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. It’s a song by song remake of the world famous soundtrack, of the ten original vocal tracks six are turned into guitar instrumentals, and the rest come with vocal parts from New Kingston and Soul Sisters Six. Other notable guests on the album include Monty Alexander, Mikey Chung, Kevin Bachelor, Larry McDonald, Bret Tubin and many more. Andy explains his reasons for recording the album: “My idea was to pay homage the original versions while allowing me to improvise and elaborate on them… I wanted it to reflect my personal and musical values all the way through, from start to finish… I also wanted to document the musical relationships and friendships I’ve developed over my career.” LP vinyl is finally available due to massive demand – limited edition on yellow and red vinyl. Oh yea, we have also issued this on 8 TRACK TAPE! We are taking you back to the 70s with the format that kept music on the move – and we sourced original pink ISLAND RECORDS outer sleeves from the 1970’s too! 8 TRACK TAPE is limited to 25 copies and is the ultimate collectible.
Punky reggae rockers from Baltimore whose infectious energy keeps the party jumping all night, The Scotch Bonnets have been bringing the heat and the good-love vibe since their debut in 2009. The crew is fearlessly lead by singer-guitarist Kristin Forbes aka Lady Hatchet, whose tunes blend classic Jamaican groves with a funky fresh approach to American singer-songwriting. Continue reading THE SCOTCH BONNETS “Come On Over” LP + 7″ vinyl / CD/ Tapes – produced / mixed by Dave Hillyard & Agent Jay of The Slackers!
Washington DC’s messengers of Ska-Jazz are back with a new record, their first full-length release since the critically acclaimed “Tempus Fugit” and first release since appearing on Derrick Morgan’s live album in 2017. “Time For Change” embraces the band’s signature sound of bop jazz and Jamaican rhythms, and blends this with with soul, rocksteady, and reggae Whether in a smoky jazz club or on a festival stage they always deliver a dynamic live performance. That signature flexibility has led to them becoming backing musicians for many Jamaican greats, including Derrick Morgan, Roy Ellis, Dr. Ring Ding, King Django, and Mr. T-Bone. Formed in 1995, Eastern Standard Time began as a project to bring musicians from Washington DC’s jazz and Caribbean communities together to play music based on the original Jamaican Ska. Over the years the membership crystalized into a seven-piece group primarily blending American soul and jazz with danceable Jamaican rhythms from the 50s to the 70s. Eastern Standard Time has logged years on the road, with dozens of tours throughout Europe and North America to their credit. As 2019 dawns Eastern Standard Time will be touring throughout Europe, North America, and beyond in support of Time for Change. Heavyweight black vinyl pressing for premium audio quality. Continue reading EASTERN STANDARD TIME “Time For Change” LP – Wash DC’s Ska-Jazz pioneers are BACK! Come to the CAPITAL SKA & REGGAE REVIEW May 24th in DC!
Washington DC’s Loving Paupers formed in 2015, featuring a talented cast of established and diverse regional musicians, including current and former members of third wave ska legends The Pietasters and The Smooths. Make no mistake, The Loving Paupers are a reggae/dub outfit, but their music is heavily influenced by the likes of The Beatles, Kinks, Zombies, The Supremes, to the late Gregory Issacs, Sugar Minott, and Dennis Brown. Featuring powerhouse lead vocalist Kelly Di Filippo, whose emotive style brings immediate comparisons to Chan Marshall (Cat Power), Jane Birkin, Kate Bush and even Joni Mitchell, in modern reggae circles the band is likened to recent output by Hollie Cook, The Frightnrs, and The Skints. The Loving Paupers recorded their debut EP in 2016, working alongside Grammy Award winning Brazilian producer Victor Rice, and since have received rave reviews for performances at various festivals, to venues such as DC’s 9:30 Club. “Lines” is the band’s debut full length album – ten melancholic songs that touch upon heartbreak and emotional dissidence, moody melodies enhanced once again by Victor Rice’s loving touch. Broken hearted roots reggae. Dreamy Lovers Rock vibes. Limited edition of 400 on red and black vinyl.
Legendary 1991 alt rock/ska album on vinyl for the first time, adding 3 bonus tracks from the original sessions. Boston’s Bim Skala Bim are one of a handful of veteran ska bands that have kept ska in America alive through the decades, and for this set the group collaborated with Lou Giordano and other rock producers. The lyrics were more focused than on previous efforts, highlighting the group’s political engagement and familiarity with contemporary futuristic literature. Taking their cues from the jazz oriented Skatalites rather than British 2-Tone, this early release by the group’s five core members shows why they were one of the best. Dan Vitale’s compelling lead vocals and Jim Arhelger’s drums are firmly rooted in the rock arena, but they meet the band’s swelling horns and jazzy ska arrangements for a smooth, upbeat sound that’s paced at just the right tempo to demand dancing. For many of the band’s most devoted fans, “Bones” was the quintessential summer album, tunes like “Wandering Soul”, “In Our Midst”, “People In The World” and “At Wo’s” became the beach party soundtrack for college towns all across the Eastern seaboard. This has been in production for a LONG time (pressing mishaps out of our control) – but totally worth the wait! Limited edition of 500 with 200 on clear orange vinyl.
Two great vinyl releases from The Toasters label MEGALITH! The 2 TONE LIZARD KINGS hail from Arizona and deliver an album full of high octane traditional based ska and laid back rocksteady grooves that will put a kick in your step! The faster songs kind of have a vibe of early 90’s European bands like The Busters or No Sports, and the slower reggae tunes fit in with many bands on Moon NYC back in the heyday. A nostalgic listen indeed! Next up is CARTOON VIOLENCE from Wales – their sound is an insanely catchy affair that mixes super bouncy 2 tone ska with distinctly British sounding pop & indie stylings. Their songs capture the classic Brit Pop storytelling vibe of the likes of The Kinks, Madness, Squeeze, The Hotknives & Parklife-era Blur, with each tune lyrically being like a mini kitchen sink drama in its own right! Endless soaring energy, great sing-a-long choruses & wonderful piano/organ melodies are all hallmarks of the band’s unique ska sound.
Two nuggets from the early 80s on vinyl for the first time! In the fall we were saddened to hear about the passing of founding member and original bass man Jim Robinson – we were already working on a Thanksgiving weekend Heavy Manners show ad quickly decided to turn the evening into a tribute to Jim. With help from new Chicago pressing plant Smashed Plastic and a fun 2-Tone inspired design by Destroy Brand graphics, we cranked out a limited edition one time press of 200 7″ singles to benefit Jim’s family. If you can’t pick one up at the show, get it here. If you never got around to picking up our last Heavy Manners reissue project then here’s another chance as we have a couple boxes left on clear/white vinyl. In 2011 Chicago ska/reggae legends HEAVY MANNERS recorded their first new music since the early 80s: “Get Me Out Of Debt” is a fun, whimsical and witty 2 TONE ska dancer with great keyboards and sax! “Fight The Good Fight” is a darker, political conscious reggae tune ripe for fans of original Island Records sounds. The B side is a musicologist treat – an original 80’s tune recorded back in the day and finally unearthed! “Could Not Get Enuff” is nearly 6 minutes of PETER TOSH at the tail end of disco, wonderfully mixing Heavy Manners’ Jamaican riddims into dance styled 2-TONE meets Chicago grooves. PETER TOSH also provides backing vocals!!! Not to be missed! A sound that also was utilized by THE ENGLISH BEAT on later 12″ singles! Comes in CLEAR or WHITE vinyl – add to your 7″ vinyl order for only $5 more!
Akasha is the premiere reggae band on the Chicago musical landscape, sounding like they stepped out of a 1972 session at Studio One, but also embroidering on the Jamaican canon with diverse modern influences. Powerfully authentic but also accessible to the contemporary ear, Akasha’s approach to reggae is both a refreshing and earnest tribute. Akasha’s new LP, Mother Of Exiles, is a concept album dealing with issues such as immigration, discrimination, and oppression. This recording is as on point a statement on our current tumultuous times as one can imagine, and is certain to resonate with any listener. Given Mother of Exile’s thematic material and Akasha’s continued musical evolution, this new album is certain to set a new standard for the reggae genre. Cosmos Ray’s lead vocals, Doug Bistrow’s bass, Scott Moss’ guitar, Shane Jonas’ horns and keys, and John Barbush’s drums along with their hallmark four-part harmony come together to forge Akasha’s signature sound, which has backed Jamaican legends including Dennis Alcapone, Charlie Organaire, Johnny Osbourne, Keith and Tex, Ranking Joe, Carlton Livingston, Ky-Mani Marley and most recently Niney The Observer. Akasha also hosts what has become Chicago’s best-loved monthly reggae night, Simmer Down Sound, which features both live performance and DJ sets from established and emerging national and international talent. Heavyweight vinyl with bonus DJ 7″ vinyl single is limited to 100 copies. Ships for December 7th street date! Special Deal – add the Specialized Marley Tribute 7″ EP (features “One Cup of Coffee” with Charley Organaire) or the brand new BOSS Tribute 7″ EP (features”Stop That Train” with Keith & Tex) for only $5 each. What a bargain!
REPRESS has arrived! Debut 1994 album from New York City satanic ska punk band, produced by Bill Laswell. Thirteen upbeat skankers, flush with brass, drenched with irresistible melodies and infectious choruses. Originally self released, the album soon went global after being licensed by Moon Ska Records. Far beyond 2-Tone with a slight nod to Jamaica’s originators, Mephiskapheles birthed their own ska-based niche. Go SATAN! Go SKA! We also released the cassette tape for Cassette Store Day 2017, add one for the collection only 150 made! Their second album “Maximum Perversion” is also available on vinyl and tape from us!
THE CROMBIES are an American 2-TONE band! They’ve now been around long enough to have rarities in the vaults, this collection delivers some of those rarities to you! Back in the late 80’s many bands issued singles with cool b-sides on 3″ mini-CD format – we return to that tradition today! This mini-CD is 24 minutes long and features 7 tracks – plus it comes with a limited edition patch! We’re only making 200 of these and they are sure to go FAST! Shipped ANYWHERE in the world for only $10 postage paid!
Tracklisting: 1) Blood and Fire (Original Recipe 7″ version) 2) Gangsters (Live at Reggie’s Music Joint) 3) Hooligans (Studio Version) 4) English Civil War (Original Recipe 7″ version)
5) Hey Little Rich Girl (Live at Reggie’s Music Joint) 6) Blood and Fire (Original Rehearsal Version) 7) The Prince (Live from Cobra Lounge)