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“We hope you enjoy listening to our music as much as we enjoy performing it for you!” That’s how Tommy McCook used to greet to the audience by at every performance of The Skatalites that he hosted.
The Skatalites began performing in Jamaica in May 1964. The group was so hot that their first rehearsal became a show. So many people had lined up outside the venue, they decided to just charge admission and let everybody in! They were the top musicians on the island at the time, having come together after playing in different bands and on various recording sessions. These records were made to be played at the many competing sound systems around the island. The band became legendary, backing all the developing artists of the day, such as Toots and The Maytals, Prince Buster and "The Wailing Wailers" featuring Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. These groups were all recording on the new beat called ska, which had an infectious rhythm that was catching on like wildfire. Eventually, the beat slowed down into rocksteady, and then reggae. This wildfire spread unstoppably around the world, developing into a huge musical tree with many stylistic branches, including lovers rock, dub, dancehall/ ragga, ska-punk, and others. Hugely popular groups, like The Police, The Clash, The Specials, The English Beat, Sublime
and No Doubt, all have their roots firmly planted in the music of The Skatalites.
Since reforming after an almost 20 year hiatus in 1983, and beginning regular touring as a unit in 1989, they have not stopped thrilling audiences in every corner of the globe. Even after 48 years, and various lineup changes as members leave one stage for another, the band continues to perform and record new music in the inimitable Jamaican style, like only they can. The road has been long and hard, and sadly, seen most of the original members pass on. Often asked "when will you stop?" and "how do you keep doing it after all these years?", the answer is simple: never - It's the love of the music and the way our fans
respond that keep us going Forward!
Featuring original alto sax man Lester "Ska" Sterling and vocalist Doreen Shaffer, along with the current lineup of outstanding musicians they have chosen to accompany them, the band proudly presents Walk With Me -their long-awaited collection of newly-recorded classics and brand new compositions. This new release features some of the last tracks ever recorded by founding member and legendary drummer Lloyd Knibb, who not only perfected the ska beat but paved the way for nearly every single reggae drummer after him. “Love Is The Way” was the last song he recorded. RIP.
We are forever indebted to the inspiration and talent of Roland Alphonso, Lloyd Brevett, Don Drummond, Jerome “jah jerry” Haynes, Lloyd Knibb, Tommy McCook, Donat “Jackie” Mittoo, John “Dizzy Johnny” Moore, and Lester Sterling, collectively known as The Skatalites.
A1 Desert Ska
A3 Hot Flash
A4 The Leader
A5 Love Is The Way
A6 Walk With Me
B1 Piece For Peace
B2 Song For My Father
B3 Little Teresa
B4 King Solomon
B5 Dub Lalibela