reggae

“Music Self-Played Is Happiness Self-Made” and More Thoughts on Songwriting

You’d think in the 13 (or 14?) years I’ve been playing music, I’d have written an entire song by myself. The fact is I hadn’t. I’ve written lyrics here, put together a chord progression there, maybe even came up with a hook. In most cases, I’d come up a chorus vocal line and some chords or a bass & guitar rhythm riddim and then worked with a bandmate to build it out into an entire song. This wasn’t a problem I liked it that way. In fact, I really enjoyed  writing music with other people. I was always happiest with the material that was the result of the most collaboration. (more…)

Brooklyn Rocksteady Documentary: A Story About My Scene

brooklyn rocksteady logo

I moved to New York City in 2008. By early 2009, I had found my way into a few bands. One of those bands was the instrumental reggae band The Hard Times. By 2010, we were a part of a really great scene. How did that happen? (more…)

Spending a Few Marley Mondays with The Duppy Conquerors at Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville

A version of this first appeared on Boston Ska (dot) net

Can we all agree Mondays are the roughest day of the week? Can we all agree that nothing chills you out quite like Bob Marley Jams? So we can all agree that we should spend Monday nights at Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville, where every Monday is a “Marley Monday.” And the band on stage is Duppy Conquerors.

Duppy-Conquerors

Recently, their guitarist John DeCarlo (of Westbound Train fame), asked me to cover for him on rhythm guitar while he set out on tour with the Version City Tour. I was both flattered and happy to oblige. I’ll be sitting in with Duppy Conquerors on Mondays May 27, June 3, and June 10.

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Introducing The New Limits, Boston’s Newest Ska Band

A handful of interesting things happened in the summer of 2012. Hey Stranger, the pop-punk/ska band I was playing in called it quits. I left The Hard Times, the early reggae band I was playing in. My girlfriend and I were talking about moving in together and she was looking to move to Boston for work. I had resolved that my next band was going to be a ska band. This is nothing new, except, it was entirely new. I had been playing reggae, but not ska, and since high school, I’d been playing ska-punk and pop-punk, but not ska. I really wanted to play some traditional ska, dammit! But, I also didn’t want to be limited to that. I really admired bands like Mad Caddies that played ska, punk, reggae, rock, and their own brand of dixieland inspired ska/punk. They were a single band playing a variety of sounds under the same musical umbrella. I wanted to do the same. I wanted to play many things  under the ska umbrella: traditional ska, two-tone/second-wave, rocksteady, early reggae, dirty reggae skinhead reggae, and more. The only thing I didn’t want to do was ska-punk, and not because I don’t like ska-punk, but because it’s all I’ve ever done and I needed a break. (more…)

Yours Truly Joins Sammy Kay and Fast Four at The Midway Cafe

Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of seeing my pal Sammy Kay at The Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain as he traveled through with his East Coast band The Fast Four (aka The Snails). I was pleasantly surprised when they invited me up to jam with them on their last tune, “Sweet Misery.” Check the clip below. You can read my full preview of the show at Boston Ska (dot) net.

Huge tip of the hat to Kevin for taping the set!

October Ska Shows [And Other News]

So I sort of blinked and noticed there’s a handful of great ska shows in Boston this month. And then I noticed they weren’t all listed anywhere. In the event that Bostonska.com doesn’t get around to posting them, I wanted to pull them all together. So, risking being the new guy who rolls into town and pretends he knows what’s up, I’ve got a very incomplete arbitrarily compiled list! Feel free to add more in the comments that I might have missed. (more…)