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Ska Man Classics

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Album Review

And here you thought the 2-Tone label was a trip down memory lane. Derrick Morgan takes the Interstate to the past in a convoy that includes English performers Mafia, Fluxie, the Allstonians and Steady Ernest, rolling out 18 cuts that take in a remarkable number of ska and rocksteady favorites. These sorts of cover sets run a risk of sounding dopey or pointless, but this one has the benefit of excellent performances, respect for the originals, and an energetic vocal performance from Morgan, who sounds like he was having a ball recording these tunes. Mixed into the track list: "007," in a terrific version; "Israelites," which gets a decent updating; a nice "Simmer Down," a take on "Train to Skaville," and even a successful run at "Easy Snapping." The album comes equipped with informative sleeve notes, by the way, so you get a double shot of history in one package, making this doubly worth buying.


Born: 27 March 1940 in Stewarton, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

A member of the classic first wave of Jamaican ska artists, Derrick Morgan was among the genre's founding fathers, emerging alongside pioneers including the Skatalites, Laurel Aitken, Prince Buster, and Desmond Dekker. Born in March, 1940, Morgan was raised in the Kingston area, exposed to a variety of musical sources spanning from New Orleans R&B to the choral music of the nearby church where his father served as deacon. At the age of 17, he took top honors at the annual Vere John's Opportunity...
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Ska Man Classics, Derrick Morgan
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