Tell us about your new single/album/tour?
I recently recorded my debut album GHOSTS in Los Angeles as a result of a successful crowdfunding campaign. The album was written and recorded simultaneously in less then a month and the recording process was all analogue. I got to work with some fantastic musicians and great friends on this album and the result is a mixed bag of all the music I love; Reggae, Rock And Roll, Americana, Soul, World Music and Punk Rock.
What’s your favourite work at this point in time?
[pullquote]The wheel fell off of the King Cannons tour van while we were driving it in the early days in NZ. No one was injured but it could have been nasty.[/pullquote] I really like the tune HALF WAY on my record. It’s a heavy reggae tune in the vein of Lee Perry and The Upsetters or something out of The Black Ark. The backing band playing on this track are The Black Emeralds from Jandisc records in LA. They had already laid down the bones of the tune and I jammed some lyrics and melody lines overtop and added the Hammond organ part with J Bonner. I just love the feel and sound of this tune at the moment.
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote…
One time, at band camp… The wheel fell off of the King Cannons tour van while we were driving it in the early days in NZ. No one was injured but it could have been nasty. The van was pretty fucked after that. Lesson learned. Never borrow your mates piece of shit van to tour in.
What, or who, inspires you?
Anyone who has made something from nothing. Anyone who is triumphant in the face of adversity or constantly and consistently trying hard to. Anyone who can adapt and change. Those are the kind of human beings that inspire me.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
All of the good ones that are still paying royalties.
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Black coffee and eggs on toast. It’s straight up and simple, but it’s got guts.
What’s next for you?
I’m going to play some shows this year to support my new record. Then I’m going to find a space to make another one. I’m looking forward to performing my new music live with my new band THE HALF WAY.
What’s your scene?
I grew up in the punk rock community in NZ and that was very important to me. In my early 20’s, I realized that as much as I love punk rock music, I don’t need to adhere to the confines of a scene. I’m a free human, I duck and weave and come and go as I please. I make my own scene.
About the Newport Ska, Reggae & Rocksteady Festival
Having already announced that Jamaican foundation Rocksteady duo Keith & Tex with The Moonhops will headline the Newport Ska, Reggae & Rocksteady Festival on Sunday 19 March, the festival is very excited to announce the rest of the bill. Joining Keith & Tex will be Jackie Mendez, Pat Powell, Red Sand Shuffle and The Majestics with Ska Vendors, plus MC Mohair Slim. Add that to the already announced Luke Yeoward, DJ Systa BB, and you’ve got one hell of a festival bill.
Californian musician/vocalist Jackie Mendez grew up on a steady diet of Ska and Punk, (mainly the British 2Tone ska revival music of the late 1970s) and began playing in bands, developing a keen interest in 1960s era Jamaican Ska and Reggae influenced by singers from the likes of Alton Ellis and Ken Boothe. LA based Angel City Records approached Jackie, wanting to focus on showcasing her as a solo artist, while supplying her with backing by the label’s reggae/ska house recording band Thee Hurricanes featuring an all-star line-up of some of California’s finest musicians.
Her debut EP ‘Introducing Jackie Mendez’ has been making waves worldwide as she continues to perform around the United States, Mexico and Europe and most recently, making a splash at The London International Ska Festival. For the Newport Ska, Reggae & Rocksteady Festival, Jackie will be backed by The Here Here’s, led by Baz Turn- bull, a guitarist who has worked with the likes of The Gladiators and The Congas. Sydney singer, Pat Powell, is a regular in Melbourne as a guest vocalist with the Ska Vendors and vocalist for the Melbourne Ska Orchestra. This time round, he will be using his versatile, velvet tones alongside Red Sand Shuffle as he performs a set of R&B stompers.
Performing as “The Majestics”, Kerri Simpson and Nichaud Fitzgibbon need no introduction to fans of Blues, Soul and Jazz with hundreds of shows, workshops and recordings under their respective belts. The sultry mix of Fitzgibbons’ velvet tones mixed with Simpson’s smoky blues and extraordinary range are well known to Australian audiences. Their set will delve into the Jamaican female songbook featuring big hits and hidden treasures by artists The Gaylettes, The Dreamlettes Dawn Penn, Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt. This is a chance to hear some of these artist’s great songs delivered by two of Melbourne’s finest. Don’t miss this rare collaboration.
Mohair Slim is a stalwart of the Melbourne airwaves with his long running Sunday morning 106.7 PBS FM radio program Blue Juice, which specializes in historic African-American and Afro-Caribbean sounds. Mohair Slim DJs regularly around town and is renowned as a suave connoisseur of weird and exotic dancefloor shaking tunes.
Featuring a mammoth line up of local, interstate and international artists, the sounds of young Jamaica will be celebrated in the unique space that is The Substation. Don’t miss the Newport Ska, Reggae & Rocksteady Festival run by locals and aficionados of the ska, reggae and rocksteady scenes on March 19 from 1pm – 7.30pm. Early bird and PBS subscriber tickets from $55, kids under 16yo free!
Head to the venue website at thesubstation.iwannaticket.com.au.
Newport Ska, Reggae & Rocksteady Festival 2017
Sunday 19th March
1pm – 7.30pm
1 Market Street, Newport
Limited $55 Early Bird & 106.7 PBSFM Subscriber
tickets on sale now via venue website www.thesubstation.iwannaticket.com.au