Folklife Ska & Reggae

Hey, let’s see if I can keep y’all in the loop on a weekly basis! Here’s some quick updates on what shows we have this week, and any other news I see fit:

Seattle Shows

May 26th (Friday)
Mural Amphiteatre (Seattle Center) All Ages FREE
FolkLife Ska Showcase featuring
The Georgetown Orbits (Set starts at 5:25 PM)
The Skablins (Set starts at 4:40 PM)

May 29th (Monday)
Mural Amphiteatre (Seattle Center) All Ages FREE
FolkLife Reggae Rising Party featuring
Clinton Fearon & Boogie Brown Band (Set starts at 8:15 PM)
Kore Ionz (Set starts at 7:30 PM)
Two Story Zori (Set starts at 6:45 PM)
Playerz of Instruments (Set starts at 6:00 PM)

Okay folks, so the big happenings this weekend in the Emerald City is going to be at Folklife, the free, extremely local semi-Bumbershoot/Sasquatch alternative*. Friday, you have the Skablins kicking it off at 4:40 playing their blend of Ska, and for the uninitiated, I’d call them Second and a Half Wave Ska. Definitely some Two-Tone, definitely some Ska/Punk and honestly, Gordy’s approach to vocals reminds a bit of Danny Elfman at times. Fun group that definitely fills out a stage and a great opportunity to check them out if you have ever wondered about the kind of Skank Inducing Shenanigans that go down at their headquarters at Mirkwood.

Then, The Georgetown Orbits hit the stage with their blend of Ska/Reggae/Rocksteady with a bit of Soul/Jazz/Funk to boot! I hear they are working on their fourth album and as usual, if you want to see the group with the longest tenure of rockin the sounds of Jamaica’s Golden Era in Seattle, this is your chance. As a side note, The Ska Mission is totally stoked to have them on bill for the “Ska Reggae Etc Showcase” on July 14th with Easy Big Fella, Monkey, Fairhaven, Franks’N’Deans and DJ SoulShot at the High Dive in Fremont

Moving on to Monday, its Reggae Reggae Reggae with Playerz of Instruments kicking it off. Admittedly, I’m not familiar and not able to find any recordings, so it’s a chance for me to hear something completely new.

I love Two Story Zori, having seen them open for a king of guitar, Ernest Ranglin, and last year, when they played a free show at St. Edwards Park. Good flowing, 808 Island influenced Reggae that mixes catchy originals with some creative takes on Top 40 hits. They have a full time Uke player and excellent vocal harmonies.

Next, you have Kore Ionz, whose single “First Avenue,” gets stuck in my head from time to time with the perfect vocals and sweet horn blends. Very chill, has something of a Big Mountain feel to it.

This leads up to the hardest working man in Seattle Reggae, Mr. Clinton Fearon. Since playing in his first band, The Brothers, when he was 16, to his time in the Gladiators and then relocating to Seattle in the late 80s, Mr. Fearon has been singing, playing, writing and rocking for 50 years now. He’s put out 12 albums since 1994, with the latest, “Good Morning,” coming out last fall and he’s continually playing with his group, Boogie Brown Band, or finding places around town to play his acoustic and usually, he’s doing it for free. This Man is a treasure to our great music community and if you do nothing else this weekend, go see him Monday Night!

*At least for people that wish those shows had more Ska/Reggae ;P

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