Archive for Seattle

If you like Natalie Wouldn’t then you will love Easy Big Fella

Posted in The Band with tags , , on November 13, 2009 by mrmikef

So before there was Natalie Wouldn’t there was Easy Big Fella. These guys were great and fans still today seek them out on the net for music downloads and to watch rare video footage. Here is a great video I found today that you might like as well.


What is SKA? Well Wiki says!

Posted in The Band with tags , , , on October 15, 2009 by mrmikef


So lately as I’m out and about it may get mentioned that I play drums in a SKA band. Lots of times the response will go something like this.  SKA? What kind of music is that? Then I have to go through the Etymology and the History of SKA. So I thought for those of you who are curious here is what Wiki has to say.


There are different theories about the origins of the word skaErnest Ranglin claimed that the term was coined by musicians to refer to the “skat! skat! skat!” scratching guitar strum.[6] Another explanation is that at a recording session in 1959 produced by Coxsone Dodd, double bassistCluett Johnson instructed guitarist Ranglin to “play like ska, ska, ska”, although Ranglin has denied this, stating “Clue couldn’t tell me what to play!”.[7] A further theory is that it derives from Johnson’s word skavoovie, with which he was known to greet his friends.[8] Jackie Mittoo insisted that the musicians themselves called the rhythm Staya Staya, and that it was Byron Lee who introduced the term ‘ska’.[9]


After World War IIJamaicans purchased radios in increasing numbers and were able to hear rhythm and blues music from Southern United States cities such as New Orleans by artists such as Fats Domino[10] and Louis Jordan.[11] The stationing of American military forces during and after the war meant that Jamaicans could listen to military broadcasts of American music, and there was a constant influx of records from the US. To meet the demand for that music, entrepreneurs such as Prince BusterClement “Coxsone” Dodd, and Duke Reid formed sound systems. As jump blues and more traditional R&B began to ebb in popularity in the early 1960s, Jamaican artists began recording their own version of the genres.[12] The style was of bars made up of four triplets, similar to that of “My Baby Just Cares for Me” by Nina Simone, but was characterized by a guitar chop on the off beat – known as an upstroke or skank – with horns taking the lead and often following the off beat skank and piano emphasizing the bass line and, again, playing the skank.[1] Drums kept 4/4 time and the bass drum was accented on the 3rd beat of each 4-triplet phrase. The snare would play side stick and accent the third beat of each 4-triplet phrase.[1] The upstroke sound can also be found in other Caribbean forms of music, such as mento and calypso.[13]

One theory about the origin of ska is that Prince Buster created it during the inaugural recording session for his new record label Wild Bells.[13] The session was financed by Duke Reid, who was supposed to get half of the songs to release. However, he only received one, which was bytrombonist Rico Rodriguez.[citation needed] Among the pieces recorded were “They Got to Go“, “Oh Carolina” and “Shake a Leg.”[citation needed] According to reggae historian Steve Barrow, during the sessions, Prince Buster told guitarist Jah Jerry to “change gear, man, change gear.”[citation needed]The guitar began emphasizing the second and fourth beats in the bar, giving rise to the new sound. The drums were taken from traditional Jamaican drumming and marching styles. To create the ska beat, Prince Buster essentially flipped the R&B shuffle beat, stressing the offbeats with the help of the guitar.

The first ska recordings were created at facilities such as Studio One and WIRL Records inKingston, Jamaica with producers such as Dodd, Reid, Prince Buster, and Edward Seaga.[13] The ska sound coincided with the celebratory feelings surrounding Jamaica’s independence from the UK in 1962; an event commemorated by songs such as Derrick Morgan‘s “Forward March” and The Skatalites‘ “Freedom Sound.” Because the newly-independent Jamaica didn’t ratify the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works until 1994 copyright was not an issue, which created a large number of cover songs and reinterpretations. Jamaican musicians such as The Skatalites often recorded instrumental ska versions of popular American and British music, such as Beatles songs, Motown and Atlantic soul hits, movie theme songs, or surf rockinstrumentals. Bob Marley‘s band The Wailers covered the Beatles’ “And I Love Her,” and radically reinterpreted Bob Dylan‘s “Like a Rolling Stone.”

Train Justice! My favorite song to play.

Posted in The Band with tags , , , , on March 13, 2009 by mrmikef


Recently at the SKA fest at Studio Seven we had some great video shot of lots of our songs (thank you Bob). This one song happens to be one of my favorites as well as one of the tracks on our up coming new CD Nick The Beat. I also love this video because some great fans from Oregon made it to the show and got up on stage druing this song and Skanked around a bit. We want to thank those kids and make sure they know we really apperciate thier enthuisam for our music. It keeps us doing what we are doing so thank you.

Fun Show Saturday March 14th 2009

Posted in The Band with tags , , , , , on March 11, 2009 by mrmikef

jules-maeWell one of the reasons I love being in a band has to do with the people you get to meet when you are out playing. You also run into very creative people and the band we are playing with this Saturday seems to be both. Stayed Tuned is a crazy concept that people seem to love. This is what they are about “Stay Tuned, the self-proclaimed Ultimate Television Rock Tribute Experience, was formed over 3 years ago by lead singer and keyboardist Matt Krahlman. His vision of rearranging the influential television themes of his youth into a completely different context became a reality when drummer / vocalist Fred Donaldson and bassist / vocalist Randy Williams joined Matt for their first rehearsal in a small practice studio just south of Safeco Field. Since then, the band has been musically inseparable and has delighted audiences and fellow musicians alike with a musical experience that can only be described as “… like sausage…”. Fred has since left the band to pursue his lifelong dream of guano farming and Stuhas joined the band as Stay Tuned’s formidable drummer.”  We are really looking forward to this show and I’m just excited to hear their stuff. I hope after you read this post you may want to come out and experience Natalie Wouldn’t and Stayed Tuned Live. Also please if you do come to our show come up and say hi we love to meet new people.


Almost finished!

Posted in The Band with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2009 by mrmikef


Well we now have finished the art work for our new album and I wanted you to know the story behind this Picture. We toured as a band in England two summers ago and while in London, in the Soho district we were having a beer at a very cool outdoor pub. Back in the alley was this very interesting character we kept looking at him and then he came up to us and was selling some very soiled and used magazines. We asked him if we could take a picture of him holding he prized magazines. He was gracious and fun to talk to so we bought him a beer and then nicknamed him Elfbo. Short for Elf and Hobo. We felt that this would be a great picture for your new CD, Nick The BEAT. We should have it up on I-tunes  and CD Baby by April and I think you are really going to enjoy it.