Andy Bassford, born in Hartford, Connecticut, is the reggae legend you’ve never heard of. After initially playing several years in rock, reggae, latin jazz, and country bands, he then was discovered by Horace Andy, which led to his recording debut on the classic album ‘In The Light’ in 1977. In 1980 he went to Jamaica and began playing on sessions with the Roots Radics. Soon after he joined Lloyd Parks and We The People, thus performing or recording with nearly every reggae artist of the era, most notably Dennis Brown. Upon his return to the US in late 1980’s he joined Toots and the Maytals among many others and became the house guitarist for the seminal Studio One label. Currently, Andy performs internationally in Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express reggae-jazz fusion project, with whom he has also recorded two albums. In 2003, he was honored by the Jamaica Federation of Musicians for Outstanding Contributions to the Jamaican Music Industry, one of the only-non Jamaicans to receive this award. In 2019, he won his first Grammy as a composer and guitarist on Sting & Shaggy’s “44/876”, which took the honor of best Reggae album. Andy Bassford’s first ever solo album “The Harder They Strum” pays homage to the movie and album that lured Andy into the wonderful world of Jamaican music. Continue reading Reggae Guitar Legend’s Debut Solo album! ANDY BASSFORD “Harder They Strum” LP vinyl / 8 TRACK TAPE sold out
We’ve so proud to have these singles for the USA! No longer do you have to pay high shipping costs on ebay! Get all FOUR singles and save $8! Argentina’s GREEN TORREJAS deliver early reggae vibes, ska & rocksteady vocal gems from Mexico’s SKA CONTENDERS, Chile’s CHINATOWN SKA bring that driving 60s ska beat and DAVID USMA & THE SIDERENS from Columbia kick out organ drenched hypnotic roots reggae! Limited stock act fast! Email your choices to firstname.lastname@example.org
LAST COPIES of SMILE ORANGE OST LP! Smile Orange is a 1976 satirical film set in Jamaica. It follows the day-to-day life of Ringo (Carl Bradshaw) a smooth-talking waiter and con-man. The film explores the tourism industry in the Caribbean and seems to suggest there are similarities to slavery in that industry. The film was directed by Trevor D. Rhone, who also wrote the play on which it is based, and was produced by Edward Knight. The movie stars Bradshaw, Glenn Morrison, and Stanley Irons. Tunes range from smooth reggae, party calypso and deep island funk, and is must for fans of HARDER THEY COME, COUNTRYMAN, and ROCKERS.
SKA compilations are back! Of course we have been including free label CD sampler comps in mail orders for 20+ years now, but in recent years we have seen more interest in various artist vinyl collections – we stepped up to the plate with chartity collections through Specialized UK – and our DRINK THE SKA collaboration with Ska Brewing. Today we have imported a CLASSIC collection from 1997 released on Grover Germany – an incredible worldwide traditional ska compilation put together by DR RING DING that includes rare vinyl appearances by Venice Shorle Chris, The Insteps, Bluebeats, Stubborn All Stars, The Slackers and more: Continue reading SKA Vinyl Collections: OLETIME SOMETHING LP / SKA’D FOR LIFE LP
MAGNETIC LOFT has reissued the first two albums from Russia’s premier ska-jazz band on vinyl! A powerful 10 piece led by strong female vocals, both albums bring back the days of the large swinging jazz orchestras and are fused with early Jamaican ska rhythms to die for! These cats were plying big band ska long before the current craze! The band also excels in unconventional covers, on their self titled album from 2002 they did the SEX PISTOL’s “ANARCHY IN THE UK” and on their 2005 album “TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE” they did DEPECHE MODE’s “POLICY OF TRUTH”. Both albums were top sellers for us in the CD days and we are so happy to get these on Russian import vinyl, limited to 200 copies each!
Magnetic Loft Records in Russia have been on a serious tear releasing vinyl from the best bands in the Russian ska scene! The latest is the new MIDDLE VOLGA SOCIAL CLUB “LOVE YOU SO” LP – a wonderfully soulful and funky ska/reggae act with a female lead singer, a wonderful follow up to their debut “GIVE ME THE WAY” album of a couple years ago. This album keeps your interest from start to finish, it’s is refreshing to hear a band take some chances with the Jamaican form, they remind me of EASTERN STANDARD TIME in the sense that spy-themes and cocktail jazz is a heavy part of their sound.
MAD BUTCHER reissue of legendary mid-80’s ska/soul crossover album from British skinhead band SKIN-DEEP! Formed in 1985 and quickly gained h notoriety after only 3 gigs, the band was approached by Link records to record songs for early streetpunk collections ‘Oi! The Ressurrection.’ and “’The Sound Of Oi!” solidifying their place in the skin scene worldwide. By 1988 their debut album ‘More Than Skin -Deep’ was released on Link off-shoot label Skank Records, it included 10 songs of varied styles influenced by 2-Tone, British punk, Northern soul and jangly Mod/ power pop. ‘Our Own Way’ was a stompin punk/northern soul crossover tune that opens the album in fine style, followed by the poppy brass driven ‘All The Fun’, a song about your teenage years. One of our faves was a cover of the ska/reggae classic ‘Come Into My Parlour’, ‘There’s Much More’ is a harmonica driven powerpop gem completing the first side. Side B opens with ‘I Wont Be Fooled’ a song about being beaten up by a gang, title track ‘More Than Skin Deep’ is another fantastic powerpop/ska number. Then came crowd favorite and Billy Bragg-esque SKA ditty ‘The Sycamores’, not to be outdone by ‘Another Way’ with great guitar riffs and to finish the album ‘What Else Could We Do’. This classic was really one of a kind back in the day, it filled the void for fans who missed THE REDSKINS but who also loved the gangly pop of acts like THE HOUSEMARTINS and secretly wished they would play a little ska! Very limited repress!
The MR REVIEW vinyl keeps coming! One of our favorite bands from the late 80s / early 90s European ska explosion follow up the reissue of their 2010 “comeback” album XXV with a new collection of rarities, outtakes, singles, and live goodies titled “PRIOR 2 THE 0″s AND 1’s”. When the dynamic Dutch ska duo of Rude & Visser got the band back together in 2010 we were so excited, the album “XXV” was originally self released by the band on CD and then in 2012 on a very limited vinyl picture disc. Fast forward to 2020 and reissue kings Mad Butcher released the band’s first two classics on vinyl (see earlier post) – fans immediately started to demand more vinyl! Now in 2021 we get an even cooler rarities collection!
Tracks: A1 Can’t do it alone A2 Redemption Road A3 Losin’ my mind A4 A tree A5 The feeling is alright A6 Ice & Snow B1 The strett where I’m living B2 Africa (live) B3 Ships that pass in the night B4 Joe’s colors B5 Christine Keeler (live) B6 Mystery view (live)
Both these new vinyl editions are limited and are must have additions to every MR REVIEW collection!
The European late 80s / early 90s classics keep coming! MR REVIEW are literally still one of our favorite bands of all time!! An incredible nutty sound full of uptempo manic 2-Tone ska, these Dutch superstars write some of the catchiest tunes of all time. A Unicorn Records classic in 1989, Mad Butcher Germany reissue in 2020! Check out the tunes “Another Town”, “Ice & Snow”, and “The Feeling’s Alight” if you don’t believe me! When the band returned in 1994 for their second album on Grover Records…..it oddly never came out on vinyl. Now it exists 25+ years later!