Welcome! If you’re interested in my music, my writing, or my adventures, you’re in the right place. I stay pretty busy, so I’m constantly adding and updating things.
You can see where I’m playing live. If you want the next best thing, there are links to live performance videos on Youtube. I’ve stocked my Video Jukebox with some of my favorite studio recordings. You can read my blog posts on various topics. (For example, here’s the Ten Commandments series of tips for young musicians.) Hear some fresh sounds, see photos, or contact me, either about work or something you see on the site. Thanks for your interest!
Bulletins From A Working Musician
- In a frenzy of CD relocation and assembly, I found three previously overlooked additions to my discography.
- Many of you have been asking when I will write my long-threatened memoir of my time in Jamaica. Well, I have started compiling the emails and assorted writings on the subject that are scattered throughout my virtual universe, as of last night. This is an essential first step. It’s almost time for New Year’s resolutions and I think I know what one of mine will be.
- A very busy week coming up! Mostly recording and private events, but I will be appearing in public as well. Go here for the latest.
- I’ll be appearing with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express in London on Tuesday, November 19 at the Barbican on a double bill with Courtney Pine. I love London and have been away for far too long. Really looking forward to this.
- In other Monty news, the new Harlem-Kingston Express album will be out soon. We have a version of “What’s Going On” that I can’t wait for people to hear.
- I’ll be appearing with The Engagements for Halloween, here.
- I found a new YouTube performance video from my appearance with Monty Alexander at the North Sea Jazz Festival earlier this year. Go here to see it, as well as lots of other videos from my checkered past. Some of the little pictures have vanished, but the links work. (I’ll be fixing that soon, but things have been busy of late.)
- I’ll be appearing here with Monty in London next month. London is one of my favorite cities, and I haven’t been there since my Maytals days, so I’m really looking forward to this.
- Closer to home, I have a lot of NYC area shows this week. Go here to find out more.
- I’ll be appearing with Dajla Laila, a singer/songwriter from Tunisia by way of London, tonight here.
- Tomorrow, I’ll be with the Brooklyn Attractors at Two Boots in, of course, Brooklyn!
- I’m going to update this site soon. In partnership with web designer to the stars Jeff Macaluso, we are going to slim things down a bit and make it more friendly for people who use hand-held devices for their web fix. Hopefully we’ll be rolling it out by the end of this year.
- I will be appearing in the video shoot for Keisha Martin‘s “Ghetto Prince” next Wednesday. Keisha is a wonderful singer who’s been cruising under the radar in NYC for some time now. The video has an 80s dancehall theme, so I have to look at old photos to figure out what I was wearing back then. I probably still have some of the clothes!
- Gigs this month with Gyptian, Derrick Barnett, and the Brooklyn Attractors. More coming in, I hope. If not…time to do some home recording.
- Island Head’s “Punky Reggae Party“ is #89 on the iTunes reggae chart!
- I appeared at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn on September 1st with Derrick Barnett and the Statement Band as a last minute substitute for the band from Jamaica that was supposed to back Capelton, Shabba Ranks, and Lady Saw. Twelve hours’ notice, no rehearsal! Hence no time to announce it. The show went well, all considered.
- Lots of private gigs this month.
- Tonight I appear live on the Coalition to Preserve Reggae’s internet radio show “Real Talk.” Host Carlyle McKetty and I had a most interesting discussion during a CPR live broadcast at a street fair in Brooklyn a few months ago, and he suggested that we continue it on his show later. So said, so done, and tonight is the night. CPR’s radio station broadcasts a variety of conscious music and talk 24/7. You can check them out here. Click on the CPR Live graphic at the top of the page to start receiving the broadcast.
- I’m playing with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express this Saturday night at, oddly enough, the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival in Easton, MD. Our show is at the Avalon Theater at 8:00 p.m. It’s sold out, but you may be able to find tickets for the other fine performers on the show here.
- I also did some recording with Monty and the HKE a couple of weeks ago at Avatar Studios in NYC for our followup record to the Grammy-nominated Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express Live!
- I’m playing with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in Manhattan all week. Details here.
- Sirius XM The Joint has live versions of songs from the Island Head interview/exclusive performance in heavy rotation. Check it out!
- The Island Head interview/exclusive performance airs tomorrow, August 1st at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Sirius XM The Joint.
- I’ve been rehearsing all week along with the rest of Derrick Barnett and Statement Band for the Luciano shows with Beres Hammond at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan on Friday and NJPAC in Newark on Saturday. Go here for details.
- Island Head recorded live for Sirius XM The Joint yesterday.
- Tonight with Simone G at Club Ella in NYC!
- It’s pretty quiet this week, but there are some great gigs coming up next week that I thought you should know about.
- First, the debut gig of Island Head will be happening Wednesday, July 24, at the new Cutting Room in Manhattan. Here’s the link for tickets.
- On Thursday, July 25, I will be appearing with Simone G, a fine young reggae singer who’s sung with Marleys of all stripes and is now venturing out on her own, at Ella Lounge. Here’s the link.
- On Friday, I will be backing Coasters’ lead singer Early Clover at Jesup Green, Westport, CT, along with my friends from Collateral Damage. Early is a terrific old school R&B singer and puts on a wonderful show. Plus, it’s free!
- Coming up…Luciano!
- I am very excited to be performing with Monty Alexander again this Friday night at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Here’s the link!
- In other news, a second Island Head show has been added in addition to our live debut at the Cutting Room in NYC on July 24. This one is on July 27 at 78 Below. Go here for all the IH details. Jamband radio and Sirius XM the Joint are still playing our debut CD, Punky Reggae Party. Buy it here or here!
- Today is the anniversary of the great Dennis Brown’s passing. I’ve written a brief tribute here.
- I’ll be appearing in Rotterdam with the amazing Monty Alexander in two weeks, with a Saturday night off in Amsterdam! I think I can live with getting home a day later…
- Still more additions to my discography.
- I’m playing with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express at the Rochester International Jazz Festival on Saturday. It’s free!!
- Island Head’s first live gig has been booked, with all original members on board! We’ll be at the new Cutting Room in Manhattan. Here’s the link for tickets.
- It’s June, so I’m doing some weddings. Unlike a lot of musicians, I like playing weddings, but that’s probably because I almost always play them with the Engagements!
- Session work for the Ovations at Courtney Panton’s Kingston Studio.
- I’m playing with Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express at the Rochester International Jazz Festival later this month.
- I’m planning a site redesign soon. I’ve gotten nothing but compliments on this one, but the changing technology of smart phones means that it’s time to rethink things.
- More additions to my discography.
- A real reggae lover and genuine nice guy named Ingmar from the Netherlands has a great blog dedicated to Joe Gibbs productions called Pressure Beat. He did an interview with me about Cornell Campbell’s big hit “Boxing” for the label, which was one of my earliest recordings. Of course, you can listen to the song on my Video Jukebox page. It’s in the lower right hand corner.
- Check out the rest of Ingmar’s blog too. Fans of my old group Cool Runnings will enjoy his post on lead singer Patrick Burke’s former group ElPedio and the Sonics,
- With Monty Alexander’s Harlem/Kingston Express at Birdland all this week!
- Nice reviews for both the Mike Lefton (here) and Mister Fred (here) CDs I produced.
- Not many gigs this week, but I’m appearing with Monty Alexander and the Harlem-Kingston Express all next week at Birdland in Manhattan. Go here for tickets.
- Lots of gigs this week!
- The Laura Haykel and Hopeton Hibbert projects are done, for now. (Hopeton’s album is supposed to drop in May.) More practice time! Or there would be if there weren’t so many gigs.
- A nice review of the Mike Lefton CD here. Mike has already had to restock his CD five times on the CDBaby site. He’s playing out regularly too in support of the project.
- More airplay on Sirius XM the Joint and Vassar College Radio for Island Head.
- Tax time has slowed my updating considerably, but the end is in sight. I’ll be back here more regularly.
- Doing yet another track for bassist/vocalist Hopeton Hibbert (son of Toots) for his debut album and finishing up a track for Laura Haykel at home.
- After a period of quiet, I have three recording sessions this week! Are the Eighties back?
- My band, the Blue People, will be performing a fundraising event for the YAI Network at Scallywag’s in Manhattan on April 25.
- I’m doing a very rare gig as a leader the next night at Park 143 Bistro in Bronxville, featuring some of the other Blue People.
- The Island Head CD keeps going and growing as more and more jamband radio programs are adding it to their playlists. We are planning live shows for the summer and a festival appearance in Jamaica in August.
- More work on Hopeton Hibbert and Laura Haykel projects at home. I need to come up with a catchy name for my studio.
- The Island Head CD is at #6 on CMJ’s World Music Chart!
- Almost finished with the second Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express CD. We will be appearing at Birdland in NYC in May and then it looks like we will be doing a show in Jamaica!
- Gigs! With The Engagements, Derrick Barnett, and a special guest shot on Sunday night with songbird Simone G at the Shrine in Harlem.
- Thinking about a redesign for the website to make it more compatible with mobile devices, among other things.
- My custom designed guitar picks from D’Addario showed up. They really do a great job. I’m not a D’Addario endorser (GHS for me!) so I am not being compensated for this endorsement. I’ll put a scan up if I think of it, so you can see what they look like.
- Things have been quieter than they’ve been for a long time. I did do some recording with Eddie Parkins (of Alton and Eddie fame, for you Jamaican music history geeks.
- Hopeton Hibbert loved the tracks I did for him at home! He sent me another one to work on; his album is supposed to drop in May. Hopeton and I go way back so I’m happy I’ll be on the record.
- Producing a track for Laura Haykel of iFlourish Consulting. Laura has a wonderful voice and a distinct point of view. I am excited to hear what people think of it.
- Bill Messinetti and I visited Cable Man Dan‘s show on Tuesday to talk about the Island Head CD and lots of other fun things.
- Dan likes to play a different version of “Rivers of Babylon” on every one of his shows, so he asked us to do one live. We did, but when he said he wanted to use it as a drop I told him I wanted to do it over. I’m sending this to Bill to put percussion on, but you can hear the solo version here. It’s in the Sounds section.
- More studio work on both the new Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express CD and the debut CD for jazz singer Caterina Zapponi (a.k.a. Mrs. Monty Alexander). Not sure of projected release dates for either.
- The Mike Lefton EP I produced, “What Are We Waiting For,” is getting terrific response. And people are buying it! You can do so here.
- Here’s a brief article I wrote about getting started in the music business. Not just for musicians.
- Working on guitar tracks at home in my studio for Hopeton Hibbert (a great bass player and singer) and DB & Statement Band keyboardist Raymond Stewart.
- I just ordered custom designed guitar picks from D’Addario. Curious to see how they come out.
- The wonderful people at Akismet have repaired my sp*m problem. Comment away!
- It looks as though Island Head will be appearing live in Jamaica on August 10. Details to follow. The CD is still in rotation on Sirius XM and is gaining ground on jamband programs too.
- People have nice things to say about Clark Gayton’s new CD, Clark & the Superslicks, which I played on. Clark is the first call tubaist and trombonist to the stars (he’s currently touring with Bruce Springsteen, a genius musician, and an all around great guy. Buy the CD here!
- I did a radio interview with the Night Nurse, Amy Wachtel, at Radio Lily. You can listen to the show here if you missed it live.
- I just found out that a gig I did with Toots and the Maytals at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 1991 has been reissued by Island as “Toots Live.” This means I had to update my discography.
- If any of you have commented on any of my posts and not seen your comments, please accept my apologies. The sp*m problem is quite serious here behind the scenes and I am trying to clean things up.
- My favorite young reggae band, New Kingston, releases their new album, Kingston University, today! (Yes, I played on it.)
- The Island Head and Roots Nation CDs are getting airplay all over the world, and tour dates are being discussed. Many thanks to all the DJs, most notably Pat McKay and Dermot Hussey of Sirius XM The Joint, for all their support!
- In bad news, the Monty Alexander concert in Jamaica, scheduled for March 10, has been cancelled.
- I played a session on Friday for Monty Alexander. We’re finishing up the followup to the Grammy-nominated Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express Live! Gary Bartz played alto sax on a version of the Marvin Gaye classic “What’s Going On” that I’m really happy with. Not sure of release date yet.
- The Cannabis Cup Bob Marley Birthday shows at B.B. King’s were very successful. CCB will be playing the Rocks Off 420 Cruise on, naturally, 4/20.
- I played on a track for a great young artist, Gabi Wilson. Hope it makes the record! Gabi is amazing. She sings, plays guitar, piano, and bass, and babysits her little sister, all with great skill and aplomb. They watched the session (at Oz Studios) via Skype, a first for me.
- More work with Karl Wright on the Nova CD.
- The Mike Lefton EP I produced, “What Are We Waiting For,” is at the manufacturing plant and should be available this month.
- Giles Guitars rock! I visited their shop last month and liked three of the prototypes very much. They are still tweaking; more on this as it develops.
- A lovely review of the Mister Fred CD that I produced, Golden Age, here.
- I recorded bass and acoustic guitar tracks for an exciting new artist, Nova. Karl Wright produced, brilliantly. I’m not sure how far along the project is, but the five or six songs I’ve played on so far for her really smoke. If you like Etana, you will really like Nova. Still no electric guitar played in the studio yet this year.
- Over New Year’s weekend I also recorded guitar tracks in my home studio for Fred Locks (produced by Duplex Music) and New Kingston, my favorite young reggae band. (I’m also on their new album, Kingston University, which drops 2/5/13.) New Kingston totally rocks live and they are on tour now. Check them out!
- Yet another addition to the discography.
- If you want me to record tracks at home for your project, email me through my contact page for details and rates.
- Finishing up the Mike Lefton EP I’m producing. Final mixes this week, mastering on Monday, pressed and ready by February 1. I’ve played it for some people I respect a lot and the reaction so far is everything we could hope for.
- Playing in New Hampshire on Wednesday with NY Ska-Jazz Ensemble.
- My New Year’s Eve gig was a total disaster. I’m still waiting to get paid.
- I recorded two acoustic tunes with Ras Karbi last night, they sound a little like a reggae Blonde On Blonde. The studio was great, The Kennel in Brooklyn. Wharton Tiers produced.
- Inspired by the events of NYE, I created a new post. You can read it here.
- More mixing for the Mike Lefton EP with Jeff Ganz. We missed the Xmas shopping season, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, but we’re near the finish line.
- I’ll be meeting with the people at Giles Guitars later this month to consult with them about their new line of instruments.
- I’m trying hard to keep it interesting around here! So I present an opinion for your dissection.
- I have to repeat myself about this! Listen to Island Head here at 8 p.m. Eastern time tonight!
- Gigs already coming in for next year. Whew.
- Still more additions to the discography. I’m glad Clark Gayton has released (as Clark & the Super Slicks) some of the great instrumentals we recorded for various projects that never saw the light of day at the time.
- Nice reviews of the Island Head and Roots Nation albums by Tom Orr here. They’re down in the middle of the page, but they are there. Thanks, Tom!
- Jamaican broadcasting legend Dermot Hussey will be featuring a number of tracks from the Island Head album on his Internet radio show this Friday at 8:00 p.m. US time. (7:00 p.m. JA time.) You can click here to listen.
- My favorite guitar-related publication will be interviewing me soon! I can’t say more until I’m sure the article is in the production process, but stay tuned.
- Gigs with Derrick Barnett and Statement Band at the Shrine in Harlem this Sunday and with DB & SB backing Singing Melody and Gramps Morgan on New Year’s Eve at Amazura in Queens. We will be opening for the legendary Sanchez.
- The Felix da Housecat CD I worked on is in the mixing stages. Hope my tracks make the final cut! You never know until you hear it.
- Here’s a link to an article I wrote quite a while ago about living frugally on the road. My friend Justin Rothberg is about to go on a tour and I found it for him. It then occurred to me that others would find it useful.
- Lots of gigs coming in!
- Island Head will soon be available as a physical CD on CDBaby. Sirius XM The Joint is playing it regularly. Great item for holiday giving!
- More entries to my discography.
- Lots to report. First, the gigs are coming back. New Year’s Eve with Derrick Barnett and Statement Band backing Gramps Morgan and Singing Melody at Amazura in Queens is confirmed. Lots of our old haunts too. Go here for details.
- We finished tracking, so Jeff Ganz and I are doing the mixes for the Mike Lefton EP. Goal: finish before year’s end!
- Legendary reggae DJ and music authority Dermot Hussey will be playing Island Head on his Jamaican radio show (he told us so)! Here’s the info, not sure when he’s playing it though.
FRIDAYS: 7.05 PM JA TIME, 8.05 pm USSUNDAYS: 5.15 pm JA Time, 6.15pm USLIVE STREAM : WWW.NEWSTALK.COM.JM(CLICK) ON LISTEN LIVE)
- Big support from Sirius XM The Joint for Island Head! You can buy it on iTunes.