One of our most beloved and trusted sources for ska news is the The Duff Guide to Ska blog! The man behind the Duff Man glasses is Steve Shafer, a NYC ska mover and shaker for 3 decades – who many knew best while he ran the promotions department at MOON SKA NYC in the 90’s. Many say Steve’s own story would make a great book, but instead The Duff Guide to 2 Tone is a a 250+ page collection of 2 Tone-related pieces from his blog. Included are 70+ reviews of releases, but the book’s real purpose is to show how the 2 Tone sound and—more importantly its ideals—carry on today. You get reviews of re-issues of essential 2 Tone albums from THE SPECIALS & SPECIAL AKA, THE SELECTER, THE BEAT, MADNESS, THE BODYSNATCHERS and BAD MANNERS, as well as write-ups of their more recent records, gigs, books and movies – which no self-respecting fan of 2 Tone should miss! Forward by GAZ MAYALL. The perfect paperback for the record room now available from Jump Up at a LOW LOW price! Add one to a record order today! We are even going to toss in a bonus 80s ska MIX CD!
PAMA INTERNATIONAL are an eight-piece reggae band from the United Kingdom who describe themselves as ‘Dub Fuelled Ska Rocksteady & Reggae’. Pama Intl’s debut album, featuring members from Steel Pulse, Galliano, PWEI, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Style Council, Big Boss Man, The Loafers, Intensified and Ska Cubano was originally released in 2002 and immediately set out their soul-induced ska, rocksteady and reggae stall. The album is crammed full of eclectic sounds. Old school meets new in this soundclash of 60’s ska, northern soul, lovers rock, rocksteady, and even a Sly & The Family Stone classic. On vinyl for the first time ever limited to 237 copies! Not to be outdone we have two tribute albums from their sister band PHOENIX CITY ALL STARS. Their debut album “2_TONE GONE SKA” is a truly unique celebration of one of Britain’s most iconic labels, taking some of 2 Tone’s greatest songs and replanting in 1960’s Jamaica, the resulting tracks are truly authentic sounding blazing 60’s ska, akin to The Skatalites, rocksteady and early reggae. Wonderfully inspired interpretations, performed by an all-star band plus legendary guest vocalists Dave Barker (the voice of Dave & Ansell Collins) and AJ Franklin (The Federals and The Chosen Few). The follow up was equally impressive, covering classics of the ROLLING STONES! With both Jamaican Ska & The Stones drawing heavily from Rhythm & Blues, the marriage is a simple and joyus one. The All-stars influences are unashamed and burst through. Both vinyl pressings are extremely limited and will surly be out of print quickly!
Italy’s The Uppertones is a powerful trio of trombone, vocals, piano, & drums who play pre-ska Jamaican rhythm & blues – fronted by Mr.T-Bone on lead vocals. Their style is rooted in 1950’s Jamaica when rural mento & calypso / folk music began to mix with boogie, swing , boogaloo, and American rock n’ roll – the seeds of ska. This trio aims to please crowds with a stompin’ swing mixed with the Jamaican edge and style. Mr.T-Bone is a well known singer, composer, and trombone player in the international ska scene who has released 10 solo albums in the last 15 years and has toured Europe, USA, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil and Mexico. Drummer Ferdinando Count Ferdi Masi is an Italian ska pioneer who founded Casino Royale and The Bluebeaters. Pianist Phil Cuomo is a very talented young musician, pianist and singer from Genoa, his hands run like a Louisiana train on the keys. The Uppertones first album “Closer To The Bone” was released in December 2015 to worldwide acclaim, then in 2017 returned with “Up Up UP!” featuring guest vocalist Jesse Wagner from The Aggrolites. In 2019 Jump Up dropped a Christmas 7 inch covering Luis Prima’s “Shake Hands With Santa Claus” setting the stage for their new album “Easy Snappin” – 10 toe-tappers including re-works of “Mojo Workin”, “L.O.V.E.”, “That’s Amore”, “Down In Mexico” and the title track. It’s a must for fans of original ska like The Skatalites, Byron Lee & The Dragonaires, Blues Buesters as well as jump blues crooners Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra and Louis Jordan. The Uppertones forte is without a doubt their live set – the trio has been touring non-stop playing close to 100 shows a year in 12 different European countries – hopping from club to club in addition to the summr festival circuit. Catch The Uppertones if you can! Continue reading THE UPPERTONES “Easy Snapping” LP vinyl has arrived! A hot set of covers in Jamaican Rhythm & Blues style! Christmas 45 still available too!
Released on Germany’s legendary ska label Pork Pie, JOHNNY REGGAE RUB FOUNDATION kick out hard grooving street ska and dirty reggae! Sounding warm and powerful, with loads of boss vintage organ, tight off-beat guitar and deep reggae bass, full of amazing vocal arrangements and strong lyrics, topped off by a great mix by Victor Rice. 2017’s debut “NO BAM BAM” was an instant favorite worldwide! Their second album from 2019 titled “TROUBLE” was produced by Johnny Ska. Twelve hard grooving songs that speak of energy, anger, mindset, power, good and bad forces and the overall question how we deal with the current changes in our everyday life. Dirty Reggae Scorchers, dancable ska tunes and damn good hooklines! One of today’s most promising new acts from Germany! Speaking of the modern German ska scene, we have also restocked the latest collection from PORK PIE on vinyl – SKA SKA SKANDAL series has been going on since the early 90s and VOLUME 6 is back in stock! Continue reading Pork Pie Germany: JOHNNY REGGAE RUB FOUNDATION / SKA SKA SKANDAL VOL 6
We are proud to finally have vinyl from the 7 piece rocksteady and traditional ska sensations form Los Angeles THE STEADY 45s! Beautiful harmonies, captivating rhythms and that driving Jamaican beat, the influences are strong: Desmond Dekker, Justin Hinds, Jackie Opel, Hepcat, Derrick Harriot, The Ethiopians, The Gaylads, The Techniques, The Heptones, The Wailers, Alton Ellis, Prince Buster, Skatalites, Delroy Wilson, The Impressions, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Studio 1, Treasure Isle the list goes on! Not to be outdone is the second album from all star big band ska supergroup WESTERN STANDARD TIME, and we have a limited batch on yellow / gold vinyl!
Happy to get these back in stock! Over the past 3 years we have reissued four modern-era LPs from ska’s originators THE SKATALITES, and fans have been asking us to get these solo albums from DOREEN SHAFFER back in stock! ADORABLE was released in 1997 and sees her backed by DR RING DING and the SENIOR ALL STARS, 2009’s “Groovin” backed by Belgium’s MOON INVADERS.
In recent months we have been feeling nostalgic for those “quiet years” in the international ska / reggae scene. To read (false) articles that ska was “dead” in the early 2000’s is preposterous! In the early 2000’s we released album after album each and every year and helped (re) build the foundation – true REAL ska fans supported these record and bands and kept us going – THANK YOU! With that said we have restocked three of these albums from that time that out pals at Grover Records in Germany issued on vinyl. Two incredible albums from Austin Texas’ STINGER ATX originally released in 2002 & 2004, plus the wonderful 2006 album from Victor Rice reggae legends FIREBUG. The stock we have is EXTREMELY limited and won’t last long, and it is most likely the final copies we will have for the USA.
Our yearly tradition of releasing Christmas ska/reggae wax continues into it’s 6th straight year! BROOKLYN ATTRACTORS have returned with two killer jazz-reggae nuggets for your holiday pleasure: “Ras Nick” and “Upon The Housetop”. This all star band features Eddie Ocampo-drums / Bid Dan Jeselsohn-bass / Andy Bassford-lead guitar / Matt Kursmark-rhythm guitar / Mike Sarason-piano and Rhodes / Larry McDonald-percussion / Anant Pradhan-alto/tenor saxophones and Bansuri flute / Luke Penella-flute and tenor saxophone / Philip Cooper-trombone / Rich Graiko-trumpet. This year’s new 7″ single has an added special treat – cover artwork painted by Danny Rebel. Limited to 200 copies, 100 on green and 100 on red.
One of our favorite bands from the late 80s / early 90s European ska explosion put out a “comeback” album in 2010 when the dynamic Dutch ska duo of Rude & Visser got the band back together! The album “XXV” was originally self released by the band on CD, then in 2012 a very limited vinyl picture was released. Fast forward to 2020 and reissue kings Mad Butcher released the band’s first two classics on vinyl, and fans immediately started to demand that XXV get pressed once again in a regular vinyl format! A must have addition to the MR REVIEW collection!