Normally when I introduce a post, I’ll mention how I found the band. A lot of times, it’s as simple as randomly searching for something on Bandcamp and coming across something good. I found The Shifters in the bathroom of The Slidebar in Fullerton last night. No, not literally. When I was there to see Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, I made a trip to the restroom, which is decorated with band stickers. One of the stickers bore the name The Shifters and I remember the word reggae being somewhere on the sticker. That was fortuitous because reggae and ska are always good for Feel-Good Friday. This song in particular is a good one for the occasion. After all, the weekend is right around the corner, and it’s as good a time as any to dance like no one is watching. Enjoy your Feel-Good Friday, everyone.
The Prizefighters: rocksteady that gives a taste of summer anytime
I don’t know about you, but I always like getting good music recommendations. (Oh, and by the way if you have any recommendations for bands you think we should feature, use the contact page and let us know about them.) The recommendation for The Prizefighters came from the lovely and talented Dani from Soul Radics. It didn’t take me long to realize that this was a good recommendation.
The Prizefighters is a band with that classic rocksteady sound. The melodies with the keyboards and horns remind me of Prince Buster. “There’ll Be a Day” is one song that really reminds me of Prince Buster. These songs are bright but laid-back at the same time. You might say that these aren’t songs for skanking, and you might be right. However, this band will definitely get you swaying and singing along. And you know something else? These are perfect songs for enjoying a nice summer day on the patio with a nice cold beverage in your hand. If you want to feel a little summer anytime – particularly if you’re from the band’s hometown of Minneapolis – add The Prizefighters to your collection.
Soulful ska from Nashville
I came across this band while randomly browsing music (as I frequently do) on ReverbNation. I was immediately smitten not only by the catchy melodies, but the soulful feel in “Pressin’ On,” the first song I heard from this band. Dani Casler sings with soul to go along with some excellent horns and a really cool bass line. Let’s face it. There is just something about a woman who sings with soul. Sure, there have been a lot of great male soul vocalists, but for me there’s just a little something extra when that soul comes from a woman. If I had to compare her to anyone, I’d put her somewhere between Elyse Rogers of Dance Hall Crashers and Ruby Velle.
Quick, loyal reader. What’s one of the best things about ska? That it gets you moving. I’ll tell you one thing. If “Down to the Hall” doesn’t get you moving your two-tone wingtips, I’m not sure what will. This is an upbeat treat with a great sax solo. Some of the lyrics in this song are “Everybody gonna skank til they fall.” This song alone might get you to skank until you fall.
Now, if you don’t have enough reason to love this band, consider this. This band has an anti-love song that is not just great for Valentine’s Day. Instead of lauding love, this song calls love the worst thing to happen to anyone and blames love for ruining everything on the radio. Let’s face it. There is never any shortage of sappy love songs on the radio. Do I wish this band had more songs available on ReverbNation? Of course. This band has left me wanting more. Do I really like the songs they do have available? Absolutely. And if you like rocksteady, you’ll like what you hear on ReverbNation too.
Get ready to rocksteady
If you’ve read even one Ska Saturday entry, you know that while I like the ska-punk stuff, I really like the old-time ska sound. The Duppies (from Gainesville, Florida) definitely have that old-time rocksteady feel. The first song I heard from this band is “What a Shame.” This is an infectious tune that has me swaying in my chair as I write. It’s the total package: a catchy melody, some excellent horns, and a bass line that will get you swinging your hips. And if it’s good horns you’re looking for, check out “Girl Why Don’t You Answer.” This is an excellent song for getting your horns fix.
While all the band’s songs have that rocksteady feel, perhaps the song that has the most “vintage” sound is “The Ghost of San Juan Hill.” This is a catchy tune that tells a good story.
This band’s songs are upbeat and ultra-catchy. Oh, and this isn’t a band that has just four songs on its ReverbNation page. This band has 21 songs you can listen to…and they’re all good. This is real simple. If you like bands like Toots and The Maytals, you’ll like The Duppies.
How do you say rocksteady in French? Roberto & The Moods
Yes, loyal reader, the French invasion continues with a ska band from Lyon. This band is the real deal. This isn’t punk-ska. Roberto & The Moods plays old-fashioned rocksteady stuff that will get you moving.
“Les Colts de La Revolte” is an easygoing tune that will get you in a mellow mood, but it will still get you moving, even if you’re just swaying side to side.
“A Poil” might have been recorded earlier this year, but it sounds like it was recorded decades ago. This has that old-time rocksteady feel and brings to mind artists like Judge Dread and Derrick Morgan.
The band only has three songs on its latest demo EP, but those three songs are enough for me to know that I want to hear more from this band. If you like old-style ska and rocksteady, check out this band.
Judge Dread: Up with the Cock
Derrick Morgan: Blazing Fire
Infectious melodies that will get you moving
I don’t know about you, loyal reader, but I find it interesting how certain kinds of music end up in certain places. For instance, I would never have imagined a ska band from India. But then while searching on Bandcamp, that is exactly what I found in The Ska Vengers. And I’ll tell you something. This band is good.
Right off the bat this band gets you moving with “(Why Don’t You) Do Right?” This isn’t punk-ska. This is more like old-time Jamaican ska with horns and organ that will get you skanking and a bass line that gives the sound a solid backbone.
Frankly, the catchy melodies were enough to win me over, but there is more than that too. Samara’s vocals are amazing. She sings with a soulful voice and sounds like she has some background singing jazz. She is the perfect vocalist for this band’s infectious melodies.
If you want some cool and catchy rocksteady (not to mention the novelty of having an Indian ska band in your collection), check out this band. Just make sure you have your dancing shoes ready.