Flagship 2Tone group the English Beat returns to the Blueberry Hill Duck Room on Wednesday, August 28, promoting a new various artists anthology of English Beat cover songs benefiting Teenage Cancer Trust. Lead singer and guitarist Dave Wakeling spoke to me recently about the album and the charity, dropping a bit of eclectic English social history along the way.
The turntable is spinning, the sound system is hooked up and the bass can be felt vibrating the ground as the stars begin to cascade around the moon in a haze of cigarette smoke, empty bottles and cans.
Green Room Rockers hail from the land of the Wabash, another muddy river, so they should have felt right at home as they brought their Midwest brand of reggae, ska and soul to St. Louis.
While the album's title, "Everything's Fine, America," may be ironic, the music of Last to Show First to Go is anything but.
Fredrick "Toots" Hibbert, freshly into his 7th decade and still not taking his sunglasses off at night, led the Maytals and the crowd through an on-point run through the definitive "Pressure Drop" before ending it with some James Brown inspired moves; a microcosm of their much-appreciated stop at the Old Rock House.
None of the three troops to take the stage on Tuesday night at the Pageant were willing to be outdone.
Sneaking onto stage and straight into the set list without any warning, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound shook a few middle fingers at 2012 before we all shook our asses off.