Easy Star All-Stars

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Easy Star All-Stars
EASY STAR ALL STARS DSOTM COVER.jpg
Album Cover of the Easy Star All-Stars first release "Dub Side of the Moon"
Background information
Origin Jamaica/USA
Genres Reggae, ska, dub
Years active 2003–present
Labels Easy Star
Website www.easystarallstars.net
Members Michael Goldwasser
Victor Axelrod aka Ticklah
Patrick Dougher
Victor Rice

Easy Star All-Stars is a reggae collective with a rotating roster of musicians and singers founded by the co-founders (Michael Goldwasser, Eric Smith, Lem Oppenheimer & Remy Gerstein) of New York City-based Easy Star Records in 1997.[1] The first original album by the band, released in 2003, was an interpretation of Pink Floyd's classic The Dark Side of the Moon entitled Dub Side of the Moon; the second was 2006's Radiodread, a song-by-song cover of Radiohead's OK Computer. In April 2009, they released a cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band entitled Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band. In 2012, Easy Star's Thrillah was released, a cover of Michael Jackson's classic album.[2]

History[edit]

Founding, covers[edit]

They originally formed as a studio band for the label's earliest recordings. Although they have backed many artists[who?] and produced several original releases, they are best known for covering popular albums in a reggae and dub style and have released four cover albums to date.[2]

First original albums[edit]

In February 2003, Easy Star All-Stars released a cover album of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon entitled Dub Side of the Moon, a complete reggae reinterpretation of the Pink Floyd album. Dub Side of the Moon has remained on the Billboard Reggae Charts since its release in 2003.[3] It features instructions on how to synchronize the record with The Wizard of Oz, referencing the audiovisual pairing sometimes referred to as Dark Side of the Rainbow.

Dub Side of the Moon was followed by the 2006 release of Radiodread, a reimagining of Radiohead's album OK Computer. At a 2006 Radiohead concert, Thom Yorke praised Toots & The Maytals version of "Let Down" on Radiodread.[4] Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood has also praised the cover version, calling it "truly astounding."[5]

In March 2008, Easy Star All-Stars released Until that Day, an EP consisting of original material except for "Dubbing Up the Walls", a cover of the Radiohead song "Climbing Up the Walls."[2][6] On 5 April 2011, they released their first original album entitled First Light.[2][7] The only constant member of the band is Michael Goldwasser.[2]

On January 13, 2009 the Easy Star All-Stars posted a statement on their website that they had completed their next album, a reworking of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles titled Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band, which was released on April 14, 2009.[8] However it was exclusively released on imeem a day prior. Reviews have been favourable. Sydney street press Music Feeds rated the album 10/10.[9] Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band cracked the Billboard Top 200 twice, making it the first reggae album to do so in over two years.[10]

Victor Axelrod aka Ticklah compiled a dub version of a song by the Iowa reggae band Public Property on an upcoming album Work to Do set for release in July 2009.

Michael Goldwasser compiled a dub version of the song "Turn & Run" by Umphrey's McGee.

Recent years[edit]

In October 2010, the Easy Star All-Stars released Dubber Side of the Moon, featuring bass-heavy remixes of Dub Side of the Moon by Dubmatix, 10 Ft. Ganja Plant, Groove Corporation, Dubphonic, The Alchemist, Dreadzone, Kalbata, Adrian Sherwood & Jazzwad, Victor Rice, Border Crossing, Mad Professor, Michael G. & Easy Star All-Stars, and J. Viewz.[11]

On August 28, 2012 the Easy Star All-Stars released Thrillah, a reimagining of Michael Jackson's album Thriller.

Current line-up[edit]

Listed in the order and as they appear in the liner notes accompanying Dub Side of the Moon:

The core of the touring line-up has remained largely intact since 2003.[12] The rotating roster includes:

  • Buford O'Sullivan (trombone)
  • Cliff Simpson (drums)
  • Elenna Canlas (keyboards, vocals)
  • Ive-09 (drums)
  • Jenny Hill (saxophone, flute)
  • Joanne Williams (vocals)
  • Kirsty Rock (vocals)
  • Ras I Ray (bass, vocals)
  • Ruff Scott (DJ vocals)
  • Shelton Garner, Jr. (guitar, vocals)

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]