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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!

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Island Head Live at the Falcon

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Island Head Live at The Falcon

Island Head played to a packed SRO crowd at The Falcon in Marlboro, NY this past Saturday night. The band featured Timmy Cappello on sax and lead vocals, Andy Bassford as well as reggae legend Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung on guitars, bandleader Billy Messinetti on drums, Jeff Ganz on bass, James K. Smith on trumpet (subbing for Don Harris) and Mitch Margold on keyboards (subbing for David Frank).  Both James and Mitch have played with Island Head before so the reggae groove had the right pulse!

The band played their versions of classic Bob Marley songs as performed on their album “Punky Reggae Party” as heard on SiriusXM radio The Joint.   Other songs performed included “Baby I Need Your Loving” by The Four Tops, “I Shall Be Released” by Bob Dylan and the classic “House of The Rising Sun”.

They surprised the audience with two new songs to the set. “Take Me To The River” was done uptempo to almost a ska beat.  One of the most interesting arrangements was the band’s rendition of Richie Haven’s Woodstock classic “Freedom” to a soca-like groove. Timmy tore the house down with these two songs.  Whew!!

Check back here at IslandHeadReggae.com for information about getting a copy of the live recording of the show.