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Combining musical versatility, instrumental prowess, beautiful vocal harmonies and a superb rhythm section, the Easy Star All-Stars focus their latest album in the series of reggae reinterpretations on The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Entitled Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band, it follows the best-selling tribute album releases, Dub Side of the Moon (2003) and Radiodread (2006), as well as Until That Day (2008).
As with the first two albums, Michael Goldwasser (producer, musical director, arranger and guitarist) stayed true to the lyrics, melodies and chord changes of the songs, envisioning as if the songs had been written by Lennon/McCartney (and Harrison), but had been recorded in Jamaica under the influence of reggae. Goldwasser brought in a who’s who of reggae, dub and dancehall greats to contribute guest vocals. Steel Pulse, Matisyahu, Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), Bunny Rugs (Third World), Ranking Roger (English Beat/General Public) and Luciano are the most recognizable names; longtime Easy Star collaborators Sugar Minott and Frankie Paul continue their powerful associations with the group; U Roy (a founder of deejay toasting), Max Romeo and the Mighty Diamonds are among the other veteran guest artists sure to generate anticipation amongst staunch reggae fans. Members of the Easy Star All-Stars, including Kirsty Rock, Menny More and Junior Jazz, finish out the impressive list of lead vocalists.
“This process was made all the more interesting by these artists’ lack of familiarity with the songs,” says Goldwasser. “They knew the Beatles, but most knew the hits and didn’t know ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ or ‘Within You Without You.’ This added newness to each interpretation that was essential to making these songs work on their own and not just as cover songs.”
On April 23, DJ Charlie Brown will host a listening party at White Rabbit (145 E. Houston), NYC from 7-10 PM.
Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band is out now on Easy Star Records. More Info here.