Wailing Souls in LA 2008

Wailing Souls Reunite

Bread, Pipe and Garth Dennis
Review and Photos by Jan Salzman

Wailing Souls – Key Club, LA

Oct. 13, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA – Three members of the original Wailing Souls have reunited as a vocal trio and delivered a fantastic show at West Hollywood’s Key Club. The group, which has consisted of Winston “Pipe” Matthews and Lloyd “Bread” McDonald for quite a few years, have added Garth Dennis, an original Wailing Souls member. Garth also received recognition as a member of Black Uhuru for a number of years. Between the three talented singers, they have received seven Grammy nominations for Best Reggae CD. Their roots reggae songs continue to be considered classics throughout the reggae music industry.

Donning “Nestabrand” colorful T-shirts, the trio took the stage with the insightful song “Jah, Jah Give Us Life to Live.” They put out incredible energy as they danced and sang through the roots riddims that they are widely known for. An all-time favorite is the classic reggae love song, “She Pleases Me,” from the Grammy-nominated CD, All Over the World. From the same album, they performed the smash hit “Shark Attack,” which has one of the best driving bass lines ever heard in the genre. They waited to perform it toward the end of the set to keep the throng skankin’ strong. Continue reading

Lucky Dube Retrospective 2008

Lucky Dube – Retrospective

New CD Released on Rykodic
By M. Peggy Quattro

As a tribute to the genius life of South-African legend Lucky Dube, Rykodisc has released the two-disc Retrospective. This ‘digipack’ contains a 13-song disc featuring songs never before released outside of South Africa, a bonus DVD featuring the 90-minute Lucky Dube Live in Concert, as well as five music videos never released in the U.S. The album is curated by noted world music figure Tom Schnabel, a KCRW radio host based in Los Angeles, CA.

Lucky Dube was callously shot and killed during an alleged carjacking on October 18, 2007, in a Johannesburg suburb. The inspiring career of the 43-year-old national hero ended in its prime, followed by a profound sadness in the African nation that was felt around the world. Continue reading

Alton Ellis – Tribute & Articles

Alton Ellis: Godfather of Rocksteady -The Loss of a Legend

(9/01/40 – 10/10/08)
By M. Peggy Quattro

Alton Ellis – Rocksteady Legend Photo Jan Salzman

Oct. 12, 2008 – London, UK – The music world bid a fond farewell to Alton Nehemiah Ellis, legendary singer and songwriter, who peacefully passed away October 11, 2008, inside London’s Hammersmith Hospital, after a year-long battle with lymphatic cancer. Born in Kingston and raised in the Trenchtown area, Alton attended Ebenezer School and Boys’ Town School, where he excelled in music, piano, cricket, table tennis, and boxing. It is known that Alton was a skilled and talented dancer, often winning local dance contests. However, when he began performing at school concerts, his interest and passion turned to singing.

The smooth and silky voiced Ellis began his singing career in the 1950s, forming Alton & Eddie with partner Eddie Perkins. Soon after Perkins left for a solo career, Ellis moved to the Studio One label in the early 60s. Unhappy there, Alton then took his talent to Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle, where he formed a backup vocal trio called The Flames. His first solo hit was “Dance Crasher,” followed by the first Rocksteady single, ‘Get Ready – Rock Steady.” The story is that when a bassist did not show up for a recording session, master keyboardist Jackie Mittoo played the bass part himself. Unable to keep up with the quick ska beat, Mittoo slowed down the tempo, resulting in a new rhythm that allowed Alton to stretch his voice more – and the Rocksteady era was born.

Alton continued to wow Jamaican fans with the new sound, releasing such Rocksteady standards as “Cry Tough,” “Willow Tree,” and his smash hit, “Girl I’ve Got a Date.” During the late 1960s, Alton recorded “Remember That Sunday” with the great Phyllis Dillon, as well as several singles and albums with his talented sister, Hortense Ellis, including the well-known Alton & Hortense Ellis.    (Continue reading to see the interviews and articles in past Reggae Report Magazines!)

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Slightly Stoopid’s Kyle McDonald

Reggae Ska Punk Equals Slightly Stoopid: A Not-So-Stoopid Conversation with Kyle McDonald

By Bruce Moore

Oct. 2, 2008 – For more than ten years, Slightly Stoopid, the California-based reggae, ska, and punk band, has been making music their way and touring the world. On July 22, they released their latest recorded effort, Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid, a CD containing, what the band calls, a collection of “odds and ends.” The disc includes songs that were written for the last release and a few new songs, as well as a cover of the UB40 tune, “I Would Do For You.” Once dubbed by Spin Magazine as, “One of the top ten bands least likely to succeed based on their name,” these guys are intent on proving their critics wrong. The bands longevity can be attributed to their rabid fan base and their constant touring. I recently had the opportunity to interview guitarist, vocalist, and one of the group’s leaders, Kyle McDonald. Here’s our conversation about the band, touring, and their new record.

K is for Kyle – Slightly Stoopid
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