Tag Archives: jamaican reggae artist

New Reggae Album Coming

Island Head are finally in the studio recording a new album. Many people have asked, “What took so long?” Well, there are many reasons not the least of which is the individual musicians have been very busy!

I could write a ten-page blog about the projects each of us have done. Just to give you a taste, here are some highlights;

Guitarist Andy Bassford wrote some tracks and played on the new album collaboration by Sting and Shaggy called 44/876. Andy also recorded a solo record which is a tribute to the Jimmy Cliff album soundtrack to “The Harder They Come”. His version is called “The Harder They Strum”.  Reggae radio station The Joint on SiriusXM is currently playing one of the tracks called 007 (Shanty Town). He did all of that while constantly touring with legendary Jamaican jazz pianist, Monty Alexander. www.andybassford.com

Saxophone player Tim Cappello, famous from his 14-year stint with Tina Turner, found out he is more famous from his appearance in the legendary 1987 vampire movie “The Lost Boys”. So, Tim has been appearing at the “Monster Ball” conventions. He is also about to release his own solo record.  www.timcappello.com/

Island Head founder and drummer Billy Messinetti has been writing original music preparing for the studio recordings. He also leads 2 other bands that are booked through his New York City based company, New York Orchestras Entertainment.  www.nyorchestras.com    www.musicbythevibe.com

Trumpet player Don Harris has been touring with former NY Yankees star, major league baseball Hall of Famer, Bernie Williams. Bernie now has a career as a jazz guitarist. Don has also toured with Nile Rogers and Chic. This summer he is playing dates for the “Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Guitarist Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung was part of a group of Jamaican studio musicians who played on thousands of reggae records over the last 40 years. The Kingston All Stars are Sly Dunbar, Ansel Collins, Mikey “Mao” Chung, Linford “Hux” Brown, Jackie Jackson, Robbie Lyn, Everton & Everald Gayle. Under the artistic direction of Moss “ Mossman “ Raxlen, a multi-faceted musician, producer, engineer and writer, the KAS will be releasing a new recording and embarking on a world tour.  kingstonallstars.com

Island Head keyboard player David Frank, was contacted by singer Michael McDonald. Michael said, “I was just listening to Steve Winwood’s “Back In The High Life” album. I love the horn arrangements you did for Steve. So, I would you be interested in doing the horn arrangements for my new album?” Oh course, David said yes and the album is called “Wide Open”.  Here’s a quote from David; “What can you say about Mike. One of the finest artists of all time. I was so honored to be able to arrange the horns with him on these songs.davidfrankmusic.com

Bass player Jeff Ganz is constantly touring the USA with The Hit Men. This band includes musicians from various legendary American bands such as The Four Seasons, Carly Simon, Johnny Winter and many more. The band plays hit songs that they participated on. There is a lot of talent in the band and Jeff certainly adds to it. thehitmenlive.com

Stay tuned as we will be posting pictures and videos from the Island Head recording sessions.

to be continued…

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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.