To commemorate the era, VP Records vintage imprint 17 North Parade are releasing a special vinyl singles box set collection with 14 classic Rocksteady gems as a Record Store Day 2016 exclusive.
Rocksteady, which used elements of rhythm and blues (R&B), jazz, ska as well as African and Latin American drumming, was a successor of ska and precursor to reggae. One of the most easily recognizable elements of Rocksteady (as in ska) are offbeat rhythms, staccato chords played by a guitar and piano on the offbeats of the measure. Rocksteady was popularized by the likes of Alton Ellis, Hopeton Lewis, Errol Dunklrey and vocal harmony bands like The Gaylads, The Maytals, The Heptones, The Paragons The Sensations and The Melodians.
The vinyl singles package will be followed by a 2CD (30 track) collection on July 1st, which is International Reggae Day. For each release, music was handpicked from collectors’ lists of the most sought after titles. Each track is re-mastered and paired with a complimentary hit title from the era on the B side. The detailed packaging evokes the excitement of the era when snail mail was the only mode for sharing this burgeoning Jamaican export for worldwide consumption.
Americana troubadour Austin Lucas returns to UK later this week for a series of dates before moving on the European mainland, he’s back in town to promote the new album Between the Moon and The Midwest, the new album see’s Austin take a side-step into country territory with a wonderful collection of ‘proper’ songs, the heartaches for real, classic country stylings are deftly overlaid with that magical Cosmic American dust that shines a spotlight on the songs and the stories they tell.
Austin Lucas – Unbroken Hearts
The song sequencing is just perfect on this album – with the tracks flowing perfectly from the opening lament of Unbroken Heart to the closer, and arguably the best track, Midnight.
Recorded with the help of Joey Kneiser and featuring guest appearances from a number of other Beat Surrender favourites including John Moreland, Lydia Loveless and Cory Branan it’s a record to fall in love with after a single play and one you’ll return to play over and over – highly recommended.