Tag Archives: The System

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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Famous Musicians Come Together For Live Reggae Show

The members of the band Island Head will come together for a rare live performance later on this summer.  This is no small task since the members are all active musicians and will be flying in from all around the world.

Currently, trumpet player/arranger Don Harris is on tour with Nile Rodgers and Chic in Europe.  Chic is famous for hits such as “Good Times”, “Le Freak” and “I Want Your Love”.   The band has been getting back in the public eye due to Nile’s latest endeavor with the group Daft Punk.  Nile plays guitar on their new album “Random Access Memories” and produced the hit single “Get Lucky”.

Don said; “We finished a set in Ireland and as we walked off the stage you could hear the audience singing the chorus from “Get Lucky”.  Even though the single is by Daft Punk the fans know it is Nile’s signature sound added to the song that makes it appealing to them.”

Don will be flying in from Europe to do the Island Head show.

Keyboard player David Frank has been busy promoting his new album by his own group The System entitled “System Overload”.  Together with singer Mic Murphy, The System have had hits such as “You Are In My System” and “Don’t Disturb This Groove”.  David will be flying in from his home in Los Angeles, Ca.

Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung is a legendary reggae guitarist who has played with many of reggae’s superstars including Peter Tosh of Bob Marley and The Wailers.  Mikey was mentioned more than once in the auto-biography “Life” by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.  It seems Keith has a home in Jamaica and according to Keith, playing with Mikey was one of the highlights during the time he lived in Jamaica.

Mikey Chung will be flying in from Jamaica for the Island Head show.

Bassist Neil Jason is one of the busiest bass players in New York City.  He toured recently with the reunion of The Brecker Brothers Band featuring music from the album “Heavy Metal BeBop”.  You will also see Neil on The David Letterman Show in the CBS Orchestra featuring Paul Shaffer subbing for bassist Will Lee.  Neil has also been in Europe recently recording and promoting the new album by jazz singer Brigitte Zarie.

Neil will be taking a break from his touring and playing schedule to do the Island Head show.

The rest of the band includes Tim Cappello on sax, Andy Bassford on guitar and Billy Messinetti on drums.  The three of them live in and around New York City.  Although they won’t be flying in from anywhere, they also have extremely busy schedules recording, writing, producing and playing live gigs.

All of the members of Island Head are coming together because this is a project they all love and want to be a part of.  The band plays a very unique and interesting approach to classic songs from Bob Marley and The Wailers.  Mikey Chung said; “I know when we all get together to play live it will be magical!”

This is a show you will not want to miss.  The details of the show are below.

Date: Wednesday July 24, 2013

Where: The Cutting Room NYC

Location: 44 East 32nd Street – New York, NY (between Park & Madison)

Time: 10:00 PM

Tickets: click the link below

Link To Show at The Cutting Room

Island Head’s David Frank interview

David Frank, Island Head’s keyboard player was interviewed on Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles, Ca on KPFK.  Chuck Foster is the host of the show “Reggae Central” which is heard on Sundays.  The show airs from 2pm – 4pm PST on 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, 98.7 FM Santa Barbara, 93.7 North San Diego and 99.5 Rodgecrest.  David talks about his input into the recording of “Punky Reggae Party” and his interaction with the other Island Head musicians.

David Frank is a well-known keyboard player, producer of many hit records including Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In A Bottle”, Phil Collins “Sussudio”, Steve Winwood’s “Back In The High Life” and many more.  He also has had hits with his own band called The System including “Don’t Disturb This Groove” and “You Are In My System”.

Chuck wrote the Reggae Update column for Beat Magazine for two decades and is the author of Author of Roots, Rock, Reggae: An Oral History of Reggae Music From Ska to Dancehall on Billboard Books and The Small Axe Guide to Rock Steady (Muzik Tree, 2009). Chuck has been actively involved in Los Angeles public radio for nearly 20 years.

Here is the link to David’s interview