In my last blog I discussed California reggae bands. One artist that could have been included in that discussion is J Boog. J’s blood line comes from Samoa and was born and raised in California. Residing in Hawaii since 2006, his music is considered part of the reggae movement from the Hawaiian islands. Boog has built up quite a following in Hawaii and some of his songs feature vocal performances from Richie Spice and Peetah (Morgan).
The Green is another reggae band from Hawaii who are doing extensive touring this spring including some dates in Hawaii with Bruno Mars. That’s BIG! They are doing a lot of dates in California including California Roots Festival in Monterey. The Green will hit the east coast of USA with 2 of the bands from my last post, Rebelution and Iration.
Inna Vision, a band from Maui consider themselves “Hawaii’s underground roots, reggae ambassadors”. They will be touring with reggae artists New Kingston and Tribal Seeds.
One more artist I want to mention is Mishka. Based in Hawaii, this Reggae Pop star was born in Bermuda and raised in the Caribbean. He music is more acoustic reggae with Caribbean and Hawaiian influences.
Chronixx released “The Dread & Terrible Project” today and nudged out the sitting king from the number one spot on the iTunes Top Reggae Albums chart. Bob Marley’s “Legend” album just sits at number one and every once in a while a record comes out that will push it out of the top spot for a “minute”.
Chronixx, who has begun his European tour, was born and bred to be the success he is today. His father is the Jamaican reggae artist Chronicle, who encouraged this young man to nurture his talent.
This next generation artist fuses together the best of what is old and new about reggae music and will help propel the genre forward.
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 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”
“I Shot The Sheriff”
Island Head will be performing at ‘A Place 2 Go’ the hottest Jamaican restaurant in New York on Friday March 14, 2014. Owned by renowned Chef Chrissie, this place not only has the best Jamaican food around, it is also known for bringing the best reggae musicians.
Come in and have dinner then, Island Head will perform the entire “Punky Reggae Party” album and then some! Band starts at 10:00 PM. No cover charge – live reggae music!
If you want a preview of the band live, here are 2 YouTube videos:
“I Shot The Sheriff”
“So Much Trouble In The World”
A PLACE 2 GO CONTACT DETAILS
Island Head reggae band’s live performance of Bob Marley’s “So Much Trouble in the World”. The studio version can be heard on the album “Punky Reggae Party”. This performance is from the summer of 2013 at The Cutting Room in New York City.
Band members include Andy Bassford and Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung on guitars, Timmy Cappello on sax, James K. Smith on trumpet, Jeff Ganz on bass, Mike Mancini on keyboards and Billy Messinetti on drums. The studio version of “So Much Trouble in the World” can be heard on the Island Head album “Punky Reggae Party”. Island Head is also known as Island Head Band and Island Head Musicians.
Listen to the reggae radio station on SiriusXM channel 42 “The Joint” and hear the live in-studio versions of “Punky Reggae Party”, “Burnin’ and Lootin'” and “So Much Trouble in the World”. The session was recorded the same day as The Cutting Room show.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTATvUQL6MM
Pictured (left to right) Timmy Cappello, Jeff Ganz, Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung and Andy Bassford
Andy Bassford (guitarist)
Pat McKay (program director for The Joint with Island Head)
James K. Smith (trumpet player)
Mike Mancini (keyboard player)
Billy Messinetti (drummer)
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Peace & Love!
tags: reggae music, instrumental reggae music, jazz reggae, island head musicians, island head band, Jamaican music,
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/
“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