Do good reggae bands still exist?

cpeetzcpeetz 2,112 Posts
edited November 2006 in Strut Central
Does anyone know of a current reggae band with an original/throwback/real roots sound?Funk has Sharon Jones, El Michaels types, Afro-funk has Anti-Balas, Femi Kuti etc.?What about reggae?Seems like it's corny bands or dancehall and that's it.The only seen a few reggae shows other than new dancehall that were worth a shit.Trinity, Dillinger and Ranking Joe with the Blood and Fire Sound System wasridiculous!The Skatalites circa '92ish were killer.Who's putting down in 'O6?Anyone?
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  • SPlDEYSPlDEY Vegas 3,360 Posts
    Of course but it depends on what type of reggae you're looking for.







    - spidey

  • I saw Mikey Dread, Chaka Demus, Shinehead, Gregory Isaacs, and Yellowman all destroy it last year in Montreal. These acts (and most other older acts) don't seem to be touring much, though. Israel Vibration still does, Toots still does, and Steel Pulse still does, but I haven't caught any of them in a few years. Can't really think of any new roots bands that are getting any kind of shine nationally...which is a shame. Not much better than live reggae, imo.

  • cpeetzcpeetz 2,112 Posts
    Thanks guys but that wasn't really what I'm looking for.
    I want a band that is trying to achieve an "old" sound.
    Like Sharon Jones trys to sound like a 60's soul band rather
    than a current soul band.
    Most bands today are way over produced and one of the
    best examples in reggae especially are the drums. Every reggae band i've seen
    has huge miked rock n' roll sounding drums. I posted this clip
    in another thread that didn't get that many views so I'll repost it
    here.

  • But reggae really hasn't been live band music to begin with. It's always been about selectors playing the records and DJ's toasting over. That's the real "live" reggae sound.

  • magneticmagnetic 2,678 Posts
    So you're looking for soulful reggae with jazz soloing and chalice burning.Cant help you man.

  • I'm going to say no. although "Alton the great" still tours and still sounds damn good. same w/prince buster... but for some damn reason guys like this never come to cali. i don't know why, we got plenty of rudies out here for sure. One of these days i'm packing up an moving to london.

  • But reggae really hasn't been live band music to begin with. It's always been about selectors playing the records and DJ's toasting over. That's the real "live" reggae sound.


    not to mention this is how "hip hop" was birthed.

  • SPlDEYSPlDEY Vegas 3,360 Posts
    Thanks guys but that wasn't really what I'm looking for.
    I want a band that is trying to achieve an "old" sound.
    Like Sharon Jones trys to sound like a 60's soul band rather
    than a current soul band.

    You got some priority issues doggie.

    - spidey

  • The last time I saw Burning Spear about two years ago he tore it up.


  • I have a CD by a group called Oceans 11 which is from awhile ago. But they were a modern band that tried to recreate that old Reggae, Rocksteady style bye recording in lo-fi n shit. Just like the new funk bands are doing. They had that sound that you are looking for. They are from California I think. I don't know if they are still around or not.

    Another good band that I like but kinda leans to the SKA sound is HEPCAT. Those dudes are dope. Seriously one of my favorite bands of all time. There stuff is easy to get. Should be able to get it at any popular music store.

    EDIT: OK So Ocean 11 are still around they have a myspace search google for it. And I guess the CD I have is pretty rare since its probably like 10 years old now and they are waayyyy underground but they are dope.

  • piedpiperpiedpiper 1,274 Posts
    The last time I saw Burning Spear about two years ago he tore it up.





    burning spear did a great show, when I saw him a couple of years ago. fantastic performance with a dope live band. I would love to see more acts like this including younger artists.

  • bull_oxbull_ox 5,056 Posts
    There's plenty of dudes, young and old, putting out classic roots-sounding records

    But as has been said, reggae's never been a big touring-live-act kinda genre

    And the path you're heading down with the question is loaded with landmines in the form of whitey American groups that play with jam-bands (if you're seriously interested in checking these out, I'd suggest going to your local Whole Foods and asking the employees whats poppin)

    But yeah, a lot of the old head gods of this shit still tour the US with live bands occasionally... I never pony up the $20-25 for any of those shows but sometimes I hear they're good

  • For a straight rootsy sound, check out Midnite. Pardon the cheese graphic design at the sight. You definitely have to pick and choose through their catalog as they've gotten a bit too prolific in the last few years. However, their first self titled album, Unpolished, Nemozian Rasta & Assini are all worth a listen. They have a good sound. They are from St. Croix but spent about ten years in DC. They have quite a following amongst the hard-core NYC rastas.

    Now, they are a pretty serious, politically oriented band. Not recommended if you're looking for a more fun sound.

  • But reggae really hasn't been live band music to begin with. It's always been about selectors playing the records and DJ's toasting over. That's the real "live" reggae sound.


    not to mention this is how "hip hop" was birthed.


    Um, not really.


    But to answer the original poster's question, you might wanna check out Axe Records (http://www.axerecords.com/). Their bands (Aggrolites, King Terror, Impalers, etc.) tend to play very traditional rock steady kinda stuff. The Aggrolites have backed Derrick Morgan and Prince Buster, to boot.

  • Jump with Joey is also a very good ska band from the Los Angeles area. Although i haven't heard much from them in years. The homie Mike Boydo played keys in the band and dude was/is something serious on the keys.

    I've heard the Slackers are good although i have yet to see or hear them. One band that disbanded awhile back was sick ska band from san diego called Donkey Show. They did a show up here years ago with No doubt back when No doubt was a ska band in the early 90's. They crushed No doubt that night.

    Also a group out of New York called Easy Star All stars be killin' it on the Dub tip. Jammed with the keyboard player Victor Axelrod once at a manhattan house party L.E.S and man that dude is talented. For awhile i remember he had a night at Joe's Pub spinning Dub records... real good guy and a great party he had goin' there.




  • Um, not really.


    oooh okay i'll take that challenge...

    you want to tell me your version?


  • Um, not really.

    oooh okay i'll take that challenge...

    you want to tell me your version?


    There is no "my version." Just what did and didn't happen.

    Kool Herc is from Jamaica. That much is true. But it seems like people wanna extrapolate all kinds of schitt from the fact that he was Jamaican, such as "Reggae started rap!" I just don't buy it.


    But back on topic (and speaking directly to you): you should check out that Axe Records link I posted earlier, as I seem to recall that you're a big fan of late 60s reggae. You might really dig it.


  • Um, not really.

    oooh okay i'll take that challenge...

    you want to tell me your version?


    There is no "my version." Just what did and didn't happen.

    Kool Herc is from Jamaica. That much is true. But it seems like people wanna extrapolate all kinds of schitt from the fact that he was Jamaican, such as "Reggae started rap!" I just don't buy it.


    But back on topic (and speaking directly to you): you should check out that Axe Records link I posted earlier, as I seem to recall that you're a big fan of late 60s reggae. You might really dig it.

    yeah i checked the link, i likes thank you kindly.

    but i have to add that i have had the great fortune of having this same conversation with Kool Herc himself believe it or not, and to quote him " Hip hop started in Kingston JA". so imma go with Herc on this one... not that i really give a fuck about hip hop anyway. ooops i feel a BAN coming on.

  • lucerolucero 425 Posts
    one of the musical oddities down these ways is NZ's great love affair with reggae and roots music, and locally there are more groups out here doing it and touring Australia as well than ever before, I'm talking the likes of:

    Katchafire
    Salmonella Dub
    Trinity Roots
    Black Seeds
    Fat Freddys Drop

    all of these acts have one + album out and do scorching live shows .. admittedly some of them are perhaps a tad more left than straight reggae, but that organic earthy goodness sentiment prevails like the smell from a quarter oz

    co-incidentially one of NZ'a national holidays - Waitangi day - falls on Feburary 6 which is the date of bob marley's birthday, so every year there are free massive outdoor reggae events gwan down, complete with clouds of smoke

  • But reggae really hasn't been live band music to begin with. It's always been about selectors playing the records and DJ's toasting over. That's the real "live" reggae sound.


    not to mention this is how "hip hop" was birthed.


    Um, not really.


    The hip hop comment is actually rather accurate. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



  • I saw these guys and they were good...

    what about..
    Kidding

  • SupergoodSupergood 1,213 Posts

    Fat Freddys Drop

    This band seems to get a lot of love among house music fans, and I never understood why. Plaese essplain their appeal to the garden veriety househead.

    SG

  • how about this one... DJ'ing as we know it today started in Kingston JA, anybody wanna take this one?







  • how about this one... DJ'ing as we know it today started in Kingston JA,

    True indeed. Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid and King Edwards were travelling to the states, grabbing up jazz and blues records, and rocking them on their "systems" as early as 1955.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



  • An Excellent read might i add...

  • one of the musical oddities down these ways is NZ's great love affair with reggae and roots music, and locally there are more groups out here doing it and touring Australia as well than ever before, I'm talking the likes of:

    Katchafire
    Salmonella Dub
    Trinity Roots
    Black Seeds
    Fat Freddys Drop

    all of these acts have one + album out and do scorching live shows .. admittedly some of them are perhaps a tad more left than straight reggae, but that organic earthy goodness sentiment prevails like the smell from a quarter oz

    co-incidentially one of NZ'a national holidays - Waitangi day - falls on Feburary 6 which is the date of bob marley's birthday, so every year there are free massive outdoor reggae events gwan down, complete with clouds of smoke


    Also,you havent lived until youve witnessed the fury of these two NZ bands.

    Kora

    &

    Little Bushman

    (admittedly not strictly on the 'roots' tip, but lovely all the same)

  • cpeetzcpeetz 2,112 Posts
    But reggae really hasn't been live band music to begin with. It's always been about selectors playing the records and DJ's toasting over. That's the real "live" reggae sound.

    Huh?
    Who made the music in the first place?
    Robots?

  • But reggae really hasn't been live band music to begin with. It's always been about selectors playing the records and DJ's toasting over. That's the real "live" reggae sound.

    Huh?
    Who made the music in the first place?
    Robots?


    Studio musicians that didn't want to play live gigs playing calypso music at hotels frequented by tourists thats who.

    i feel you though, no musicians = no records.

    but he has a point being that the real live sound IS all about the selectors/toasters at the soundsystems and the dancehall parties that were happening at the time.

  • But reggae really hasn't been live band music to begin with. It's always been about selectors playing the records and DJ's toasting over. That's the real "live" reggae sound.


  • cpeetzcpeetz 2,112 Posts
    Thanks guys but that wasn't really what I'm looking for.
    I want a band that is trying to achieve an "old" sound.
    Like Sharon Jones trys to sound like a 60's soul band rather
    than a current soul band.

    You got some priority issues doggie.

    - spidey

    Another head scratcher...
    Asking this question doesn't mean I'm not up on young Mr. Marleys work or
    Horace Andy (who is one of reggae's best vocalists ever).
    My question was very specific.
    You wanna test my reggae crates and knowledge, puppy?
    Bring it!
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