Soul Radics, The Willies
1 Cannery Row
Nashville, TN, 37203
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
This event is 18 and over
The Skatalites are Jamaica's premier ska band since 1964 who backed artists like Bob Marley, Toots and The Maytals, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe and most of the singers of the day. Their infectious brand of bluesy,jazzy ska spread like wildfire around the island and spawned the entire genres of ska,rocksteady,reggae,dub,two-tone,and 3rd wave ska. The tiny island of Jamaica has probably had more effect on music globally than any other country or place in the world, and The Skatalites were the pioneers of the music that originally caused this. The original lineup lasted only 14 months but recorded thousands of tunes, some of which are still being discovered in the archives today. Although the group broke up in 1965, the members Skatalitesremained active in the evolution of Jamaican popular music as it increased in popularity. After hearing about the resurgence of interest in their music they reunited in 1983 to perform at Jamaica's famed Sunsplash festival. Subsequently in 1986 they migrated to the USA and began performing and touring all over the world as they continue to do now after 52 years in the music business. Despite changes in personnel over the years, the band has continued to stay viable in the market, recording and performing at some of the world's largest festivals and has been nominated twice for The Grammys. Their most recent recording "Platinum Ska" features some tracks with Lloyd Knibb , the original drummer who passed away in 2011 and was widely regarded as the creator of the ska beat as well as the "onedrop" rhythm that is the foundation of most reggae music. Also on some tracks is original alto sax man Lester Sterling who is still active but no longer touring regularly with the band. Original vocalist Doreen Shaffer contributes a vocal track on this cd and continues leading the band on it's path as it continues it's great legacy bringing joy to fans,old and new, all over the world.
Forever indebted to the inspiration and talent of: Roland Alphonso, Lloyd Brevett, Tony DaCosta, Rupert Dillon , Don Drummond, Joseph " Lord Tanamo" Gordon, Jerome "Jah Jerry" Haynes, Lloyd Knibb, Tommy McCook, Donat Roy "Jackie" Mittoo, John " Dizzy Johnny" Moore, Jackie Opel, Doreen Shaffer, Lester Sterling.
Soul Radics have been going strong since 2011; supporting countless acts and backing originators along the way.
Coming from an unlikely location for such a collaboration, they formed in Nashville Tennessee but brought a fresh blend of traditional ska and reggae rhythms, topped with gritty and soulful female vocals. Soon the word traveled further after the band's first full length debut "Down to the Hall" was released through Chicago's long-running Jump Up Records. It was an eclectic mix of Jamaican influenced genres with upbeat, danceable numbers as well as cleverly written heartfelt messages with a bit of an attitude. The modest 9-song album made an impact on soundsystems internationally, so the eight piece headed to Europe to bring the music live and direct. After working closely with the renowned Grover Records in Germany; the label saw the release of their sophomoric album "Big Shot" which kicked off a second Euro Tour spring of 2015. Big Shot kept the same energy as their first LP, but touched on rocksteady more while digging deeper in song content and evolving the recording process. The following summer in 2016 we had our greatest tour yet; hitting prestigious festivals with our 6 song EP "Radication."
More recently the band is writing/recording while planning another tour, and will be gracing clubs and festivals around Europe Fall of 2017... with another scorching release from Grover Records in tow.
The Willies are Nashville based roots artists conjuring the spirit of that time before bordello jazz & dirty fingernail blues were the background music for baristas and doggy bakeries. But as veterans of the American underground, the Willies aren’t interested in reenacting the rough and tumble legacy of 20’s swing & blues... they embody that energy. And these genres are only starting points... vintage bottles to contain several lifetimes of experience in the jazz, blues, rockabilly and punk underworld.
The Willies are a sound collage... a musical hybrid where multiple muses reanimate street jazz as the throbbing expression of a vibrant & disreputable counter culture. With the Willies punk meets ragtime. Or cat house jazz is driven by a drugged ska beat. Oi gang vocals layer the blues or a stride piano accompanies an elaborate revenge fantasy. Banjos chunk. A trumpet blares. The vocals pour out sultry, or comic, or crooning or just plain pissed off while the rhythm section thumps with the pounding repetition of a bloated corpse slapping against the hull of a Mississippi riverboat.
These influences reveal a mixed bag of legitimate bohemian back stories. Singer Jen Jones commandeered a road unworthy van and spent years shuffling musicians and authentic swing from NYC to California. Dave Willie and Devin Pena broke ground and broke bones in the embryonic hardcore punk scene. Carco Clave spent decades eating his Thanksgiving dinners out of paper bags while backing Asleep at the Wheel, Little Jimmy Dickens and Chuck Meade. Wunderkind Jeremiah Cline cut his teeth in the subterranean world of urban hillbilly music. And Ben Clark comes to the party as a trained jazzbo with a refined & brutal trumpet attack. . Jim Williamson has recorded with Bobby "Blue" Bland, The Mavericks, Nanci Griffith, and many more. Rob DeHart, who played with the Huntsville Symphony, and David Doughtie(washboard) add grinding rhythm and complete the circus that The Willies live show has become.
The Willies are counter cultural zealots. You can see it in their live shows. Their raucous stage banter. Their energetic reworking of traditional standards. But most of all this passion comes through in their original compositions. Their raison d’etre. This is the place where Willies get to catalog their influences... to construct new wholes from past memories... eagerly looking forward but always open to the influence of the ghosts and demons froma wildly entertaining past.
$15.00 - $20.00