Tell us about your new single/album/tour?
I played maracas on the last Danny Walsh Banned record if that’s what you mean. All that money my parents spent raising me and I’m spending my Sunday in an isolation booth in a ramshackle Abbotsford house acting like a low-rent Jerome Green.
What’s your favourite work at this point in time?
I don’t know if its my favourite work or if its my work at all, but I have followed with delight the mounting successes of the Melbourne Ska Orchestra. Their previous managment (me) held them back for too long.
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote…
I turned up to a rehearsal session for Eddie Bo (New Orleans) with the Bamboos in South Melbourne. He was losing it at the Bamboos (for no obvious reason) and the tour manager was freaking out and making it worse. We had the Corner Hotel sold out for the next night and Eddie’s all like “just give me the drummer and the trumpet I’ll put on a show”. I called a time out and took Eddie for a walk . I can’t remember what I said but I did some Eddie-whispering and y the time we’d gone around the block he was a different person. It was probably the best show I’ve ever been involved with.
What, or who, inspires you?
There’s an elite strata of humans I have long called the HCMFs (hard core muthafukkas). They are a rare breed of single-minded, “I have a vision and I don’t care if no-one gets it” iconoclasts. Rudy Ray Moore, Prince Buster, Wynonie Harris, Esquerita. All my heroes are pretty much dead, which is just as well because the world today would not have been to their taste.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
I wish I’d FINISHED writing the song (my only attempt) that I collaborated on with Memphis piano god Rosco Gordon back in the 90s. We would frequently have hour-long late night phone convos. He was always trying his latest musical ideas on me, so I thought I’d try it out myself. The lyrics were inspired by a recent break up. It was some mawkish, trite voodoo-themed business. It belongs to and comprises the entire genre known as antipodean-emo-voodoo-shuffle-blues. I’d stolen the backing from an old Chess record. #whitedevil
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
I’d like to have seen someone ask Little Walter or Jerry Lee Lewis this question. They’d give you a slap upside the head. That said, Burger Rings and an Egg Flip Big M.
What’s next for you?
I have been asked to compile a Jamaican rhythm and blues LP called “Kinston Saturday Night” through local outfit Sin-Seer Records. I’ve been planning it at a subconscious level for about 30 years – since I first heard the sounds at Hound Dogs Bop Shop (R.I.P.).
What’s your scene?
4chan and seedy bars in Red Hills Road (Kingston, Ja).
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