R&B, as any good ska fan in the UK should know, stands for Rita & Benny King, founders of the Ska Beat label (after founding the R&B label!), and this week the Ooh’s featured label is in fact Ska Beat. Lord Tanamo, Baba Brooks, Derrick & Naomi and more Jamaican ska artists who were issued across the pond on Ska Beat are included in our set. The Home Stretch kicked off with two GotchaSKAvereds: wrapping up El Pussy Cat with the classic Roland Alphonso take, and then hearing him kick off a month of James Bonds to boot. The 5@5:05 took us to the Ska Zoo (lions, rhinos and wolves, oh, my!) and, backing into Sherwood’s Planet (ever just back into a planet?), Mr. Funn did some serious stretching out.
The Ooh had a block of 5 old skas on the Worldisc label, led off by a favorite Lee Perry cut, “Wishes of the Wicked.” 2 more “Wicked” tracks were to be found among the five, Neville Esson’s “Wicked and Dreadful” and Wicked Man” by Shenley Duffus. And speaking of wicked, who should turn up in Sherwood’s playlist but Satan… and on holiday at that! Big-bandleader Tommy Dorsey and his fellow trombone star Warren Covington have the lowdown. That follows the calendar-album segment featuring the psychedelically percussive Hal Blaine and mallet master Emil Richards, who both played on Blaine’s album (Psychedelic Percussion) and recorded his own (Stones). “Trippin’ Out” and “Moonstone” are their June selections. In the Home Stretch, “James Bond” got the live Selecter treatment, from Out On The Streets – Live in London,The Melodians bookended an all-‘70s “Ska’s Lost Decade” 5@5:05 set, and there were back-to-back movie and TV themes served up piping (and skankin’) hot by Tsuyoshi Kawakami and Pannonia Allstars. More wicked grooves next time… tune in and stay tuned!
Forgoing the “featured label” thing again this week, we featured a loose circle of musical associates including Rico, Johnny “Dizzy” Moore, Bunny & Skitter and others, centered around the Nyabinghi rhythms of legendary hand drummer Count Ossie and his crew circa 1961-2, as well as a couple of boogie shuffles that were likely the work of Clue J. & his Blues Blasters. In the middle, Sherwood got “Spooky” with Dave Pike, “Pogoed” with Al Romero, enjoyed “Apple Sauce” with Sil Austin, and speaking of apples, found Shiina Ringo in the middle of a current creativity binge of 15th career-anniversary releases, from which we heard “Blink of Youth,” from an album of her own covers of songs she wrote for others. The “wicked ‘n’ evil” thing we started on the “Ooh” last week continued in the Home Stretch this week as the 5@5:05. The Skatalites, ’90s edition, put out “Ball of Fire” for Island Jamaica Jazz, containing this week’s installment of “James Bond” in GotchaSKAvered, and Hollie Cook sang a ska titled “Ari Up” in honor of the late Slits’ singer. That’s yer RSST wrap-up for the week… for more, tune in and stay tuned!
Wow… the Ooh dropped a whopping 8 massively classic skas from the Top Deck label, as reissued (or, in some cases, issued for the first time) by West Side. Sherwood went all vibraphonic for a good chunk of his show-within-a-show, and the Home Stretch wrapped up the GotchaSKAvered salute to James Bond with a band called The Lunatics, not to be confused with “Colonel” Ken Elliott’s crew of ex-Vulcans. A 5@5:05 tribute to Madness included Jools Holland with Suggs, the Lee (“Kix”) Thompson Ska Orchestra, Thompson and Chris Foreman’s almost “Pet Ska Boys”-esque electronic project Nutty Boys, Madness in its “Dangermen” Jamaican cover-band guise, and lastly-but-certainly-not-leastly plain ol’ Madness (as if Madness could ever be “plain ol’ “… and after learning of Colombia’s victory over Japan in World Cup action, we followed up TSPO’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with Los Vagabundos, a Colombian ska band… which we promptly followed up with more Skapara, of course. So what’s in store next week? You’ll just have to Tune In… and Stay Tuned!
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