If you love reggae and ska, the Jamaican band the Skatalites should hold an important role to you because they were among a group of bands that developed the ska sound – and it was the rhythms of ska that are essentially the primordial ooze of the reggae of Toots and the Maytais, the Wailing Wailers featuring Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer, and others. In fact, members of the Skatalites were in the backing bands for many of these acts. You can also hear their sound reverberating in the sounds of bands like the Clash, the Specials, the English Beat, Sublime, No Doubt and many others.
Next year, the band celebrates their 50th anniversary as a band and to be honest, in an age of short attention spans and an incredible fickle music industry, 10 years at anything is impressive, so 50 years seems – well improbable. The band’s latest effort, Walk With Me has been available digitally for a while and will be available in CD on March 5th, and the album sadly has been posthumously released after the death of the band’s original drummer, Lloyd Knibb. And in some way, the album is not just a tribute to their late drummer but to all of the members of the band who have passed away over the years. (As you can imagine, after 50 years the band has had numerous lineup changes – for reasons both good and tragic.)
So we got some live footage of the Skatalites at SESC Campinas in beautiful Brazil. It should give you a great taste of the band live as they have two NYC area dates – February 28th and March 2nd at Brooklyn Bowl.