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Fat Freddy's Drop

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Biography

They've dubbed themselves "hi-tek soul," but Fat Freddy's Drop -- featuring producer and leader Fitchie, vocalist Joe Dukie, saxophonist Warren Maxwell, trumpeter Toby Laing, trombonist Joe Lindsay, guitarist Tehimana Kerr, and keyboardist Iain Gordon -- could just as easily be considered a modern reggae band that incorporates soul and dub. Prior to releasing their first album, 2005's Based on a True Story, they were already well-known in their native New Zealand; the album shipped gold and became the first independent release to reach number one on the country's official RIANZ chart. By the end of the year, the band had left an impression in several other countries, including England, where listeners of Gilles Peterson's BBC Worldwide program voted it as the Album of the Year. The band extensively toured for the following four years. The grueling live schedule left many of the bandmembers fatigued and resulted in Warren Maxwell leaving the group in 2007 for family reasons. He was replaced by Scott Towers. In 2009, the band released its second studio album, Dr. Boondigga & the Big BW. The record was the highest-selling album in New Zealand that year and featured a duet with Alice Russell on the single "The Camel." Once again, following an album release, the band embarked on a world tour. In 2013, "Silver and Gold" was pressed on vinyl and offered as a free digital download. Its parent album, Blackbird, followed later in the year and became the band's third consecutive number one album in New Zealand. "Slings and Arrows" was released as a single in 2015 as the band worked on its fourth studio album. ~ Andy Kellman

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