ruler”.  The band selected “Darker Than Black” and “Swing Easy” by Soul Vendors, “Tunnel One”by Tommy McCook and “Heavy Rock” from Sound Dimension.  The musicians took these grooves to new highs with guitar, keyboard, sax and trumpet solos.

This was the first gig where the Island Head musicians added some vocal songs to their set.  Saxophonist Timmy Cappello displayed his vocal abilities on the classics “I Shall Be Released” (Bob Dylan) and “Baby I Need Your Loving” both covered by The Heptones.  But, the vocal performance that brought the house down was Cappello’s version of “House of The Rising Sun”.

Island Head keyboardist, David Frank had a number one hit with his band The System called “Don’t Disturb This Groove”.  The audience instantly recognized the signature keyboard riff of their reggae version.

The band’s live show is constantly evolving.  Stay tuned for upcoming Island Head band performances.

Click the links below to see videos from the band’s performance at The Cutting Room in New York City.

“So Much Trouble In The World”

“Burnin’ and Lootin'”

“I Shot The Sheriff”

Island Head Band/Musicians

Thank you for checking out the Island Head band website!  Show your love of the music and please hit this link and LIKE US on Facebook.

Peace & Love!

Islandheads

 

tags: reggae music, instrumental reggae music, jazz reggae, island head musicians, island head band, Jamaican music,

Island Head Makes Best 25 Reggae Albums of 2013 List!

The Island Head album “Punky Reggae Party” was chosen as one of the 25 best reggae albums of the year!  The band are extremely proud of this honor that was bestowed upon them by the Midnight Raver Blog, the premier blog on reggae music.

Other reggae artists on this list include Milton Henry, Sly & Robbie, The Mighty Diamonds, Eek-A-Mouse, Junior Marvin (of the Wailers) Protoje, Addis Pablo and The Suns of Dub, Meta & The Cornerstones, Cedric Congo, Mikey Dread and Kabaka Pyramid.  There is even a newly released Deluxe Edition of the album “Kaya” by Bob Marley & The Wailers.

View the complete list here: http://midnightraverblog.com/midnight-ravers-best-of-2013/

Radio Adds for Island Head’s “Punky Reggae Party”

Island Head music on the radio started with SiriusXM The Joint Program Director Pat McKay playing “So Much Trouble In The World”, a Bob Marley cover.  All three of the station’s DJs continue to play Island Head – Jabba, Dermot Hussey and Pat McKay herself.  Sounds of the Caribbean with Keith Rowe & Selecta Jerry jumped at the chance to add the album to their radio playlist.  Keith even uses various cuts from the album as “bumper” music for his announcements.  “Jaybird” Varga from Endless Boundaries Jam Radio on the same radio station heard Island Head on Keith’s show.  He liked the “jamband” aspect of the album so much that he started his very next show with “Burnin’ and Lootin'”, another Marley song.  Both Keith’s and “Jaybird’s” shows can be heard on Burlington County College 88.9 FM in S. Jersey & Philadelphia (stream here Radio Z889).

Dan the Cableman has a show on Centenary College Radio called Reggae & World Rhythms 91.9 FM in Central New Jersey that streams on www.wnti.org.  Andy Bassford and Billy Messinetti, guitarist and drummer, respectively, were interviewed and guest DJ’ed while the Cableman played “Reggae Island”, the single from the album, “I Shot The Sheriff” and the title cut “Punky Reggae Party”.

Chuck Foster from radio KPFK 90.7 FM UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) has a show called Reggae Central who has added Island Head to the playlist.  If you are in the Tampa Florida area you can listen to WMNF 88.5 FM Community Radio (stream at www.wmnf.org). In Upstate New York we are on WVKR 91.3 FM Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.  One of their shows is “Splinters & Candy” World Music with Alex Brown.  Our newest addition today is Radio CUH Chaminade University Hawaii.  If you are off the island you can listen here  http://radiocuh.org.

Island Head would like to thank all these stations for their continued support.  Big Up from all the Island Head musicians!!  Maximum Respect!!!